The number of people who think driver and passenger technology are “very important” increases with income, according to global researcher GfK. Their online survey across 17 countries found that while factors like safety, fuel economy and operating cost top the list of important features, vehicle technology matters to more than a third.
Driver technology, such as steering or parking assist, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry or ignition, is very important to 36 per cent. More than a quarter — 28 per cent say the same for passenger technology like audio or video streaming and social network connectivity.
Looking at the results by income reveals a notable difference in the numbers. An average of 44 per cent of people in the top income quartile see the latest driver technology as very important, while just 30 per cent of people in the the low income quartile agree.
Other features the higher income respondents favour include quality of workmanship, a comfortable and spacious interior, a powerful engine and the reputation of the manufacturer. Results in areas like fuel economy and environmental factors are consistent across income bands.
Brazil (48 per cent), China (43 per cent) and Korea (42 per cent) have the highest overall percentages of people who say driver technology is very important. For passenger technology, it’s China (37 per cent), Brazil (36 per cent) and Mexico (30 per cent).
“The value of these findings for vehicle manufacturers lies in being able to assess precisely which features different consumer segments say appeal most to them — and adjust marketing content and product development to match those aspirations,” says Siegfried Hoegl, GfK’s global head of automotive research.