Semi-autonomous technologies offer growth opportunity

Semi-autonomous technologies offer growth opportunity

The surging consumer appetite for increasingly sophisticated automotive technologies offer a huge opportunity for growth, but the use of complicated marketing jargon, unclear pricing and a lack of frontline education means retailers and manufacturers are missing out.

That's the key finding from the seventh edition of the Auto Trader Market Report, which found that brands that explain the technology, such as semi-autonomous features, see higher conversion, higher prices and higher return visits for both maintenance and for next car purchases.

The research revealed that nearly a third (31%) of the 3,000 consumers surveyed for the Report have at least one semi-autonomous feature in their current vehicle. 80% said they would pay extra for semi-autonomous systems in their next car, and more than half (51%) would be more likely to buy from the same brand again because of these features.

However, despite the opportunity to upsell and build invaluable brand loyalty, just 35% of those surveyed said the features were clearly explained to them during the sales process, and only a third (33%) received a demonstration. Underlining the missed opportunity this represents, upon receiving an explanation in the showroom, 72% of car buyers said they were more likely to buy the car, 72% to buy the car from that specific retailer, and 59% would be more likely to upgrade the specification of the car.

The long-term impact of greater frontline education is significant too. 74% were more likely to return to the same dealer for maintenance, 73% would return to buy their next car from them, and 73% would buy the same brand of car.

Nathan Coe, Auto Trader's chief financial officer and chief operating officer, commented, 'The objective of our biannual Market Report is to identify valuable opportunities for the industry, which often requires us to cut through the hype to get the genuine view of today's car buyer. Our research clearly highlights that at a time of political and economic uncertainty, rapidly evolving technology offers an exciting opportunity to not only drive car sales, but to also build long lasting relationships with customers.

'The more we can enhance the buying and driving experience by focusing on technology that genuinely meets consumer needs, the more we can unlock this desire and encourage consumers to change their car more frequently.'

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