Global Automotive Industry Stands on Shaky Ground

Michelle Remo, “Big 4″ observer
February 28, 2012 /

KPMG’s 2012 global survey shows that the automotive industry continues to face environmental challenges, growing urbanization and shifting customer behavior, which calls for radical new approaches to future mobility. And these issues are becoming universal, with three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents believing that emerging and mature markets will converge by 2025.

New technology

Electrified vehicles will not exceed 15 percent of annual global new car registrations before 2025. And for the immediate future, hybrids will continue to be more popular than pure battery-powered cars. Over time, fuel cell vehicles are seen as a more promising prospect than battery-electrified cars, especially in the BRICs.

New urban mobility concepts

Today’s cars must adapt to their environment. Half the respondents (50 percent) feel that vehicle design and usage will be influenced by urban planning. And a majority think that new mobility solutions are needed not just for mature, but also for emerging markets, in order to attract future city residents.

Connected car solutions

Car manufacturers and IT companies are realizing the car’s potential as a gateway to the internet. But connectivity is about far more than just entertainment; the new technology enhances safety by helping vehicles communicate with their external environment. Respondents are uncertain about who will own the significant revenue streams associated with in-car ‘infotainment’ and connected solutions.

Retail trends

The financing of e-components is having an increasingly important influence upon consumers’ purchase decisions. However, above all, it seems there’s still no substitute for high quality, personal service. Besides that, 81 percent expect dealers to invest more in web marketing and advertising, while 72 percent forecast increased investment in IT systems and e-commerce sales platforms.

Facing the future together

As automotive companies embrace electromobility, urban mobility concepts and ubiquitous connectivity, and reach out to new markets, partnerships are seen as an essential strategy to achieve further growth. Regionally such joint activity will be focused primarily in China, Russia and Central/Eastern Europe.

Emerging markets

As expected, 80 percent of respondents see China as the biggest automotive market in terms of both sales and production in 2016. The US is a clear number two while Brazil and India fight for the third position. Meanwhile, the export drive from the BRICs is gathering pace, as they look for suitable hubs such as Turkey or Brazil to access the more mature economies.


The specter of overcapacity and excess production will haunt the industry
Global manufacturing capacity is forecast to rise significantly over the next five years. The vast majority of respondents see Asia-Pacific as being the driver, with China leading the way. Balancing capacity building and production volumes will be of utmost importance for OEMs striving to expand their global footprint while keeping down fixed costs to maintain healthy margins.

Over the next five years, the respondents to KPMG’s 2012 survey believe European and Asian OEMs are the most likely to gain global market share, with the current undisputed leader Volkswagen forecast for further growth.


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