An Insight on Consumer Trends for the Auto Industry in the US


The year 2020 will be remembered as a defining year for the auto industry, regardless of the effect of the success of Brexit or the surmounting anxiety surrounding the subject of global warming. Recent surveys carried out on about 8000 people across the world on the subject of consumer trends in 2020 revealed priced data.

The study extended to social posts regarding similar topics and the industry in total. The survey aimed at a retrospective view of the industry and likely trends that could continue in the New Year 2020.

Without further ado, let’s take an in-depth look at some of the top trends expected to be seen in the automobile industry.

The concept of self-driving cars

During the survey, special attention was given to consumer’s thoughts on the prospect of having self-driving cars in the new year.

For the majority of the consumers surveyed, driving was best left the traditional way; and so this group found the prospect of self-driving cars not at all flattering. Only about 9% of interviewed consumers across the world considered self-driving vehicles as a vast, prospective technology capable of digital disruption and transformation in the auto industry come 2020.

This minority, however, is quite sure about the potential of self-driving cars, and a later study on social media revealed this technology to be the third most hyped kind of vehicle.

Based on the reactions of interviewed consumers from country to country, consumers in the United States are more likely to consider the prospect of self-driving cars than any other country. On the other hand, consumers in Spain showed the least inclination towards the possibility of self-driving vehicles.

Keeping up with the most popular automobile brands of 2020

A study on the top performers in the auto industry based on searches in the third quarter of 2019 and social media presence offers some insight into what the top performers of 2020 will be like.

As of 2019, Tesla was by far the most popular auto brand, and their visibility across social media and search results spoke of their fast-paced growth and massive follower base. This trend points to the fact that consumers are becoming more interested in the prospect of sustainable vehicles now than at any one point. However, it remains to be seen that the concept of sustainability is preferred over quality and affordability.

Quality over affordability

When respondents were questioned on what features they considered to be more critical for brands in the automobile industry, up to 30 percent of all votes went for quality, making it by far the popular opinion across the world. Affordability trudged 9 percent short, with 21 percent of respondents considering it as the essential feature of auto brands.

Regardless of this data, the concept of quality can represent a variety of things across different markets and people. As such, it is left to automobile brands to research further into the meaning and dig up the aspects (reliability, aesthetics, and security) that audiences consider to be most important.

Take, for instance, respondents in Mexico who chose “Personalization” more than respondents in any other part of the world. However, respondents in Singapore and Malaysia were more inclined towards “Innovative services and products” in automobile brands than any other country.

Automobile manufacturers have their work cut of for them in ensuring their products cut quality standards peculiar to their different target markets and regions. Consumers seem to consider the prospect of having a car for more purposes than commuting.

The necessity of excellent customer service

Across the world, consumers showed a huge inclination towards the subject of friendly customer service, considering it to be a necessary quality for all automobile brands. The reports showed that up to 10% of respondents believe it to be the most critical attribute any auto brand can have.

A later study on the social data collected showed that negative conversations revolved around poor customer service when a product goes wrong. From dealerships to warranties to repairs and dysfunctional parts were some of the subjects discussed.

Thus it goes to show that consumers are more likely to engage an auto brand if they receive favorable customer service when shopping for vehicles or getting repairs.

Renewability and sustainability

Only 7 percent of respondents considered sustainability to be the essential attribute when picking a vehicle, showing the attribute to be one of the least popular qualities expected of brands. However, lots of people across the world consider renewable energy to be the best technological transformation of 2020.

It is somewhat ambiguous because while only a select few give thought to the prospect of going for sustainable automobiles, the majority of the world considers renewable energy to be cutting-edge technology. While this might be the case, a compelling argument is that green vehicles are still produced in minor quantities and are neither practically viable nor cheap to afford by consumers.

With the increasing awareness of global warming, it doesn’t seem far off before automobile brands capitalize on this quality.

The big deal about electric vehicles

More than at any point in history, people are more drawn to the concept of cars sporting alternative powertrain technologies. As such, more and more consumers are leaving cars with traditional combustion engines for greener cars. People are becoming more sensitive to their impact on the environment and how it affects all life forms. Thus, contributing to a more sustainable auto industry can ensure comfort and a decline in carbon footprints.

In the United States alone, up to 59 percent of respondents show an inclination for traditional combustion engines such as diesel or gasoline for their next choice of vehicles. Respondents in Japan showed a slight increase, with 47 percent inclining towards hybrid electric vehicles than traditional combustion engines. Only about 19 percent of respondents in China showed an inclination for battery electric vehicles.

While the percentages might seem somewhat disheartening, consumers are yet to reach the point of causing auto brands to manufacture electric vehicles alone. Still, there’s the hope of such a happening.


With these trends in mind, it can be easy for automobile brands to keep up with customer needs and digital disruptions across the automobile landscape. This will lead to improvements in vehicle standards.