Roland Berger's first
Automotive Disruption Radar has revealed that there is a widespread global
acceptance for autonomous driving and electric cars. Designed to help
automotive industry players make investment decisions, the Automotive
Disruption Radar is a publication for which the consultancy regularly examines
the progress and the impact of disruptive trends like new mobility concepts,
automated driving, interconnectivity and digital services plus electrification.
The analysis captures the
status quo and progress of developments in five especially relevant areas:
regulation, technology, infrastructure, industry activity and customer
interest. The experts from Roland Berger consider developments across 25
indices to produce a detailed analysis of these categories. To assess consumer
sentiment, for example, the Radar incorporates the views of more than 10,000
consumers across 10 countries: China, France, Germany, India Japan, the
Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, the UK and the USA.
On the one hand digitisation
is already facilitating the availability of mobility services like car sharing
and ride sharing and is opening up new sales channels, while on the other, electric
drive vehicles are becoming an ever greater presence in the market. And there
is no stopping the rapid advance of autonomous driving.
Faced with all of this
technological disruption, it is interesting to consider how these new
developments are going down with customers. And it seems that if it were up to
them, the future would be one of self-driving cars and electric vehicles: As
many as 46 percent of consumers worldwide would not buy a car again if they had
self-driving taxis, otherwise known as robocabs, at their disposal at lower
cost. Moreover, 37 percent of consumers are already considering buying an
electric vehicle for their next car.
"The automotive industry
faces numerous disruptive trends that it needs to manage all at once and this
radical transformation will have significant consequences throughout the entire
sector," says Marcus Berret, head of Roland Berger's global automotive
competence centre. "Complete value chains will disappear, new business
models will emerge – incumbent OEMs and suppliers need to face up to the
changed competitive landscape. The Automotive Disruption Radar aims to help
companies make investment decisions and better address the many complexities
Asia in particular demands new mobility concepts
customers in Singapore and China express the strongest interest in new mobility
concepts. Around 84 percent of study participants in Singapore and 83 percent
in China said that they knew at least one person who had not bothered to buy
their own car. Car sharing and ride sharing models meet with less of a positive
response in other leading economic nations like the UK (37%), France (34%) and
Japan (29%). The USA ranks last here with 22 percent.
"The attitude of
consumers has changed, particularly influenced by the trend toward the sharing
economy," comments Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Partner at Roland Berger,
India, adding that "New business models are thus picking up momentum. If
robocabs become established as a cost-effective alternative to owning a car,
this trend will accelerate significantly in the coming years."
It is particularly consumers
in countries with a high population density like the Netherlands (59%), Japan
(56%) and Singapore (51%) who can imagine using robocabs and not having their
own car. Germany follows closely with almost 47 percent. Customers in large
countries like the USA (35%), India (33%) and China (27%), on the other hand,
are less open to the idea. "Electric autonomous vehicles are expected to
be ready for market by 2021," explains Aulbur. "All of the big OEMs
are working hard with suppliers and non-industry players like IT firms to
become a competitive force in this arena. Worldwide, some 40,000 full time
equivalents are working on new mobility services and autonomous driving,"
Electric cars are most popular in China
Electromobility is another
area in which the Automotive Disruption Radar highlights significant regional
variation. Customers from China express an overwhelmingly positive attitude
toward electric vehicles. Around 60 percent are considering buying an EV as
their next car. In South Korea too (54%) more than half of respondents would
consider an electric car. Customers from Europe, Japan, South Korea and the USA
view the high prices as the main barrier to the purchase of such a vehicle.
"Electric vehicles still account for a rather small portion of the market
– but the share of electric models in total production saw a significant
increase in 2016," explains Wolfgang Bernhart, Partner at Roland Berger,
adding that "Advances in battery technology give the vehicles greater
range and consequently greater convenience. Added to that, the costs have
fallen dramatically: high energy cells for electric vehicles are on course to
cost about 120 euros per kilowatt hour by 2020. That is three times lower than
what a battery cost when the first models were produced."
"These developments show
that the entire automotive industry is approaching the end of an era. And the
new momentum in the market is driven by a change in customer
expectations," says Aulbur. "So there's a balancing act to be done
here: OEMs and suppliers alike need to respond to the disruption and develop
new potential. But they can't just break away from their existing
infrastructure, they need to actively work through the process of
transformation. That is the biggest challenge for the market players," he
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