Global survey of auto market

Chemicals company Asahi Kasei and German research institute Skopos have revealed the results of a global survey of automotive markets in Germany, China, the USA and Japan.

According to Asahi Kasei, 1000 vehicle users with different income levels in each market answered questions about their purchasing behavior, understanding of automotive sustainability, and opinion on autonomous vehicles.

According to the survey, one in two respondents in Germany and the US can imagine purchasing a new car; this proportion is 79% in China and 62% in Japan. In contrast, not owning a car or using car-sharing services only is not yet an option for respondents in Germany (11%), the USA (3%) and Japan (4%). In Germany, the USA and Japan, as in recent years, one in two vehicle users would choose a model from another brand when buying their next car. In China, 82% of those surveyed would choose a car from another manufacturer. By comparison, in 2020 only 41% could imagine switching brands. “In addition, the differentiation via price, drivetrain technology, as well as interior equipment and functions is becoming increasingly important,” a press release said.

With regards to electric vehicles (EVs), 58% of the respondents in China would consider buying a purely battery-powered electric car. In Germany, only 29% choose this option, in the USA 21% and Japan 18%. Among potential EV buyers in all regions, range and charging time are important factors when buying a vehicle. 39% of potential EV buyers in Germany also consider the CO2 emissions during vehicle production, the survey showed.

“Even with the transformation to a zero-emission vehicle the mission of achieving ‘sustainable mobility’ is far from complete,” Asahi Kasei said. “The survey results show a ‘sustainable vehicle’ is no longer just defined by the drivetrain technology, but also by the CO2 footprint in production, easily recyclable materials, or even the decarbonization of vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers.

“In short, sustainability and transparency along the entire value chain are also playing an increasingly prominent role from the customer's perspective.”