2000 Automotive Executives: What they really think!

What do the 200 top automobile executives from companies in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa and the Middle East really think? Kpmg's survey revealedthat their major concerns obviously reflect the global economic crisis as it impacts the auto industry.

In the short term, companies expect lower revenues, lower profits and a long period of restructuring. They predict overcapacity production and less investment. In short, whoever survives will come out stronger.

In the long term they anticipate innovation and technological advances, especially in fuel technologies. Management's main focus will be innovation. For example, innovation to make production processes more efficient will lead to significant cost savings. The survey respondents also expect car technology innovation, especially hybrids and fuel efficiency improvements, to stimulate sales demand. Executives also believe that management will have to leverage technology with meeting customer needs. It's about time.

More statistics include:

    77 percent of executives predict increased risk of insolvencies and bankruptcies. In addition, economic problems will force many businesses into restructuring through mergers, acquisitions, and business alliances.

    The major business trends expected are advanced fuel technologies and environmental pressures. We all wanted the big companies to be proactive and I read somewhere that they have been expecting this economic crisis for 3 years. However, now they will be forced to make more green cars and suffer of their procrastination. And we all suffer together with them.

    Consumers are becoming more price conscious. 96% of respondents expect that sales price will be the most important factor in car purchase decisions.

    Chinese, Indian and German cars are expected to increase market share while two thirds of respondents expected GM, Ford, and Chrysler to lose market share.

More information on the survey results is available here.

In summary, automotive executives pin their hopes on technological advances in alternative fuels, battery technologies and process technologies and on potential emerging markets. And let us say Amen.

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