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Back to the future for the auto industry

  • 79% still expect to purchase their next vehicle the traditional way compared to virtually.
  • Majority of car buyers plan to focus on petrol/diesel for their next vehicle purchase.
  • Only 4% seeking battery electric, compared to 18% for hybrid electric.

The automotive industry is driving at a rapid pace into the future as countries begin to widely adopt electric vehicles (EVs).

However, paradoxically it seems most people still prefer traditional cars and ways of buying them – for now.

According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study that surveyed more than 24,000 consumers in 23 countries, 70% of people expect to focus on petrol/diesel for their next vehicle, compared to 18% for hybrid electric, and 4% for battery electric. 

A cost/price premium (28%) and a lack of charging infrastructure (22%) are the greatest concerns regarding all-battery-powered EVs.

Companies like the Volkswagen-owned Cupra brand will from July enable car buyers in Australia to complete the purchasing process online, before the vehicle handover at one of a dozen showrooms on the mainland. 

However, as per Deloitte’s report, 79% still expect to purchase their next vehicle the ‘traditional’ way (in-person), compared to virtually, and 61% still prefer to interact with an authorised dealer.

Cupra will launch in Australia from mid-2022 initially with a hatchback and two SUVs, with a choice on offer of turbo petrol and plug-in hybrid power across the line-up.

As contradictory as it may seem based on the Deloitte consumer preferences, traditional automakers need to adapt to a zero emissions world and at least some are being rewarded for it. 

Ford Motor’s (NYSE:F) market cap topped US$100 billion for the first time recently, when its shares rose by as much as 5.7% to US$25.87, hitting another 20-plus-year high. It has since settled to US$20.42. 

While Ford trails EV maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), which has a market value of more than $US$1 trillion, it has made gains on the back of plans to bolster production of EVs. Some analysts have expressed surprise at the market’s attraction to the Ford EV story.

Meanwhile, according to Pinterest, in 2022, people across all age groups are poised to give their existing non-EV motors major makeovers, with décor upgrades and spruced-up sound systems. All age groups are driving the searches behind this rising trend.

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