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Arthur D. Little: Is the Car Industry about to Change for Good?

In their new “Global Automotive Mobility Study”, experts from strategy and innovation consultancy Arthur D. Little shed light on the three megatrends of autonomous driving, electric mobility and car sharing. Sixty-five thousand end consumers from 10 core markets of the car industry were surveyed. The results show an industry facing massive changes. For example, enthusiasm for autonomous driving is reasonably limited. Only one-third of study respondents say they would be willing to use an autonomous car. Likewise, prospects for e-mobility are not too bright. High prices, limited range and lack of charging stations are the main barriers. In addition, the claim that car ownership is no longer important to the young generation has been disproved.

Security concerns decelerate the autonomous car

Consumers are very skeptical concerning the industry’s biggest trend, autonomous driving, as only one-third say they would use an autonomous car. In United States, 29 percent of respondents intend to use an autonomous car, 30 percent have doubts and only 40 percent do not consider it a possibility.

“OEMs face a huge communicative challenge in convincing their reluctant customers about autonomous driving, even though in the long run, autonomous driving will significantly increase the amount of driven-passenger kilometers,” said Wolf-Dieter Hoppe, Associate Director of the Automotive Practice at Arthur D. Little . The team also highlighted the question of which companies customers ultimately trust to bring reliable autonomous vehicles into serial production. Although most of the car companies surveyed only enjoy high consumer confidence in their home markets, Google and Apple scored the highest concerning global reach.

Electric mobility has hurdles to overcome

There seems to be a global consensus on electric mobility. The main obstacles in the way of its breakthrough are the still high prices (64 percent), limited range (53 percent) and an insufficient amount of charging stations (41 percent).

Car ownership remains the ultimate token of status

The study also shows that the meaning of mobility in consumers’ minds is changing profoundly, particularly in the global megacities, where current problems may no longer be solved with classic concepts. Car-sharing and driving services will therefore play an important role in these areas. For a long time, one of the key assumptions of this development has been that the role of the car as a status symbol would decrease and the use of car-sharing services would increase. However, as Wolf-Dieter Hoppe points out, “Car sharing won’t replace the private vehicle – it is still best seen as an additional mobility option.”

Excerpts from the study with additional numbers and charts are available to customers and media representatives on request.


Arthur D. Little Contact:
Sue Glanville / Cate Bonthuys
+44 7715 817589 / +44 7746 546773 /



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