Global Automotive Trends 2014 | The "Digital Car"- Connectivity Hype And E-Car Recession


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NEW YORK--March 28, 2013: At a press conference hosted by the World Car Awards (WCA) at the New York International Auto Show today, an expert panel comprising 66 of the world's top automotive journalists weighed in on today's top global trends in the automotive industry.

The key findings of a scientific study conducted by Prime Research are:

Market Trends - Enthusiasm about the fully battery-electric vehicle is further waning, while plug-in hybrid technology is increasingly seen as the most promising alternative powertrain technology. Downsizing and improved internal combustion engines are the top trend for 2014 and beyond. Light-weight technology is on the rise. And safety-related driver assistance systems are a key topic, while skepticism prevails towards fully autonomous driving.

"While connectivity and efficiency remain the most important topics for the top global motor journalists, E-mobility has dropped from third rank to number six out of ten in less than a year," remarked Dr. Rainer Mathes, president of Prime Research, which conducted the study in conjunction with the World Car Awards. "The third position is now occupied by hybrid technology, previously ranked fourth," he added.

Mathes also noted that light-weight technology, which was considered of least performance in last year's survey, has moved upwards from tenth to fifth rank -- a clear sign of its growing significance.

The experts also voiced strong opinions on connectivity; 79 percent of them believe the topic already is or soon will become a key factor in evaluating a car. Safety-related systems are generally regarded as more significant than comfort and convenience features. Regarding infotainment systems, audio streaming from personal devices like iPhone and MP3 players is clearly preferred over radio-based options like satellite radio or webradio. Email and chat functionalities are seen critically by the experts.

- "In-car connectivity will be a key topic in 2014, and advanced safety assistance systems continue to gain importance." (Dr. Rainer Mathes, President, Prime Research)

- "In the view of our experts, the battery-electric vehicle holds little promise to solve the mobility challenges of the future anymore." (Jens Meiners, Director, Steering Committee, World Car Awards)

- "The plug-in hybrid is seen as the most important alternative powertrain solution in the future." (Dr. Rainer Mathes, President, Prime Research)

The 2013 World Car Award winners will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on March 28, 2013.

About the WORLD CAR AWARDS

Now in their tenth year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world's most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.

The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale. The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter Lyon (Japan) and Matt Davis (Italy) are the co-chairs; John McCormick (USA), Jens Meiners (Germany), Mike Rutherford (U.K.), Eddie Alterman (USA), and Gerry Malloy (Canada) are the directors. There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.

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