Deloitte releases findings of 2023 South African Automotive Consumer Study

On 17 May, Deloitte hosted a webinar to present its findings on the 2023 South African Automotive Consumer Study.

Ryan Robinson Global Automotive Research Leader Deloitte

The event was facilitated by Deloitte’s Africa Automotive Sector leader, Ravin Sanjith, and the findings were presented by Ryan Robinson (Canada), the Global Automotive Research Leader. The presentation of the findings was followed by a panel discussion consisting of Sybella van Niekerk (Financial Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa), Mikel Mabasa (CEO of naamsa), Lee Naik (CEO of TransUnion Africa) and Lebogang Gaoaketse (Head of Marketing and communication at Wesbank).

From September through October 2022, Deloitte surveyed more than 26,000 consumers in 24 countries (including 1,014 respondents in South Africa) to explore opinions on a variety of critical issues impacting the automotive sector, including consumer interest in electric vehicle (EV) adoption, brand perception and advanced technologies. The overall goal of this annual study is to answer important questions that can help companies prioritise and better position their business strategies and investments.

Some of the findings with regard to South Africa are as follow:

  • 74% of respondents would still prefer to buy a diesel /petrol engine as their next vehicle. (In the previous study it was 84%). And 13% would choose a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) (previously 9%), 9% would choose a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (previously 4%) and 2% would choose an all battery electric vehicle (BEV) (previously 2%).
  • The top five reasons cited for potentially choosing an electric vehicle (EV) were in order of importance: lower fuel costs, concern about climate change, better driving experience, less maintenance and lastly, concern about personal health.
  • A majority of both internal combustion engine (ICE) and EV intenders are expecting to pay less than 750K rand for their next vehicle, signalling a potential affordability risk given ever-increasing transaction prices.
  • Most EV intenders plan to charge their vehicles at home by connecting to either a regular power grid or to an alternative power source. Those not intending to charge at home cite high installation costs, opening the door for finance providers to offer solutions.
  • Across all age groups, consumers would prefer to pay for public EV charging via credit/debit card payments, signalling the need for standardising the public charging experience to maximise utility and convenience.
  • More consumers would prefer a dedicated EV-charging station with amenities such as Wi-Fi connectivity and quick beverages.
  • More than half of the consumers surveyed would wait between 10 and 40 minutes for their vehicle to charge from empty to 80% at a public charging station, challenging conventional wisdom that matching the fossil fuel experience is “table stakes”.
  • Only a quarter of consumers looking to purchase a BEV are concerned about the residual value of the vehicle.
  • Half of consumers would rethink their decision to purchase an EV if an environmentally sustainable, synthetic combustion fuel was available.
  • More than half of non-BEV intenders would require a fully charged BEV to have a driving range of at least 400 km in order to consider one as a viable option for their next vehicle.
  • More than half of the consumers surveyed cite a lack of publicly available charging infrastructure as the biggest hurdle to BEV penetration, underlining the need for public-private investment.
  • Reliability is the primary reason for choosing a new vehicle. Those planning to buy used cite affordability as the main reason.
  • Vehicle product quality is the defining factor for consumers when choosing one brand over another. The availability of EV options rates much lower in terms of importance.
  • Although consumers in many global markets are shifting their expectations regarding new vehicle delivery times, South Africans still expect to receive a vehicle in under two weeks.
  • Some things never change as consumers still want a good deal with transparent pricing and physical interaction before they commit to buying a vehicle.
  • Surveyed consumers trust insurance firms and OEMs the most to manage data generated by the vehicle.
  • Consumers are ready to share personally identifiable information if it helps them with maintenance updates, traffic/road safety updates and suggestions for alternative routes.
  • At the same time, 6 out of 10 consumers are concerned if data related to the vehicle’s location and/or usage of connected services is/are shared.
  • Consumers would prefer to pay for connected vehicle features and technology either upfront or on a per use basis, representing a challenge for OEMs looking to build new revenue streams via digital subscription services.

For the full study visit za-deloitte-gacs-2023-south-africa (1).pdf

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