GlobalAutoTV
Click to watch Dr. Juergen Weber -
Click to watch Dr. Juergen Weber -
euro resources


Need an office in Europe or Eastern Europe? Office suites, meeting rooms, virtual offices, network access




free downloads
EUROPE: "Poland: Automotive Industry introduction" report

EUROPE: "Poland: Automotive Industry introduction" report. 25-Page report by Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency.

proceed to download
eJournals





back to index backEUROtalk March,  2005


European car options lists spiral upwards

Great for consumers, logistical headaches for carmakers and dealers

The number of optional specifications items available on passenger cars in Europe has increased dramatically according to new research by JATO Dynamics. In 2004 there was an average of 65 optional items available on each passenger car, up from an average of 39 in 1999.

The rise reflects dramatic developments in technologies which have been given automotive applications, such as telematics and info-entertainment, but also increasing emphasis on safety. At the same time, compact, mainstream and affordable cars are being offered with the sort of options lists previously associated with premium models. A mid-range Opel Astra such as the 1.8 Elegance, for example, is available in Germany with 50 options, including such sophisticated items as adaptive lighting, low tyre pressure indicator and hill start assist.

It's great for consumers that their cars can now be equipped as an extension of their homes and offices”, says JATO's Duncan Whitehead. We can work and be entertained on the move, and be given the best route to our destination even if traffic conditions change en route. And we can do so in remarkable safety, keeping a set distance from the car in front and with protection from multiple airbags in a collision.

However, the growth in the number of options available significantly affects the whole process of manufacturing and supplying vehicles. Carmakers have already achieved impressive manufacturing flexibility and responsiveness, but also need more robust ordering systems and additional sales training. Dealer staff in particular will need to be trained more extensively to be able to handle the complexities and communicate the benefits of specific items to consumers.

There are also implications for fleet operators purchasing and running large numbers of vehicles. And the traditional brochure cannot easily accommodate such lengthy specifications lists, so we may ultimately see it migrate to an online environment.”

The highest average number of options per car in 2004 was 91, in Germany. Of the big five markets, Italy was next on 72, followed by the UK and Spain on 60, and France with only 50 options per car.

A possible backlash is already being seen – in both Germany and the UK the number of options available actually dropped between 2003 and 2004, by an average of as much as 12 options per car in Germany's case.

However, with technological progress accelerating this may well be a temporary pattern”, Whitehead comments. The less mature, lower-volume markets, especially in Eastern and Central Europe, will doubtless continue to see growth in the range of options available as their economies and automotive markets grow, while in the more sophisticated markets the trend will increasingly be for consumers to personalise their products with a more bespoke specification.”

Source: JATO Dynamics - GAI


previous page

go top
search our site


Loading

EUROtalk

Other articles from the same issue (March,  2005).

European car options lists spiral upwards
play read on

Making the most of your assignment
play read on

Can Europe Find Consensus on Reforming the Stability and Growth Pact?
play read on

Turkey: Seeking new export markets
play read on

UK Government raises taxes on pension plans
play read on

Multinationals revising long-term incentive programs for executives outside the U.S.
play read on

Germany: Of future contracts and deflation spirals
play read on

Hungary: Labour market risk
play read on

UK: Five year plan to revamp the work permit system
play read on

Morocco, The Automotive Gateway to Europe
play read on

Planned German company tax reform
play read on

Board Insights 2004: What Europe's Directors Think
play read on


Our Free eJournals
GlobalAutoExperts

To visit GlobalAutoExperts Directory, click here.


©2008 GlobalAutoIndustry.com | HCI Group, Ltd.
101 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 1400 | Troy, MI 48084 USA
USA Tel: +1.248.687.1060 | USA Fax: +1.248.927.0347
Fax UK: +44.(0)845.127.4765 | Fax Europe: +31.20.524.1659 | Fax Asia: +852.3015.8120