The relationship between car owners and their vehicles is the subject of the second chapter of the 2021 DAT Report, which provides eight pages of examples of the prevailing attitudes toward one’s own vehicle (e.g. to what extent one feels restricted in one’s mobility without one’s own vehicle and whether driving a car was still fun in 2020).
For the first time, respondents were also asked whether their own car was indispensable. Specifically, 4,500+ respondents had to choose between these two options: 1) “For me, having my own car is indispensable in ensuring my mobility in everyday life. I cannot meet my everyday mobility needs without my own car.” Or 2): “To be honest, I could do without my own car in everyday life and use other means of transport (bicycle, bus, train, cab…) to ensure my everyday mobility. If necessary (vacation, leisure activities, errands…), I could ‘rent’ a car. But having my own car is simply convenient and also offers some quality of life.” The results are very clear. Another graphic then shows the reasons for this according to the individual survey groups (car owners, new car or used car buyers), which say a great deal about the relationship between people and vehicles.
The chapter also presents the reasons for buying a car (broken down into new and used car buyers). Here, surprising findings emerge that also take into account, for example, the family situation or a purchase due to high costs for pending repairs.
The chapter then focuses on the so-called alternative solutions. This topic is introduced with a brief look at the assessment of the public transport situation at the car buyers’ place of residence, after which car sharing and subscription services are subjected to a thorough analysis. Here, one thing becomes very clear: During their customer journey, every car buyer is faced with the question of whether they should purchase a vehicle (again) or whether they should also make use of mobility offers such as car sharing or car subscriptions in addition to public transport.
What was surprising in this context was that specific knowledge of car subscriptions and the willingness to use one was in fact much lower for car buyers in 2020 than might have been assumed. As many as 30% of new car buyers and 41% of used car buyers said they had never heard of car subscriptions. The chapter concludes with a look at the automotive industry as an employer and as a training ground for young people, and at car buyers’ view of autonomous driving.
Further details on this topic can be found in the current 2021 DAT Report
You can order the 2021 DAT Report for a fee via the web store of the German Association of the Automotive Trade (ZDK). Automotive businesses that belong to a guild of the ZDK can purchase it there at a preferential price.
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