Cars online 2014

Generation connected

What imaginative leaps can the automotive industry take to build stronger connections with today’s car consumers? For 15 years, we have been asking consumers what they want in their car buying and ownership experience. This year, more than 10,000 car shoppers across 10 countries told us.


Today’s consumers are the Generation Connected. And today’s cars are catching up.

We have found that car buying (even when it’s done online) is a passionate, personal pursuit, and Generation Connected consumers are eager to share their opinions on products and experiences.

Today’s car shoppers and owners are:
Confident about what they want and how they want it,
Secure in using technology to increase their purchasing and ownership power,
Comfortable in driving innovation in the industry.

Car consumer trends 2014
say they are “more likely” to buy a specific model or brand if they find positive comments on social media
are willing to buy a vehicle online

About the Report

Cars Online 2014 is Capgemini’s 15th annual survey.

All respondents were “in-market”: 94% were planning to buy a car in the next 12 months. 79% would be purchasing or leasing a new car, and 16% were in the market for a used car. 5% had still to decide whether to buy a new or used car.

Capgemini worked with ORC International, a global research firm, to conduct the survey for Cars Online 2014. All analysis and interpretation of the data was made by Capgemini. Fieldwork was conducted in February and March 2014.

Thank you to all 10, 571 survey respondents for their enthusiasm and participation.

Respondents per country

Global automotive trends 2014

Indonesia at a glance

98% respondents use social media for vehicle research and 99% expect OEMs and dealers to be active online. When asking a manufacturer or dealer a question online, 28% expect an answer immediately.

South Korea at a glance

Social media and peer reviews play a crucial role in purchasing decisions with 89% respondents currently posting or planning to post on social sites. 97% expect OEMs and dealers to be active on social media.

Automotive industry insights

We hope Cars Online 2014 helps OEMs and dealers create a closer understanding of their consumers and use it to thrive today and beyond. Explore latest thinking around further topics such as Digital Customer Experience, Connected Vehicles and Big Data & Analytics.
Discover more


Key figures

What 10,571 people of a Generation Connected revealed to us about their knowledge, choices, and communication.

Generation Connected is about information

1The Internet turns shopping into an anywhere, anytime activity

2Social media matters

Generation Connected is about choices

3Interest in buying a car online is increasing

4Shoppers want flexibility in test drive options

5Not owning a car remains an attractive idea to consumers

Generation Connected is about communication

6Familiarity breeds desire for connected cars.

7Generation Connected has a big appetite for contact – throughout the lifecycle

I suspect [in the future] few people will use the person-to-person service offered by a traditional dealer. Online services will be used to configure cars, get the best price, arrange a test drive, and even purchase and arrange delivery. The only time a dealer will be visited will be for servicing.


[In five years, I expect] online experts will guide us to make smart choices.


One click – and the vehicle can be delivered


Conclusion & Recommendations

Digital customer experience for automotives

The key takeaway from this year’s Cars Online survey is that one size does not fit all.

Generation Connected consumers want highly personalized products and services. They expect information that’s relevant, accurate, and timely, delivered when and how they choose.

OEMs and dealers must be accessible, responsive, and proactive in delivering value-added services, including content.

Digital customer experience for auto industry

Industry leaders should consider these three steps to meet the demands of the Generation Connected.

  • Connect to your customers consistently across multiple channels with a strong focus on Digital Customer Experience
  • Start acting on online vehicle sales – before others take a share of the pie
  • Adapt to find a win/win operating model between OEMs and dealers

Read the full Cars Online 2014 report to find out other findings and next steps

Meet the authors
Nick Gill, Senior Vice President, Chairman Automotive Council, Capgemini

Nick Gill
Senior Vice President,
Chairman Automotive Council,

Markus Winkler, Vice President, Global Automotive Head, Capgemini Consulting

Markus Winkler
Vice President,
Global Automotive Head,
Capgemini Consulting