Frost & Sullivan Research Service   Published: 6 Sep 2006
Customer Attitudes and Perceptions towards Powertrain and Hybrid Vehicle Technologies and Features
   Research Overview

This Frost & Sullivan research service entitled Customer Attitudes and Perceptions towards Powertrain and Hybrid Vehicle Technologies and Features provides an in-depth analysis of consumer attitudes and perceptions towards engine and fuel types, powertrain characteristics and emerging technologies, and examines the importance of those factors to customers when purchasing a new vehicle.

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   Market Sectors

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:

By Geographic Region:

  • The United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
   Market Overview

Spiralling Fuel Prices Increase Pressure on Vehicle Manufacturers to Produce More Fuel-efficient Vehicles

European automobile customers’ expectations are constantly increasing in terms of high levels of comfort and convenience, and advanced technologies in their cars. There is also a growing dissatisfaction among them about the soaring fuel prices in Europe. Coupled with stringent emission norms, this has created a tough situation for European vehicle manufacturers (VMs) as they face a major challenge in balancing rising customer expectations and meeting strict legislations governing the automotive industry. "A massive 90 per cent of respondents have expressed strong concern about the continuous upward trend in fuel prices," says Krishnasami Rajagopalan, Research Analyst with Frost & Sullivan. "This is placing considerable pressure on VMs to increase their efforts in producing reasonably-priced vehicles that deliver better fuel economy and lower emissions."

With environmental awareness fast increasing, this study reveals that there is 57 per cent likelihood that respondents will consider using biodiesel as a fuel source. In comparison, there is a 42 per cent likelihood that they will pay extra to have the vehicle equipped with a particulate filter to reduce emissions. About 30 per cent of respondents believed that hybrid engines have significant potential in achieving fuel economy, with most vehicle owners believing that full hybrid was the best choice in this regard, followed closely by direct fuel injection and mild hybrid. However, it must also be noted that while vehicle owners’ interest in contributing to eco-friendliness is definitely increasing, they also give considerable weightage to factors such as cost and availability of fuel.

Rising Environmental Awareness among Customers Augurs Well for VMs

A key finding of this study is the exceptionally high levels of environmental awareness displayed by vehicle owners. A significant 66 per cent of vehicle owners expressed their willingness to reduce their standard of living to help protect the environment. This is likely to aid VMs in their task of promoting hybrid and alternative fuel technologies. When asked about the key advantages and disadvantages of hybrid vehicles, end users rated eco-friendliness and reduced fuel costs as the most desirable aspect and high costs as the most unfavourable. "With around 70 per cent of respondents believing that hybrid vehicles are far too expensive, this has created a situation of low demand in Europe," says the analyst. "This poses a major challenge to VMs engaged in developing and marketing hybrid vehicles for the European market."

Additionally, with the market share of diesel vehicles increasing in Europe, many gasoline vehicle customers seem to be considering a switch to diesel vehicles on their next purchase. This could be a stumbling block for VMs looking to promote gasoline vehicles with larger engine capacities. About one in three respondents reported that they were not considering purchasing a hybrid vehicle, either gasoline or diesel. Nevertheless, despite their lack of mass appeal, 9 per cent of respondents are definitely planning to purchase a diesel hybrid and 5 per cent are sure that they are going to buy a gasoline hybrid. Thus, Frost & Sullivan expects to see a rise in the market share of hybrid vehicles over the next few years.

  Table Of Contents

1. Customer Attitudes and Perceptions towards Powertrain and Hybrid Vehicle Technologies and Features
        1. Agenda
                  1. Front Page and Table Of Contents
        2. Overview
                  1. Introduction and Research Methodology
        3. Executive Summary
                  1. Executive Summary
        4. Alternative Fuels and Hybrids
                  1. Alternative Fuels and Hybrids
        5. The Environment
                  1. The Environment
        6. Powertrain Features
                  1. Powertrain Features
        7. Tax and Vehicle Running Costs
                  1. Tax and Vehicle Running Costs
        8. Transmission Technologies
                  1. Transmission Technologies
        9. Customer Engine Preference For Next Buy
                  1. Type of Engine Will Purchase Next
        10. Conjoint Analysis - Most Optimum Powertrain Packages
                  1. Conjoint Analysis of Preferences - Vehicle Segments
                  2. Conjoint Analysis of Preferences - Males
                  3. Conjoint Analysis of Preferences - Females
        11. Country Specific Views
                  1. Country Analysis - France
                  2. Country Analysis - Germany
                  3. Country Analysis - United Kingdom
                  4. Country Analysis - Italy
                  5. Country Analysis - Spain
        12. Brand Perceptions and Satisfaction Analysis of OEMs
                  1. Brand Perceptions and Satisfaction Analysis of OEMs
        13. Respondent Profile
                  1. Respondent Profile
        14. Appendices
                  1. Appendices

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