2019 Key finding

The automotive industry is not persuading customers to take a different road

The automotive industry is renowned for its high profile marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, this influence is not being used to actively shift consumer choice away from high emission vehicles.  Only half the companies benchmarked showed some discernible effort in this area.

In order to achieve a high uptake of electric and other high-efficiency vehicles among consumers and shift the market away from high-emitting vehicles, a company needs to actively promote more low-carbon models. While auto manufacturers are easily identified by their high-profile campaigns and advertisements, they do not seem to be using their marketing influence to actively redirect consumers towards more fuel efficient, low-carbon alternatives.

Less than half of the companies assessed show noticeable efforts to market low-carbon vehicles as a more favourable option. It is commonly recognised that there are barriers to electric vehicles entering the market, such as frequently higher pricing models and demands for a well-established charging infrastructure. However, there are only a few proven examples of companies removing barriers. Companies aiming to develop low-carbon technologies to replace their currently high-emitting drivetrains must also market these new alternatives and convince consumers of their merits. This would require actively promoting low-carbon models across multiple sales regions and setting sales targets to achieve this ambitious shift in consumer preference.

Tesla has played a seemingly strong role in shifting the passenger vehicle market towards electric vehicles. The company has actively engaged consumers by increasing the number of showrooms to promote its fully electric fleet and creating unique customer experiences. A few other companies are actively promoting their electric vehicles and encouraging consumer uptake, such as BMW and Groupe PSA. There remains significant scope for improvement to shift consumers towards low-carbon vehicles to help decarbonise the automotive industry.

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Companies are not positively engaged with climate policies

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