Ninety-two percent of industry executives polled in KPMG's annual Global Automotive Executive Survey this year rated fuel efficiency as the number one criteria when it came to consumer purchase decisions, followed by safety innovations (78%), ergonomics and comfort (77%) and environmental friendliness (71%). Use of alternative fuel technologies came in sixth (62%) after vehicle styling (64%).
When it comes to alternative drive trains as a means of improving fuel economy and environmental footprint, KPMG notes that excitement has dampened regarding electric mobility. In fact 85% of automotive executives believe downsizing of internal combustion engines (ICE) offers the best chance for fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Only 24% of automakers are considering major investments in plug-in hybrids, and a minority of 8% see battery technology as their biggest investment. Half of the respondents believe electric cars will not become a viable alternative for at another six to 10 years....