Update: NAIAS Attendees Vote Show Favorites
13 January 2000Update: NAIAS Attendees Vote Show Favorites; Top Auto Industry Trends And Challenges Revealed
DETROIT, Jan. 12 -- The Polk Company and the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today released the third in a series of daily trend reports direct from the NAIAS floor at Cobo Hall. The reports this week detail percentages reflecting the favorites of media, manufacturers and suppliers via the Polk Auto Trend Centers. Favorites were named in 11 categories. The Polk Auto Trend Centers will collect NAIAS attendee opinions throughout the 2000 show. Reports will be issued twice daily. Polk is a global company delivering multi-dimensional intelligence to the auto industry to enhance the relationships consumers have with brands. Through lifetime understanding of individuals, Polk helps clients maintain current customers, win new ones and build their brand loyalty. Based in Southfield, Mich., Polk is a privately held firm, currently operating in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As of 9:36 a.m. Jan. 12, 2000 *Top 5 leaders based on Total responses from the Polk Auto Trend Centers Concept Vehicle: Minivan/Full-size Van: Chrysler 300 Hemi 13% Chrysler PT Cruiser 23% Chevrolet SSR 8% Dodge Caravan 14% Dodge Viper Concept 8% Honda Odyssey 12% Mercedes-Benz SLR Roadster 8% Chrysler Town & Country 9% GMC Terradyne 6% Pontiac Montana 6% Exhibit: Pickup Truck: Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge-Jeep 16% Dodge Ram Pickup Truck 29% Audi 9% Chevrolet Silverado 18% BMW 8% Ford F-Series 16% Mercedes-Benz 8% Toyota Tundra 12% Chevrolet 7% Dodge Dakota 7% Large Car: Prestige Luxury Car: Pontiac Bonneville 48% Jaguar XJR 14% Buick Lesabre 22% Mercedes-Benz S-Class 14% Ford Crown Victoria 16% Rolls Royce Silver Seraph 14% Mercury Grand Marquis 14% Audi A8 10% BMW 540 6% Luxury Car: SUV: Mercedes-Benz CLK 11% BMW X5 12% Lincoln LS 9% Jeep Grand Cherokee 11% Audi A6 8% Chevrolet Tahoe 5% Jaguar S-TYPE 8% Dodge Durango 5% Volvo V70 8% Hummer 4 Door 4% Midsize Car: Small Car: Volvo S40 16% Volkswagen New Beetle 20% Dodge Intrepid 9% Ford Focus 19% Volkswagen Jetta 9% Volkswagen Golf 18% Volkswagen Passat 8% Dodge Neon 8% Chrysler Concorde 6% Mitsubishi Mirage 4% Sports Car: Dodge Viper 17% Audi TT 7% Chevrolet Corvette 6% Lamborghini Diablo 6% BMW M3 5% Within the last six months, how often have you done the following activities inside your car/truck? Media Automotive Industry Total Respondents Respondents* Respondents Talk on Phone 81% 91% 85% Read While Driving 35% 43% 38% Be Romantic 58% 57% 58% Shave/Apply Make-up 24% 41% 31% Sing Out Loud 72% 96% 82% *Manufacturers, Supplies and Dealers * Out of all the activities considered, media respondents are most likely to talk on the phone, while automotive industry respondents are most likely to sing out loud. * Media and automotive industry responders are "neck and neck" on being romantic in their vehicles -- more than half report this activity. Top Industry Challenges From the Media Based on Media responses from the Polk Auto Trend Centers Three major trends have been highlighted as significant challenges for the future of the automotive industry. According to responses from the media, the following three categories will present the biggest challenges to the industry in the short-term future: Time: Trends such as just in time (JIT) delivery, faster delivery to consumers, more rapid response to changing consumer tastes, and shorter production cycles will quicken the pace of the industry in the new millennium. Channel Relationships: Relationships between OEM's and suppliers are expected to become even more critical in the years to come. Key areas will include modularization of vehicles, sharing of information, and general trust. Competition & Consolidation: A third trend of major importance will be the continued globalization of the industry, leading to more mergers and a heightened level of competition, particularly as large OEMs and suppliers absorb smaller industry players. Top Trends From the Media Based on Media responses from the Polk Auto Trend Centers Internet/e-commerce The Internet and e-commerce is rated as the trend that will have the most impact on the auto industry, according to media members at NAIAS 2000. Polk research highlights the following trends: * Internet shoppers place more importance on the test drive than traditional shoppers; * Internet usage has a significant impact on price competition, which could translate into less loyal consumers; * Building consumer loyalty is now a critical focus area for manufacturers. In-Vehicle Computers & Automated Systems Another prominent trend forecasted by the media is the increasing use of computers in new vehicles. These computers will be used for everything from on-board navigation systems to electronic safety features, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the driving experience. Two prominent examples of this technology are: * Voice activation systems to control radio volume, seating positions, and other internal functions; * Results from the Polk Auto Trend Center -- Product Most Desired in Next New Vehicle: - On-line Mapping/Navigation System (chosen by 36% of the media); - Voice Activated Controls (chosen by 23% of the media). Alternative Fuel Vehicles The continued emergence of alternative fuel vehicles is regarded as another significant trend at NAIAS 2000. While no specific technology has yet to establish itself as the industry standard, alternative fuels are expected to gain increased attention from automakers. * Several automakers at NAIAS 2000 are showing hybrid vehicles that combine traditional fuel systems with new battery technology. Globalization & Mergers Increased globalization of the automotive business, including consolidation and mergers, is another significant trend that will make its mark over the next several years, according to media at NAIAS 2000. A number of recent examples illustrate this phenomenon: * Ford's merger with Volvo; * General Motors' purchase of Hummer; * General Motors' alliance with Subaru, allowing GM to use Subaru's advanced transmission and four-wheel drive technology.