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Eco Cars And Key Developments Within The Global Auto Industry

Shu Tobita and Shoko Furukawa, Ipsos Business Consulting, in Ipsos, 02/2014

Major automotive manufacturers have traditionally focused on developing high quality sophisticated vehicles for developed markets, which are reaching saturation point. More recently, demand has increased in developed markets for so-called “eco cars” such as hi-tech hybrids and electric vehicles (EV). New technologies and demographic issues, such as an increasingly aging society, are inspiring the development of the next generation smart cars which will feature autonomous driving.

Perhaps a more significant shift is growing demand from emerging markets, which now account for a higher percentage of vehicle sales than developed markets and have become the growth engine for the global automotive industry. Even though emerging market consumers tend to favour low-price vehicles, in China and some parts of Southeast Asia, governments are introducing incentives for automakers to produce eco cars. This will likely stimulate higher demand for eco cars in those markets.
As a result, carmakers are responding to these contrasting needs and implementing new manufacturing processes to address them profitably.

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