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J.D. Power reports price sensitivity of Europeans' interest in new technologies

European consumers express a strong interest in a number of today's emerging automotive technologies, but most are not willing to buy many of these features unless manufacturers lower the price, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2003 European Automotive Emerging Technologies Study.

At least two-thirds of European consumers express strong interest in seven of the 11 technologies included in the study before the feature's price is introduced. However, once a fair market price is presented, interest drops dramatically. For example, 75 percent of survey respondents express a strong interest in a navigation system on their next new vehicle before they know the midpoint price for the feature. After the price is introduced, only 26 percent of respondents are still interested.

Consistent with previous research conducted by J.D. Power and Associates on emerging technologies, the two most desirable features included in the study are safety-related. More than 80 percent of respondents express interest in external surround sensing and night vision systems. External surround sensing technology alerts the driver if the vehicle is veering out of the lane, if another vehicle is in the driver's blind spot, or if an object is in the vehicle's path while backing up. Night vision systems enable the driver to see objects beyond the range of the headlights at night or in poor visibility conditions. Interest waned to 35 percent for external surround sensing and 32 percent for night vision once respondents become aware of the price.

The 2003 European Automotive Emerging Technologies Study examines consumer awareness and future demand for 11 automotive technologies, based on responses from more than 5,700 consumers from across France, Germany and the UK.

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