Across the top 54 markets worldwide, 86 million cars were sold in 2018, The world’s leading car manufacturers by volume are currently the Volkswagen Group, Toyota, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler-PSA which collectively account for around half of all new cars sold.
The major issue facing the industry today is how to transition from more than a century of producing cars powered by internal combustion engines to a future where all cars and vans are expected to use electric or hydrogen propulsion. Supported by government policies encouraging motorists to switch to electric vehicles (EVs), worldwide EV production is expected to increase from 3.3 million units in 2019 to 27 million units by 2030. From a market research perspective, automotive clients account for around 4% of global expenditure.
In the UK, the automotive industry contributed GBP18.6 billion to the national economy in 2018, and because 8 out of 10 UK-manufactured cars are exported, the industry accounts for 14.4% of the total UK exports by value. With 186,000 people directly employed – and 856,000 indirectly employed – the UK automotive industry contributes significantly to the health of the UK economy. In February 2020 the UK Government announced a consultation which might see a ban on sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars brought forward from 2040 to 2035 as part of efforts to de-carbonise the economy. Since the average age at which cars are scrapped in the UK is around 14 year, such a move would start to impact on the used car market almost immediately.
In the automotive sector, FieldworkHub has supported B2B and B2C projects on electric vehicles, used cars, lubricants and engine conditioners, and paint finishing products.
For companies based in the USA and other English-speaking countries, the UK is a natural starting point for a European market research programme. FieldworkHub’s home city of London is by far the largest centre for market research but we have also run focus groups and other types of research in Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle.