Privately-owned car not on the red list, study says

January 29, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
New usage models like carhsaring do not endanger the automotive industry's prevailing business. A representative survey from automotive tier one Continental shows that the vast majority of the population prefers owning a car over all other usage models. The poll, conducted in Europe, the US and China, also brought to light some surprises.

The success of of smartphone-based car sharing models some years ago made the automotive industry shiver: The aptitude of the younger generation to accept alternative usage could mean that in the future less cars would be sold - sociologists predicted that in particular young people have other priorities than buying a car and owning it even though it typically is would be used for less than two hours per day. This perspective generated a lot of nervousness across the industry, and more or less all OEMs tried to find their position in a world where apparently nobody would be interested in buying a car, some even predicted that today's model of ownership will become extinct.

The study from Continental is suited to soothe the sales managers. According to the study, alternative models will only cause minor shifts the desire to own a car, regardless of the age class. The inclination to own a car is highest in China and the US, where 93 percent of the respondents prefer personal ownership over all other usage models. In Germany and France, this figure is still rather high at 86 percent. Only in Japan the inclination is lower, but still rather high at 75 percent.

Another set of questions in the study focused on the perception of electromobility, connected car and automated driving. The results show that electric driving has an image problem: While a majority of respondents attested electric vehicles a high environmental friendliness, only relatively few respondents found they are fun to drive - just 25 percent of the Europeans said they would enjoy driving an electric vehicle. In the US, the perception is slightly more positive (perhaps because the Tesla vehicles are really designed as speedsters). While 72 percent of the Europeans believe EVs not sporty at all, Americans have slightly more sympathy for electric cars. Nevertheless, 53 percent of the Americans and a whopping majority of 72 percent of