By Tim Hanley - December 03, 2014
During the last few months, Deloitte has been sharing insights on mobility trends from a 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study of more than 23,000 consumers across 19 countries. Two prominent automotive industry events held in France and China recently offered a backdrop to provide a view of the changing mobility needs for Generation Y consumers (Gen Y or Millennials) – those born between 1977 and 1994 – across Europe and also in China.
More than 1.2 million people visited the Mondail de l'Automobile Paris Automotive Show in October to discover the latest trends that automotive companies are integrating into their designs. During this major international automotive show, Deloitte released the 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study: Exploring European consumer mobility choices report, which draws automakers’ attention to the mobility needs and buying behavior of Gen Y consumers - a group estimated to reach 106 million in Europe by 2020. The analysis examines the preferences of more than 2,800 Gen Y individuals living in eight European markets including Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Interestingly, the European report suggests that approximately 25 percent of Gen Y consumers across the region do not plan to buy or lease a vehicle before 2019. Instead, these young consumers are opting for modes of transportation such as public transit, taxis, rental agencies, and walking, all of which they believe offer more convenience at a lower total cost than owning a personal car. In addition, the study found that cost, fuel efficiency, and affordability of payment options are the top three drivers encouraging a European Millennial's decision to buy or lease a vehicle today. Over 70 percent of European Gen Y said that cost and quality of the service bundle, such as free routine maintenance, also influences their purchase decision.
Around the Paris autoshow, Deloitte held a Gen Y automotive event featuring students from three leading French business schools, Dauphine, Centrale, and Essec universities. Special thanks to the students for highlighting the Deloitte findings to present their viewpoint to industry executives and the media on themes important to Millennials in France.
Senior executives travelled from all corners of the globe to Wuhan, China in October for the Global Automotive Forum. Deloitte was proud to once again be a major sponsor of the premier event. As the largest automotive industry in the world, it is not surprising that automakers are keen to keep a pulse on the trends in China and the mobility needs of an estimated 240 million Gen Y consumers1 in that market.
Deloitte’s study reveals that over 90 percent of Gen Y consumers in China are interested in buying or leasing cars in the next five years. For these consumers, major considerations in their decision making include affordable prices, convenient and inexpensive parking options, and cost-effectiveness of running a car. Vehicle safety technology as well as innovative consumer experience and service were also cited among the factors important in their decision-making. However, with other modes of mobility available in China and the relatively high cost of a private vehicle, automakers are competing to secure a share of the wallet of this important consumer segment. While interest in vehicle ownership or leasing is high with Chinese Millennials, getting them to actually buy or lease is a challenge. Sixty percent surveyed indicated that they would still rather take the bus, train or taxi to travel, because they like to do other things during the journey. In addition, 69 percent of Gen Y respondents in China mentioned that they are willing to move to live close to their workplace to reduce the round-trip time from work.
These are just some of the findings from the 2014 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study. You can read more or view a video highlighting the global results by visiting the Deloitte website.
1Bloomberg and Business Week. Reckoning with Chinese Gen Y. 25 January 2010.
Tim Hanley is the Global Leader of the Manufacturing Industry group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). In his global industry leadership role, he directs strategic initiatives and investments to grow Deloitte member firm market share within the manufacturing industry. During his distinguished 35-year career, Hanley has led teams serving all business aspects, including consulting with top management regarding organizational financial strategy development and execution, acquisitions, and market development.