In a recent survey commissioned by international automotive supplier Continental, 30.7% of the German motorists polled said that their next car would “certainly” or “most likely” be a hybrid vehicle.
In an earlier survey in the fall of 2006, that figure was 24.7%. While six months ago a key motivational factor was clearly economic in nature, environmental aspects are now equally as important, according to Continental.
Tax incentives would continue to greatly simplify the purchase decision.
The study shows a clear trend that confirms what we thought: The market is there, and we as Continental can offer our customers in the automotive industry the right products at the right point in time.
In Germany last year, private car buyers bought some 1.7 million of the 3.47 million cars purchased in total. If a good 30% would indeed buy a hybrid, that would represent a market of 510,000 vehicles, which is of course not very realistic. But just the 4.1% of motorists who would definitely buy a hybrid vehicle according to the survey would mean 70,000 vehicles a year, which is a good start. This does not, however, include any of the 1.7 million new fleet vehicles in the leasing business each year, for instance.—Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, chairman of the management board of Continental's Automotive Systems division and member of the Executive Board of Continental AG
Opinion research institute TNS/Infratest, at Continental AG’s request, surveyed 1,000 German motorists on the topic of hybrid drive technology for the first time last fall. The second survey followed about four months later, after the first two parts of the United Nation’s IPCC climate report was released this spring.
According to the findings of the two surveys, more than three-fourths of those interviewed had already heard about hybrid technology, although only a third was capable of coming anywhere near describing it. Everyone agreed that a governmental incentive would have a significant impact: Two thirds of otherwise hesitant motorists would buy a hybrid vehicle if they were granted tax breaks. Under these conditions, a total of nearly 70% of motorists would be interested in buying a hybrid car.
In 2005, Continental and ZF formed a consortium to develop and market hybrid vehicle technology for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. (Earlier post.)