I was fortunate enough to lead the Cisco team that looked at consumer experiences in the automotive industry, and the results were eye-opening. For those of you that didn’t know, the study surveyed more than 1,500 consumers across 10 countries. The global report examined consumer preferences of technology used when buying and driving an automobile. Consumers also identified preference for car dealers/manufacturers to provide a more personal driving experience, and their trust in future automotive innovation.
Some pretty interesting results emerged. Prior to purchasing a vehicle, consumers prefer to begin their process online. That’s not too surprising to most of us, since you’re reading this blog online right now, so you yourself are fairly comfortable with online research, I assume! But many had issues trusting the information on the manufacturers’ web sites.
Most consumers begin their car purchasing process online: 83% of global consumers prefer to research online for information on a car, versus only 17% of consumers that prefer to call or go to dealership.
We were also educated on what mattered most to consumers. Consumers desire a more automated way to track car gas and maintenance costs:
Impact of gas prices on customer experience:52% of consumers want to track gas prices from a vehicle. Gas-price tracking was the highest priority, compared to 46% of consumers wanting to track insurance prices, 35% wanting to track roadside assistance availability, and 32% wanted to track recall information.
That was a little different to how folks wearing a manufacturing hat actually thought. Most manufacturing executives (57%) thought that auto manufacturer information is most important for consumers to track!
Consumers are also more willing to trade personal information for customization, security and savings:
More Personal Security and Customized Cars: 60% would provide biometric information such as fingerprints and DNA samples in return for personalized security or car security. 65% would share personal information such as height/weight, driving habits, entertainment preferences if this allowed a more customized vehicle and driving experience.
“The survey shows consumers’ comfort with technology and need for immediate information whether they are researching, buying, driving or servicing their vehicle. While consumers in diverse parts of the world may expect very different experiences, their technology demand is more positive than many manufacturers imagine. Many consumers are just waiting for manufacturers to respond with better car buying, driving and service experiences augmented by technology.”
The 2012 Paris motor show just closed its doors – and, with more than 1.2 million visitors, was once again the world’s largest automotive gathering. More than 100 new car models were released – from mainstream bread-and-butter vehicles such as Renault’s new “Clio” or VW’s 7th generation “Golf” to high-end sports cars as Jaguar’s “F-Type” or McLaren’s “P1”. BMW presented its first ever van – featured as “Active Sports Tourer” – with front-wheel drive and 3-cylinder hybrid engine. Porsche unveiled a new version of its “Panamera” – essentially a station wagon, which Porsche marketing dubs “SportTurismo”. There were small SUV’s, large SUV’s, cross-overs, parallel hybrids, plug-in hybrids, all-electric vehicles, light-weight innovations and myriads of new electronics-based offerings such as lane-departure warning systems, in-car wifi hotspots, cloud-infotainment solutions.
So the auto industry seems to be truly on fire, its innovation engine hitting on all cylinders. Yet economic reality looks very different.
Please Welcome Michael Schwarz to the Manufacturing Industry Blog
It is with great pleasure I introduce Michael Schwarz as our latest Manufacturing Industry Thought Leader. Michael has a distinguished career at Cisco and is currently director of automotive EMEA within the global manufacturing practice of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG).
In this role, Michael consults with senior executives from the auto industry looking to capitalize on the transformative power of the Internet for faster innovation, superior customer experience, and new business models.
Michael brings more than 15 years of top management consulting experience and solid industry knowledge to the organization. Before joining Cisco, he was a senior principal with Booz Allen Hamilton based in Munich and Chicago. There, he worked for clients in the automotive, aerospace, industrial goods, and financial services industries. Prior to Booz Allen Hamilton, he worked at Siemens Nixdorf and ZF Friedrichshafen. Read More »
As a core team member of IBSG’s manufacturing senior staff, he provides strategic assistance to car manufacturers and to related organizations looking to capitalize on the transformative power of new technologies. Marc consults with senior executives from the auto industry and coordinates Cisco’s global efforts to accelerate innovation and industry transformation in automotive.
Throughout the globe, Marc and his team have worked for most Auto OEMs on topics such Innovation, Connected Car, Customer Experience, Next Generation Dealers, the Car of the future, Distributed Engineering, and Corporate Culture.
Following the economic turbulence of the “Great Recession,” Toyota felt the need to improve its revenue structures. These earnings are directly linked to advanced work performed by knowledge workers in areas such as research and development on new cars, production, and sales. Toyota also wanted to shorten its product time-to-market to maintain its competitive market lead. The firm turned to the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) to help Toyota determine where improvements could be made and how to implement them.