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September 13, 2017
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Germans who want to buy a new car tend to focus on three issues: the price, the degree of comfort and security aspects. That is the conclusion of authors of the latest Aral car buying trends study. While environmental considerations now play a larger role – their importance rose by 5 pp, to 25%, in comparison to the 2015 survey – they still rank only 11th in the list of influencing factors and come behind aspects such as ergonomics or brand image. This appears somewhat surprising, particularly against the background of the heated discussions about excessive diesel car emissions (nitrogen oxides) in the last few months. [more]
PROD0000000000451556 1   |    September 13, 2017Chart in Focus September 13, 2017 Environmental aspects do not play a key role in car purchase decisions Authors www.dbresearch.com Deutsche Bank Research Management Stefan Schneider Eric Heymann +49(69)910-31730 eric.heymann@db.com Jakob Lahrsow jakob.lahrsow@db.com Germans who want to buy a new car tend to focus on three issues: the price, the degree of comfort and security aspects. That is the conclusion of authors of the latest Aral car buying trends study. While environmental considerations now play a larger role – their importance rose by 5 pp, to 25%, in comparison to the 2015 survey – they still rank only 11th in the list of influencing factors and come behind aspects such as ergonomics or brand image. This appears somewhat surprising, particularly against the background of the heated discussions about excessive diesel car emissions (nitrogen oxides) in the last few months. Surveys by Deutsche Automobil Treuhand (DAT) about the criteria which customers use to select a new car show similar results. In fact, environmental aspects have not once been among the top 10 buying criteria in the last few years. Obviously, the public discussion about emissions exaggerates the importance of the issue for the average German car buyer. And this hypothesis is supported not only by the survey results quoted above, but also by the actual purchasing decisions of the last few years. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, people continue to prefer stronger engines for their new cars. In 2016, the average engine power of a new car was 26.5% above that of 2007. Moreover, the share of SUVs and off-road vehicles is rising steadily. Remarkably, however, the official records say that carbon dioxide emissions and, in turn, fuel consumption per newly registered car declined by 25% between 2007 and 2016, despite the trend towards bigger engines and cars. So far, only a handful of German car buyers have switched to alternative fuels. And that is not only due to the fact that environmental aspects play only a minor role in their buying decisions. Electrical or hybrid vehicles obviously do not yet meet customer’s demands in terms of price, reach, charging times or charging infrastructure. Deutsche Bank Research Environmental aspects do not play a key role in car purchase decisions 2   |    September 13, 2017Chart in Focus © Copyright 2017. Deutsche Bank AG, Deutsche Bank Research, 60262 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. All rights reserved. When quoting please cite “Deutsche Bank Research”. The above information does not constitute the provision of investment, legal or tax advice. Any views expressed reflect the current views of the author, which do not necessarily correspond to the opinions of Deutsche Bank AG or its affiliates. Opinions expressed may change without notice. Opinions expressed may differ from views set out in other documents, including research, published by Deutsche Bank. The above information is provided for informational purposes only and without any obligation, whether contractual or otherwise. No warranty or representation is made as to the correctness, completeness and accuracy of the information given or the assessments made. In Germany this information is approved and/or communicated by Deutsche Bank AG Frankfurt, licensed to carry on banking business and to provide financial services under the supervision of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). In the United Kingdom this information is approved and/or communicated by Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, a member of the London Stock Exchange, authorized by UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and subject to limited regulation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (under number 150018) and by the PRA. This information is distributed in Hong Kong by Deutsche Bank AG, Hong Kong Branch, in Korea by Deutsche Securities Korea Co. and in Singapore by Deutsche Bank AG, Singapore Branch. In Japan this information is approved and/or distributed by Deutsche Securities Inc. In Australia, retail clients should obtain a copy of a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to any financial product referred to in this report and consider the PDS before making any decision about whether to acquire the product. Still, the Aral study clearly shows the effect of the diesel debate. The share of customers who intend to buy a diesel car has dropped by 13 pp in comparison to 2015, to 18%. This reflects (private) buyers’ uncertainties about future regulations for diesel cars. Of course, customers may still change their minds and decide differently at the time of purchase. After all, in the first seven months of 2017 more than 41% of newly registered cars in Germany still had a diesel engine, even though their share trended downwards. To some extent, this is due to the fact that a large number of new registrations are for company cars, whereas the Aral survey focuses on private customers.