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  4. > European Consumers’ Attitude towards Driving Dynamics Technologies : Gauging Consumers’ Pulse to Enhance the Driving Experience

Research Objectives

•Determine consumer perceptions and attitudes toward vehicle driving dynamics and evaluate the importance of new chassis technologies to improve driving pleasure.
•Establish desirability and willingness to pay for features that enhance the driving experience by consumer/vehicle groups within different regional markets.
•Determine the importance and influence of driving dynamics in the purchasing decision of a new vehicle.
•Ascertain the type of systems most preferred by consumer segments within different regional markets.
•Recommend technology development and positioning to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and suppliers.

Definitions—Vehicle Segment

Current vehicle: Respondents were asked for their vehicle brand and model. The answers were coded into vehicle segment by using the J.D. Power database.
For future vehicle purchases, the following definitions were used:
A&B: Mini or small car, e.g., Fiat Panda, Renault Clio, Peugeot 206/207/208, Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Yaris, Citroen C1/C3, Ford Fiesta, and Mini Cooper.
C: Compact car, e.g., Audi A3, VW Golf, Opel Astra, Ford Focus, Renault Megane, and Nissan Qashqai.
D: Mid-size car, e.g., Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, VW Passat, Citroën C5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Opel Vectra/Insignia, and Ford Mondeo.
E&F: Executive or luxury car, e.g., BMW 5/7 Series, Audi A6/A8, and Mercedes Benz E/S Class.
MPV: Examples: Citroën C8, Peugeot 5008, Volkswagen Sharan, Ford C-Max, and Ford Galaxy.
Small SUV: Small to Mid-size SUV, e.g., Audi Q5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60, and Honda CR-V.
Large SUV: Examples: VW Touareg, BMW X5, Range Rover Sport, and Mercedes-Benz M Class.

Surprising and Interesting Voices of European Consumers on Their Driving Dynamics Preferences

Hands-off driving
•Even car enthusiasts are willing to let go of the steering wheel and are happy to have the car drive itself in stressful conditions.
•This technology includes traffic jam assist and autonomous parallel parking.
•Car enthusiasts are the ones ( x %) who are most excited about hands-off steering.

High-speed Driving
•Although consumers are excited about various driving dynamics enhancement features and functions, high-speed driving is not a focus for present day consumers.
•Consumers’ pulse is about the feel of secure driving such as speed-sensitive steering and traction.

Low-cost
•Even smaller vehicle segment consumers (A&B) show interest in and willingness to pay for AWD functionality.
•Some potential exists for pseudo torque vectoring-based AWD solutions.

Russian Consumers
•As one of the most enthusiastic markets for driving dynamics-related technologies, Russia holds enormous growth potential for optional fitment.
•Russian consumers are more excited about driving dynamics than their G3 counterparts.
•Steer-by-wire technology finds more awareness and better understanding among Russian consumers than elsewhere in Europe.

Options Package
•Consumers tend to value some technologies more than others, whereas the cost to the OEM could be the reverse of consumers’ perceived value.
•When offered bundled together as steering and suspension or suspension and driveline, better take rates can be achieved.

The 10 Most Important Findings on European Consumers

1.What are the top x aspects consumers look for in driving dynamics?
•Secure Feel: Rated as the most important factor, the ability to exercise precise control over the vehicle in different speed conditions is the key factor that OEMs and suppliers must focus on to cater to European consumers.
•Road-holding Ability: Traction control and optimization are of second highest importance to consumers, paving the way to market asymmetrically treaded tyres, advanced driveline options such as limited slip differential, and side-to-side torque vectoring.
•Driving Comfort: In terms of easy handling of braking or steering, consumers expect the driving experience to be comfortable, which is a clear indicator of appetite for assist functions such as electric power, assisted steering, brake assist, and prefill.

Table Of Contents

European Consumers’ Attitude towards Driving Dynamics Technologies : Gauging Consumers’ Pulse to Enhance the Driving Experience
Research Objectives and Method Details 3
Executive Summary 10
Consumer Segmentation 31
Steering 36
Suspension 44
Tyres 53
Brakes and Safety 59
Driveline Systems 64
Consumer General Attitudes 80
Drive Mode and Test Drive 90
Branding 100
Consumer Profiling 107
Appendix: Demographics 126
The Frost and Sullivan Story 143

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