The days of customers only having a preference for color, make, and model are long gone.Today, car buyers can customize vehicles in a variety of ways, especially when it comes to technology. The multitude of offerings, features, and options has risen consumer expectations while also causing an increase in car pricing. To narrow down their choices, more consumers are going online to research their preferred cars than ever before. As a result, many car buyers already have an idea of the car they want (and what they want inside of it) before they even arrive at the showroom. So, what features and options can dealers expect car buyers to ask for? Read on for five things new car shoppers are looking for in new vehicles.
Blind Spot Protection
According to the 2017 Autotrader Car Tech Impact Study, features that promoted safe driving were some of the most desired technology by car buyers. Sixty-seven percent of those Autotrader surveyed felt the blind spot protection should come standard while 90 percent of those who do not have this feature were interested in adding it to their vehicles. Unfortunately, 840,000 of accidents related to blind spots occur each year in this country. This number ultimately results in 300 deaths. So, it makes sense that a majority of car buyers would want this as a feature in their new vehicle.
Sixty-three percent believe that keyless entry should come standard in new vehicles. Considering today’s trend of extreme multitasking and the desire for common tasks to be made easier, the willingness to have keyless entry in their cars makes much sense. Customers are typically not only just walking to their cars, but they are talking or checking their phones, handling children, carrying groceries, or preparing for work. Having a vehicle that merely allows them to access the inside without a key is a convenience many car buyers are seeking.
Forward Collision Warning and Avoidance
Again, safety wins out here. While many car buyers are still cautious of autonomous driving technology, many are seeking AI-based technology in automobiles that can prevent accidents. While 49 percent of car owners are aware of the forward collision warning feature, 85 percent of those who do not yet have it are interested in it. Eighty-three percent were also interested in actual forward collision avoidance. Forward collision warnings use radar and cameras to detect and warn drivers of potential crashes, while avoidance utilizes the emergency braking system to prevent the accident. Out of the six million car accidents that happen each year, over 40 percent are related to rear-end collisions. So, this feature will likely become a more popular one as time goes on.
Hands-Free Trunk and Lift Gates
The next feature car buyers were most interested in was having the option to open the trunk or lift gate without the use of hands. This is another win for the comfort and convenience group. Seventy-nine percent of car buyers that do not already have this feature expressed interest in having it during the Autotrader survey. This feature, as well as the popularity of keyless entry, reveal that while consumers are not only looking for cars to get them from point A to B, they also want a vehicle that can generally make life easier for them.
Lane Departure Warning
It is evident that safety —more so than entertainment—is on the minds of today’s car buyer. They want cars that are going to help prevent costly mistakes while ensuring a safe ride. According to the 2017 Autotrader Car Tech Impact survey, 78 percent of car buyers were interested in having the lane departure warning in their vehicle. Much like the forward collision warning, lane departure uses radar to warn the driver that their car is veering into the next lane. This is another AI and autonomous driving related technology that consumers are open to, and the popularity and interest could translate into more advanced features in this category.
It is easy to think entertainment is synonymous with technology, but it is clear that customers value safety and convenience over features like interactive dashboards, wireless device charging, and in-vehicle concierge. In fact, the only non-safety features car buyers were interested in were mobile Wi-Fi, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Today’s car buyers are increasingly concerned about the ability for vehicles to keep them safe. So, if you are a dealer, putting the spotlight on safety and comfort will go a long way.