Consumers stay away from electric cars because of the high price

20th KPMG Global Automotive Executive Search

The results of the 20th KPMG Global Automotive Executive Search show that most executives show little fear that auto company profitability will decrease despite the fact that the younger generation will no longer want to own a car. Toyota was named by executives as the brand positioned for best future success, followed by BMW and Tesla. Majority of consumers want to buy a hybrid as their next vehicle.

digitalne pixal auto na vlne

According to this year’s results, 2 out of 3 (67%) execs still believe that by 2030 less than 5% of global car production will originate in Western Europe. This would only equal 6.1 million units of global production by 2030, based on current market forecasts.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) reclaim spot over fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as the year’s number one manufacturing trend. China is becoming the leading nation in terms of battery electric mobility, due to the awareness of its own core competencies. This year, more than ever, both 47% of Chinese executives and 42% of executives outside of China agree that China will leapfrog the market with its battery electric vehicles. The main reasons for consumers to stay away from an electric car are price, charging experience and range concerns.

Data privacy & security remains the number one purchasing criteria. For two-thirds of respondents from V4 countries it is the total cost of ownership/usage of the vehicle. Followed by security and driving pleasure and speed. Greatest potential for function-on-demand features lies in navigation systems, adaptive cruise control & power upgrade – those being the features consumers are most willing to pay for in order to individualize their vehicles.

The executives in this year’s survey have a clear opinion: almost half (48%) of all surveyed executives are highly confident that the number of physical retail outlets as we know them today will be reduced by 30 – 50% already by 2025. Respondents from V4 countries share this opinion as well. Compared with last year´s results, however, it is also clear that the change will not take place as quickly as may be expected.

„The main question is less about the decrease in the number of physical retail outlets but rather about how to reinvent, reimagine and eventually rebuild and reorganize existing structures and how to identify new revenue streams for retailers. These will need to concentrate on repairing the asset (service factories across brands), which do not necessarily have to be in cities. It ultimately also includes small customer touchpoints, where a seamless brand experience and brand path is top priority at every online or offline touchpoint that needs to be linked to brand attributes – whether these are lifestyle, safety, hassle-free zones or cross-brand experiences,“ says Peter Nemečkay, Automotive Sector Leader, KPMG in Slovakia.

The results of this survey also showed that carmakers are currently more pessimistic about the future of retail than the sellers themselves. 74% of surveyed consumers still preferred to buy their vehicle at a physical retail outlet. More than half of respondents from V4 countries expressed the same preference.

Quarter of customers in our region prefer to buy their vehicle though the independent online platform. An example is Free2Move, from which customers can access offerings from various car sharing providers in over 17 cities in Europe and the USA. More than a half of respondents from V4 region can well imagine using such a platform in the future, one fifth said they would use it as soon as it is available in their region.

About the study

The respondents represent companies of all parts of the automotive value chain including vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers, dealers, financial services providers, mobility service providers and for the first time also ICT companies. The survey was conducted online and took place between July and November 2017. Also, 2,100 customers from around the world, all ages and educational backgrounds were interviewed to give us insights and their valuable perspectives and opinions.
All the survey data is now available at  in an interactive online tool where users can compare statistics by country, region, question asked and more.

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