How important are concept cars in today’s automotive industry?

02 October 2022


Concept cars have been an automotive industry staple for decades, but what role do they play in today’s automotive world?

From the bold and beautiful to the outrageous and downright weird, concept cars are designed to catch the eye and are, more often than not, bold, futuristic and aesthetically pleasing.

They will never see automotive production or a showroom, but concept cars have been an important element in carmakers’ strategies for decades, and manufacturers spend considerable amounts developing them.

In an environment of intense commercial competition and tight profit margins, the concept car is a way for carmakers to gauge public response towards new designs, as well as creating media buzz and favourable PR.

‘Concept cars are still important to manufacturers as they allow them to look at new designs and also, in many cases, new manufacturing processes,’ stated Andy Cutler, UK car editor – forecast values at Glass’s.

Source: Bertone

‘Manufacturers will also use concept cars to showcase future design paths and then they will judge the feedback from the public, allowing them to make more-informed decisions with regards to design changes. Much of this early design is now done with AI but when it comes to showcasing the future to the masses, there is nothing like having a good concept car at a show,’ added Cutler.

Volvo’s 1979 Tundra concept, designed by Bertone, never saw production with the Swedish brand, but did find favour with Citroën. The French manufacturer used the design concept as the basis of the popular, multi-million-selling Citroën BX.  

Some memorably audacious concepts have included the Peugeot Onyx, the Ferrari 512 S Modulo, and the Ford GT90, all of which never entered production. Despite this, many concept models possess elements and design features that make their way onto production models.

Talking to the BBC back in 2018, the then DS design director Thierry Metroz described the concept car as a ‘development accelerator.’ With the automotive industry moving away from standard internal combustion engine-powered vehicles and towards electric, hydrogen and autonomy, many manufacturers are embracing the spirit of the concept car to showcase future plans.

From concept to reality

Swedish electric-vehicle manufacturer Polestar has illustrated how a concept can capture the public’s imagination. The company’s Polestar 6 concept received a hugely positive response and effectively forced Polestar to commence a production run.

The Polestar 6 LA Concept has therefore been made available initially as a 500-unit production run, and the 155mph, $200,000 (€208,000) electric roadsters sold out within minutes. This is proof that concept cars can find their way on to the road, but customers will have to wait until 2026 to get behind the wheel of this particular model.

Whilst Polestar’s roadster might be an unrealistic prospect for most budgets and automotive aspirations, there

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Are Today’s Automotive Customers Prepared for Tomorrow’s Technologies?

When approximately fifty percent of all people specific curiosity in electrical autos and autonomous driving engineering, there is also surprisingly high gratification with additional conventional methods.

Client attitudes are shifting, with expanding openness to facts sharing, new mobility ideas, and substitute production marketplaces. These are the findings from world wide consulting company Simon-Kucher & Associates’ Automotive Client Survey 2022, masking virtually 10,000 customers across 14 markets. Having said that, the study also highlighted that a lot of however prioritise standard dealerships and acquiring types when it will come to their automobiles.

Unsurprisingly, a car’s price tag drives the purchasing selections, rating as the single most significant order criterion for respondents globally. Interestingly, this was adopted by more value-based mostly conditions, such as travel technologies, brand, and style and design. When making a order, common dealerships continue to arrive out on top rated. 86% of clients globally still want motor vehicle dealerships, determining the in-human being expertise and exam travel prospect as essential priorities. Above half of respondents (54%) also noted gratification with the present-day profits processes, a surprisingly superior selection given the criticism typically reported in this region.

Individuals cautiously open up to info sharing

When it will come to either information sharing or in-car or truck ads, attitudes are gradually shifting. Roughly 3 quarters of world wide respondents have been open to some sort of info sharing, specially regarding automobile knowledge (e.g. gasoline usage) alternatively than personal info (e.g. vacation spot). A vast majority of all those respondents needed limitations or incentive payments to be eager to share, with an average every month incentive quantity of £119 required.

There was extra hesitancy around in-auto marketing. In excess of 50 percent of all consumers globally (53%) were being open up to the plan in some sort. On the other hand, most requested a low cost or voucher in exchange. Amongst United kingdom people, there was marginally much more positivity than negativity, with more than fifty percent (54%) of customers indicating openness to in-motor vehicle advertising and marketing.

Electric powered autos have absent mainstream

A crucial trend across all nations around the world was the raising acceptance of Electric powered Motor vehicles (EVs), driven by sustainability issues, but also the fear of rising regulatory limits on typical autos. Globally, extra than half of all buyers (53%) would look at an EV as their upcoming auto. Among the this group, there is clear evidence of growing progress and acceptance of Chinese companies, with 65% fascinated in obtaining a Chinese EV.

Where respondents would not consider an EV, selling price, array, and charging infrastructure had been the vital rejection factors offered. On common, respondents globally expect an electric array of 519 kilometres, although in the Uk the bare minimum anticipated selection was just around 500 kilometres.

Autonomous driving know-how gaining traction

Reactions to autonomous driving engineering remain mixed. Just one in two respondents (48%) indicated excitement about the technology. Even so, a person in 4 respondents (25%) admitted anxiety of autonomous technological

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