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Automotive Innovations - US - February 2015

“User convenience and driver distraction collide as smartphones become more and more a part of the in-car experience. Safety comes first for consumers, even in an area of increasing access to in-car apps and smartphone integration.”
– Tim Healey, Research Analyst – Automotive

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Consumers need to be connected
  • Safety still matters

This report examines innovations in the automotive industry, and provides insight into how today’s innovations are changing the market.

Innovation has always been a big part of the automotive industry, but unprecedented innovations are happening now as the development of new technology continues to accelerate. There are plenty of mechanical innovations fueling horsepower wars as automakers race to claim that they offer the best performance cars for the money, and of course there are plenty of innovative ways in which OEMs are working to reduce fuel consumption as they work to create “greener” cars. Not to mention, there are many innovations focusing on creature comforts for drivers and passengers, and on safety, and on autonomous driving…the list goes on. Additionally, automakers are concentrating heavily on ways in which smartphones can be further integrated into automobiles.

Types of vehicles referenced in Auto Innovations include the following: all cars, station wagons, sedans, pickup trucks, vans, minivans, crossover utility vehicles, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Regarding in-car innovations, categories discussed include but are not limited to comfort/convenience features, technology/audio features, and safety features.

With consumers continuing to embrace smartphone technology and continuing to show a reluctance to disconnect while driving or riding in a car, and with the automotive industry constantly searching for innovations that improve performance, safety, and fuel economy, this is an area of the industry that is unlikely to stop growing anytime soon. Today’s cars are more reliable, safer, and better performing than ever, so the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and aftermarket suppliers who can out-innovate their competitors will be able to gain a much-needed edge. 

 

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Abbreviations and terms
              • Abbreviations
              • Executive Summary

                  • The market
                      • Figure 1: Future vehicle purchasing plans, November 2014
                    • Market factors
                      • The consumer
                        • Interest in electronic tech is high, despite concerns about driver distraction
                          • Figure 2: Tech/audio and safety features, November 2014
                        • Self-driving cars not generating much interest
                          • Figure 3: Interest in auto innovations, November 2014
                        • Entertainment, safety, smartphone connectivity drive the consumer
                          • Figure 4: Auto innovations for children, November 2014
                        • Safety is prioritized over technology
                          • Figure 5: Attitudes toward auto innovations, November 2014
                        • What We Think
                        • Issues and Insights

                            • Consumers need to be connected
                              • The issues
                                • The implications
                                  • Safety still matters
                                    • The issues
                                      • The implications
                                      • Trend Applications

                                          • Trend: Prepare for the Worst
                                            • Trend: Cam Cam
                                              • Trend: Who Needs Humans?
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Aging vehicle fleet means pent-up demand
                                                    • Figure 6: Average Age of Passenger Cars and Light Trucks, 2002-13
                                                  • New smartphone tech will drive the market in the near term
                                                    • Safety Matters
                                                    • Innovations and Innovators

                                                      • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto change the game
                                                        • GM’s 4G LTE brings wi-fi to the car
                                                          • Chevrolet brings video to the 'Vette
                                                            • Figure 7: Cheverolet’s performance tracking management
                                                          • Self-driving cars still under development
                                                            • Nissan Smart rearview mirror clears up rear sightlines
                                                              • Plethora of driver-assist features aim to make drivers safer
                                                              • Social Media

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Market overview
                                                                      • Key social media metrics
                                                                        • Figure 8: Key performance indicators, selected car brands, Jan. 26, 2014-Jan. 25, 2015
                                                                      • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                        • Figure 9: Brand usage and awareness of car brands, November 2014
                                                                      • Interaction with brands
                                                                        • Figure 10: Interaction with car brands, November 2014
                                                                      • Leading online campaigns
                                                                        • Vine
                                                                          • Integrated social media campaign
                                                                            • Social media for social good
                                                                              • Hashtag campaign
                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                  • Online conversations
                                                                                    • Figure 11: Online mentions, selected car brands, Jan. 26, 2014-Jan. 25, 2015
                                                                                  • What are people talking about online?
                                                                                    • Figure 12: Mentions by topic of conversation, selected car brands, percent of total mentions, Jan. 26, 2014-Jan. 25, 2015
                                                                                • Vehicles Owned

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Despite rise in crossover SUV sales, cars still dominate
                                                                                      • Figure 13: Type of vehicle owned, November 2014
                                                                                    • Higher-income consumers more likely to own crossovers
                                                                                      • Figure 14: Type of vehicle owned, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                    • Parents favor crossovers, SUVs and vans
                                                                                      • Figure 15: Type of vehicle owned, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                    • Smartphone owners likely to own cars
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Type of vehicle owned, by mobile device ownership, November 2014
                                                                                    • Crossovers/SUVs popular among owners of newer vehicles
                                                                                      • Figure 17: Type of vehicle owned, by type of vehicle, November 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 18: Type of vehicle owned, by model year, November 2014
                                                                                  • Cost of Most Recent Vehicle Purchase

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • With new-car transaction price around $30,000, most buyers paid just under that
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, November 2014
                                                                                      • Younger car owners spent less on most recent vehicles
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by age, November 2014
                                                                                      • Parents spend more on vehicles than those without children
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                    • Method of Last Vehicle Purchase and Model Year

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Most car buyers bought new
                                                                                          • Figure 22: Method of last vehicle purchase, November 2014
                                                                                        • Parents prefer to buy new
                                                                                          • Figure 23: Method of last vehicle purchase, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                        • Large number of newer vehicles means demand for innovations may be pent-up
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Model year, November 2014
                                                                                        • The higher the income, the newer the vehicle
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Model year, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                        • Parents have safety incentive to replace vehicles frequently
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Model year, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                      • Plan to Purchase Vehicles

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Thanks to pent-up demand, vehicle owners looking to buy again soon
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Future vehicle purchasing plans, November 2014
                                                                                          • Men looking to buy sooner than women
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                          • Younger buyers more apt to be buying soon
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by age, November 2014
                                                                                          • Higher-household income respondents more likely to buy a new vehicle sooner
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                          • Families more likely to be looking to buy a new vehicle in the near future
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                          • Those who spent more on their last car likely to buy new cars
                                                                                            • Figure 32: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                          • Those with older cars waiting to buy next vehicle
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by model year, November 2014
                                                                                        • Comfort/Convenience Features

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Comfort takes precedence over innovations
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Interest in comfort/convenience features, November 2014
                                                                                            • Men more interested in comfort and convenience than women
                                                                                              • Figure 35: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                            • Older buyers express less interest in more recent creature comfort innovations
                                                                                              • Figure 36: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by age, November 2014
                                                                                            • Consumers crave comfort regardless of income
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                            • Whether buying sooner or later, consumers interested in comfort, convenience
                                                                                              • Figure 38: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by plan to purchase, November 2014
                                                                                          • Tech/Audio and Safety Features

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Interest high in tech features, but concerns hold back multimedia and smartphone features
                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Tech/audio and safety features, November 2014
                                                                                                • Men more interested in tech features
                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                                • Older buyers less interested in high-tech features
                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by age, November 2014
                                                                                                • With higher household income comes more interest in high tech
                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                                • Parents focus on safety innovations
                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                              • Interest in Auto Innovations

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Self-driving cars yet to garner much public interest
                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Interest in auto innovations, November 2014
                                                                                                    • Safety features appeal to older vehicle owners
                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Interest in auto innovations, by age, November 2014
                                                                                                    • Parents interested in keeping children entertained
                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Interest in auto innovations, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                                    • Higher interest in innovations among those who have more expensive cars
                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Interest in auto innovations, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                  • Auto Innovations for Children

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Parents interested in using tech to keep an eye on teens
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Auto innovations for children, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Auto innovations for children, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                                      • Middle-aged adults worry the most about teen-driving habits
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Auto innovations for children, by age, November 2014
                                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Auto Innovations

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Safety trumps other types of tech
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Attitudes toward auto innovations, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Woman more interested than men in safety tech
                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Older vehicle owners have a strong interest in safety
                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by age, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Parents are interested in innovations for passengers, may buy a new vehicle sooner
                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Those who paid more for their last vehicle express less interest in innovations
                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Those who are planning to buy sooner are less interested in innovations
                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by plan to purchase, November 2014
                                                                                                      • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Vehicle ownership high across all races
                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Type of vehicle owned, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Whites, Hispanics likely to spend more than $40,000 on a vehicle
                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Safety strongest among Whites, Hispanics
                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Attitudes towards auto innovations, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Hispanics show most interest in safety innovations
                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Auto innovations for children, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                          • Vehicles owned
                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Type of vehicle owned, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Type of vehicle owned, by age, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Type of vehicle owned, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Type of vehicle owned, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Type of vehicle owned, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Type of vehicle owned, by plan to purchase, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Cost of most recent vehicle purchase
                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by ownership – type of vehicle, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by type of vehicle, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Cost of most recent vehicle purchase, by model year, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Method of last vehicle purchase
                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Method of last vehicle purchase, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Method of last vehicle purchase, by age, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Method of last vehicle purchase, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Method of last vehicle purchase, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Method of last vehicle purchase, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Method of last vehicle purchase, by employment status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Method of last vehicle purchase, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Method of last vehicle purchase, by ownership – type of vehicle, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Method of last vehicle purchase, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Method of last vehicle purchase, by model year, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Model Year
                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Model year, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Model year, by age, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Model year, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Model year, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Model year, by employment status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Model year, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Model year, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Model year, by plan to purchase, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Plans to purchase vehicles
                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 95: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by employment status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 96: Future vehicle purchasing plans, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Comfort/convenience features
                                                                                                            • Figure 97: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 98: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by employment status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 99: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by presence of children in household, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 100: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 101: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 102: Interest in comfort/convenience features – Any interest, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Tech/audio and safety features
                                                                                                            • Figure 103: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 104: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 105: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by employment status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 106: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 107: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 108: Tech/audio and safety features – Any interest, by plan to purchase, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Interest in auto innovations
                                                                                                            • Figure 109: Interest in auto innovations, by gender, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 110: Interest in auto innovations, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 111: Interest in auto innovations, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 112: Interest in auto innovations, by region, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 113: Interest in auto innovations, by area, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 114: Interest in auto innovations, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 115: Interest in auto innovations, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 116: Interest in auto innovations, by plan to purchase, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Auto innovations for children
                                                                                                            • Figure 117: Auto innovations for children, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 118: Auto innovations for children, by vehicle price, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 119: Auto innovations for children, by plan to purchase, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward auto innovations
                                                                                                            • Figure 120: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by generation, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 121: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by household income, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 122: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by employment status, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 123: Attitudes toward auto innovations, by marital status, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Social Media

                                                                                                          • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                            • Figure 124: Key social media indicators of selected car brands, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Online conversations
                                                                                                            • Figure 125: Online mentions, selected car brands, Jan. 26, 2014-Jan. 25, 2015
                                                                                                          • Brand usage or awareness
                                                                                                            • Figure 126: Brand usage or awareness, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 127: Tesla usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 128: BMW usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 129: Ford usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 130: Toyota usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 131: Honda usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 132: Chevrolet usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                          • Activities done
                                                                                                            • Figure 133: Activities done, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 134: Tesla – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 135: Tesla – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 136: Tesla – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 137: Tesla – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 138: BMW – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 139: BMW – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 140: Ford – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 141: Ford – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 142: Ford – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 143: Ford – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 144: Toyota – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 145: Toyota – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 146: Toyota – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 147: Toyota – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 148: Honda – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 149: Honda – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 150: Honda – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 151: Honda – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 152: Chevrolet – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 153: Chevrolet – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 154: Chevrolet – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 155: Chevrolet – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2014
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                          To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                          Automotive Innovations - US - February 2015

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