Zebra Survey Shows Six-in-10 Consumers in APAC to Prefer Hybrid EVs in The Future
Study reveals high demand for enhanced automation and visibility as EV manufacturing gears up
SINGAPORE – Feb. 6, 2023 – Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today released the findings of its Automotive Ecosystem Vision Study which confirmed automotive manufacturers are under pressure to accommodate growing consumers’ consumers’ preference for electric vehicles (EVs) in the near future. Automotive manufacturers must plan for a smooth transition to EVs, which have very different requirements, from raw materials to final assembly. Technology-led priorities will therefore be focused on increasing automation, building in-house technologies, and expanding visibility across their respective production and supply chains.
Despite a fluctuating economy, automotive manufacturers are ready to invest in technology innovation as seven-in-10 (74% globally, 69% in APAC) expect to increase their tech spend and six-in-10 (67% globally, 63% APAC) plan to increase their manufacturing infrastructure spend in 2023.
The survey was conducted from August to September 2022, with participation from 1,336 respondents globally, including industry decision-makers, fleet managers and consumers. In APAC, the 350 respondents were surveyed across Greater China, Japan, India and South Korea.
APAC votes for EVs
The survey results reveal a stronger preference to purchase electric vehicles (EV) in the future, with more than half of consumers (53% globally, 60% in APAC) indicating their future preference is for a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). However, navigating this increasing demand for EVs comes with challenges as 68% of global automotive industry decision-makers (60% in APAC) say they are under high pressure to produce next generation (i.e., electric) vehicles, while 75% of them (71% in APAC) are under high pressure to deliver products that are more eco-friendly, sustainable, and safer for the environment.
Spanning multiple generations, consumers are also a driving force behind automotive manufacturers’ acceleration to technology innovation as eight-in-10 say sustainability and eco-friendliness are key priorities in their vehicle purchase and lease decisions. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Millennials prioritize sustainability in their vehicles followed closely by 78% of Gen Xers and 76% of Baby Boomers. Within APAC, 85% of consumers were aligned with these key priorities, consisting of 92% of millennials, 83% of Gen Xers and 72% of Baby Boomers prioritize sustainability the highest.
Consumers are also driving the growing emphasis on personalization – the ability to customize a vehicle to their liking. Nearly four-in-five consumers say personalization options factor into their decision to purchase a vehicle, and eight-in-10 fleet managers share these same requirements for sustainability and personalization. APAC consumers resonate with this most strongly when compared with their global counterparts, with 86% prioritizing personalization options in their purchasing decisions, and 92% of fleet managers sharing the same requirements.
While nearly 80% of automotive industry decision-makers globally (77% in APAC) recognize consumers expect more sustainable and personalized vehicle options today, around seven-in-10 concede it’s difficult to keep up with increasing customization demands. As a result, three in four automotive manufacturers globally say a top priority is to build strategic partnerships with tech companies for their next generation of production. This number is lower across APAC, at 72% and 64% respectively.
“Electric vehicles are gaining popularity in APAC and across the globe, with consumers displaying greater preference towards a greener automotive future,” said Tan Aik Jin, Vertical Solutions Marketing Lead APAC, Zebra Technologies. “Automotive decision-makers must take the necessary steps to meet the increasing customer expectations by actively investing more in safe technologies and robust infrastructure. Meeting regulations and sustainability expectations will be a priority moving forward, as the automotive sector strives to provide real-time visibility throughout the supply chain, which can be achieved by digitalizing operations via RFID and rugged mobile computers.”
Trust and Transparency in Automotive Manufacturing
Data and information transparency is highly important to consumers and fleet managers alike, and they are seeking more visibility into the automotive ecosystem. When considering a vehicle for purchase or lease, 81% of consumers globally (85% in APAC) and 86% of fleet managers (92% in APAC) indicate they want to understand the origin of materials and parts on their vehicle. Millennials lead the way in demanding more transparency in automotive manufacturing, as more than eight-in-10 (both globally and in APAC) say it is important to have access to manufacturer information along with knowing if source materials and parts are sustainable and understanding how the vehicle is manufactured from end-to-end.
Beyond gaining greater visibility into the automotive manufacturing process, once they have their vehicles, 88% of consumers (82% in APAC) and 86% of fleet managers (88% in APAC) want to understand how the data from their vehicles will be used by the automotive ecosystem.
After a vehicle purchase, 83% of consumers and 84% of fleet managers expect ownership and control of the data their vehicle generates. This sentiment is similarly shared within APAC, by 86% of consumers and 88% of fleet managers.
Automotive Supply Chain Visibility
A majority of consumers (79% globally, 83% in APAC) and fleet managers (81% globally, 84% in APAC) want end-to-end visibility during the manufacturing process. However, only around three-in-10 automotive industry decision-makers say they will prioritize connecting real-time data systems (30% in APAC) to enable a holistic view of operations and increase visibility across production and throughout the supply chain over the next five years (32% in APAC).
Slightly more than one-third of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) globally and in APAC said autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), RFID, rugged handheld mobile computers and scanners as well as industrial machine vision will improve supply chain management. Similarly for suppliers, one-third of those surveyed cite mobile barcode label/thermal printers, wearable computers and location technology as the technologies to do so.
“Automotive manufacturers today have many hurdles to cross,” said Christanto Suryadarma, Southeast Asia (SEA) Sales Vice President, Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific. “Equipped with an expansive portfolio spanning industrial automation, location technologies, fixed industrial scanning, machine vision and more, Zebra is best positioned to advise and help manufacturers enhance their operation capabilities and clear those hurdles. It is not just about deploying technology but deploying the right technology at the right time. Zebra aims to deliver the right tools and technologies necessary in accelerating human-to-machine capabilities, achieving true enterprise asset intelligence in automotive manufacturing.”
Overall, around seven-in-10 automotive industry decision-makers (76% globally, 67% in APAC) agree digital transformation is a strategic priority for their organization. In the next five years, they anticipate expanding their use of technology, with 47% (both globally and in APAC) focused on additive manufacturing/3D printing and 45% globally (46% in APAC) on supply chain planning solutions.
KEY REGIONAL FINDINGS
- 83% of automotive industry decision-makers agree the pace of technological innovations is accelerating at a rate their organization is struggling to keep up with; this is the highest of any region.
- They feel they are under pressure to build strategic partnerships with technology companies in order to cut costs and mitigate risk with next-generation mobility production (83%) as well as greater visibility across the supply chain (83%).
- Automotive industry decision-makers are increasingly focused on expanding sustainability, waste reduction, and environmental protection initiatives.
- 27% say these initiatives are drivers of financial performance and growth, and 49% expect it to be within the next five years.
- 19% of automotive industry decision-makers foresee an increased focus on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle production over the next five years.
- Meanwhile, 39% of these decision-makers are also building capacity for next-generation options, such as electric vehicles.
- 80% of consumers are most concerned about the use of data collected from their vehicle, compared to the global average of 74%.
- Nearly half (47%) of fleet managers would like to see the automotive industry focus on ensuring automotive data is kept safe, secure, and private, compared to 32% globally.
SURVEY BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY
Zebra conducted the Automotive Ecosystem Vision Study among a global audience of 1,336 respondents including automotive industry decision-makers – including OEMs and suppliers – fleet managers and consumers. The study aimed to gauge industry views, priorities and expectations the industry faces and the challenges and opportunities resulting from rapid digital transformation. All data was collected and tabulated by third-party research firm Azure Knowledge Corporation.
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