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China Car Usage Habits Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Car Usage Habits market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

The definition of cars in this report is vehicles for personal use (including new energy cars). This is the second annual report regarding car usage habits, which started in 2015. This report covers consumers’ car usage occasions, used car functions and level of satisfaction with car features.

Commercial vehicles are excluded.

Key points covered

  • New definition of safety
  • Battery car usage habits need to be nurtured
  • More public charging or residential charging spots?

What you need to know

In this report, we found that consumers are driving for longdistance purposes a lot less frequently than before, demonstrating the growth of public transportation and car sharing. As such, certain functions that will improve consumers’ in-city driving experience – such as in-car safety for children, more affordable dashboard head-up displays, and better application of built-in voice assistants – have become vital. And in general, consumers are paying more attention to the appearance of cars.

With new energy all the rage in the auto industry nowadays, this report also looked into the usage habits of new energy car owners. Mintel found that new energy car owners tend to charge at their residential communities or office car parks. Consumers pay a lot of attention to the battery health of new energy cars. Well-rounded battery warranties are therefore key to attracting more consumers to new energy cars. To develop the new energy car market, we think will not only need cooperation within the whole industry, but also require education among consumers about new energy cars.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Terence Zhou, a leading analyst in the Industrial sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers are driving for long-distance purposes a lot less frequently this year. As such, some functions that improve the in-city driving experience, such as LATCH, HUDs and Bluetooth speakers, are now more important than ever before. Compact cars and compact SUV are still the most owned types of car. Consumers who own new energy cars mostly charge them for commuting to and from work. Terence Zhou
Research Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • The consumer
              • Compact car most owned type
                • Figure 1: Type of car owned, July 2018
                • Figure 2: Owned car types – compacts/family car, by monthly household income, July 2018
              • More education needed for child safety
                • Figure 3: Equipped car functions, July 2018
                • Figure 4: Usage of equipped car functions, July 2018
              • Declining car usage
                • Figure 5: Car usage occasions in tier one cities, July 2018 vs December 2014
              • Appearance matters
                • Figure 6: Satisfaction level towards car features, July 2018
              • Charging to meet commuting needs
                • Figure 7: Frequency of consumers’ charging locations, July 2018
              • Consumers care about battery lifespan
                • Figure 8: Attitudes towards pure electric car, July 2018
              • High penetration of charging station-finding mobile apps and built-in systems
                • Figure 9: Attitudes towards pure electric car, July 2018
              • What we think
                • Why?
                • Issues and Insights

                  • New definition of safety
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                          • Figure 10: Ad of Volvo XC60
                        • Battery car usage habits need to be nurtured
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Figure 11: Route from Qingpu to Pudong international airport
                              • Figure 12: The EV Experience Centre
                              • Figure 13: Cenex proving ground
                            • More public charging or residential charging spots?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Figure 14: Quantities and growth rates of public and private charging
                                  • Figure 15: Charging app control ui
                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                • Compact car dominates the market
                                  • Usage of different car functions varies widely
                                    • Trend towards driving only within the city
                                    • Type of Car Owned

                                      • Compact car is the most popular car type among car owners
                                        • Figure 16: Type of car owned, July 2018
                                        • Figure 17: Owned car types – compacts/family car, by monthly household income, July 2018
                                        • Figure 18: Owned car types by owned car types, July 2018
                                      • Fossil fuel rules today, but future belongs to hybrid and pure electricity
                                        • Figure 19: Car energy type, July 2018
                                        • Figure 20: Type of cars owned, by car energy type, July 2018
                                        • Figure 21: Owned car types – compacts/family car, by car energy type, July 2018
                                      • Pure electricity becomes main energy type for microcars
                                        • Figure 22: Owned car types – microcar, by car energy type, July 2018
                                        • Figure 23: Zhidou D2, Baojun E100 and Chery eQ1
                                      • Compact SUVs liked by young parents
                                        • Figure 24: Owned car types – compact suv, by age, July 2018
                                        • Figure 25: Owned car types – compact suv, by family structure, July 2018
                                    • Car Usage Occasions

                                      • Most mentioned car usage occasions
                                        • Figure 26: Car usage occasions, July 2018
                                        • Figure 27: NIO ES8 Child-care mode
                                      • Declining car usage
                                          • Figure 28: Car usage occasions in tier one cities, July 2018 vs December 2014
                                        • Functions usage varies depending on usage occasions
                                          • Figure 29: Gap against average of car functions, by car usage occasions, July 2018
                                      • Most Equipped and Used Car Functions

                                        • More education for children’s safety
                                          • Figure 30: Equipped car functions, July 2018
                                          • Figure 31: Usage of equipped car functions, July 2018
                                        • Dashboard head-up display
                                          • Built-in voice assistants
                                            • Built-in GPS
                                            • Satisfaction towards Car Features

                                              • Appearance matters
                                                • Figure 32: Satisfaction towards car features, July 2018
                                              • SUV owners show above-average satisfaction
                                                • Figure 33: Satisfaction with car features versus average, by car type, July 2018
                                              • Microcars and compact cars come up short
                                                • Figure 34: Satisfaction with car features versus average, by car type, July 2018
                                              • Hybrid cars offer a balance
                                                • Figure 35: Satisfaction with car features vs average, by car energy type, July 2018
                                            • Charging Locations

                                              • Charging to meet commuting needs
                                                • Figure 36: Charging locations used, July 2018
                                                • Figure 37: Repertoire of charging locations, July 2018
                                                • Figure 38: Charging locations, by two types, July 2018
                                              • Shanghai is more user-friendly for new energy car owners
                                                • Figure 39: Charging locations - parking lot in office buildings, by cities July 2018
                                              • Consumers from Shanghai charge at more locations
                                                • Figure 40: Repertoire of charging locations, by cities, July 2018
                                            • Attitudes towards Pure Electric Cars

                                              • Consumers care about battery lifespan
                                                • Figure 41: Attitudes towards pure electric cars, July 2018
                                              • AC charging too slow, DC charging might harm the battery
                                                • Figure 42: Attitudes towards pure electric cars, July 2018
                                              • High usage of mobile apps and built-in systems to find charging stations
                                                • Figure 43: Attitudes towards pure electric car, July 2018
                                              • High satisfaction level for official charging stations
                                                • Figure 44: Attitudes towards pure electric car, by charging stations that car brands officially recommend, versus average July 2018
                                            • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                              • MinTs have higher usage of in-car functions
                                                • Figure 45: Usage of equipped car functions, July 2018
                                              • MinTs charge new energy cars more for work and leisure occasions
                                                • Figure 46: Charging locations, July 2018
                                            • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                              • Methodology
                                                • Abbreviations