SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 21, May 24, 2007

DO CONSUMERS REALLY WANT IN-CAR DVD AND NAV SYSTEMS?

Without a doubt, safety and security features and services are becoming an increasingly important part of automakers' arsenal as they try to differentiate themselves from the competition and woo more customers into their fold, according to a recent TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence article. In a recent newsletter, TechnoMetrica states that the trend of adding more features and services to today’s vehicles is not confined to safety and security. Information and entertainment are also key areas that are growing each day with things like DVD players, Bluetooth technology, satellite radio, navigation systems, ports and gaming consoles becoming more and more common.

TechnoMetrica’s research shows that consumers really want all these add-ons. However, they qualify that by adding that, not everything making its way into today’s vehicles are equally desirable. Consumers place heavier importance on features and services that have a concrete, directly practical use. Because of this penchant for practicality, navigational aides and safety or security services score highly among most Americans.

Items at the bottom of the list include things that have little directly applicable practical value for drivers—gaming consoles come to mind here.

But that’s not to say a market for in-vehicle gaming consoles doesn’t exist. It does. Especially among those who chauffer their children around a lot on long trips where anything that keeps the kids occupied is a blessing for weary drivers. Below are TechnoMetrica’s estimated penetration rates for selected in-vehicle features and devices:

• DVD Player–23%
• Satellite Radio–12%
• Navigation Systems/Features–10%
• Safety/Security Services–10%
• Ports for Multimedia Devices–10%
• High Definition Radio–7%
• Bluetooth Technology–5%
• Gaming Console–4%

Source: TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. “Developing Trends.” AutoView newsletter.