KPMG's Global Automotive Executive Survey 2011 

KPMG's twelfth annual Global Automotive Executive Survey highlights the challenges facing the auto industry, its current condition and key issues that could define its shape in the coming years.


"Executive summary"

73 percent of the respondents to this year’s Global Automotive Survey believe that vehicles should reflect specific user needs, suggesting that models will increasingly be designed and engineered to meet more defined purposes such as commuting, leisure and city journeys.


And with a large majority believing that urban planning will impact future auto design, the industry appears to be moving ever more quickly towards fit-for-purpose vehicle platforms, and possibly car-sharing and integrated mobility solutions incorporating public transport, taxis, rental automobiles and airplanes.


Consumers demanding fuel efficiency and safety

Fuel efficiency and safety are the two main consumer concerns when purchasing a vehicle, according to the auto executives that took part in the survey. This has implications for electric powertrain development, where safety innovations could potentially become a source of competitive advantage.


Given the worries over fuel supplies and price, and environmental protection, it’s no real surprise that hybrids and electric cars are expected to achieve the highest growth of any vehicle category over the next five years.


Figure 1


Changing roles for automakers and suppliers?

Alliances are pointing the way forward as a means of funding R&D activities and pooling knowledge. Over two-thirds (68 percent) of survey participants believe that new alternative fuel/hybrid powertrain technologies will be developed through joint ventures or co-development between OEMs and suppliers.


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These responses suggest a more involved role for suppliers in the automotive value chain, with nearly half of respondents (49 percent) prepared to consider a completely new business model. However, auto executives are still convinced that OEMs will be the dominant force in powertrain technology for at least a decade – regardless of the move to electric-powered cars.


Overcapacity is a continuing concern – not only in mature markets

Despite great efforts to rationalize in the past two years, a majority of those involved in the survey believe that overcapacity still exists, with the US, Japan and Germany identified as the top three overbuilt markets. And most respondents think that China, India and Brazil will also have excess capacity within just five years.


Volkswagen is expected to enjoy the largest growth in market share by 2015, followed by Hyundai/Kia, with Chinese brands and Indian brands also expanding rapidly. Respondents believe Chrysler will see the biggest decline, with Mitsubishi, Subaru/Fuji and Peugeot/Citroen all remaining steady rather than growing. 


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Automakers are thought to have the greatest potential for profitability over the next five years, with tier 2 suppliers the least likely to make profits. As expected, the auto executives involved in the survey see China having the largest growth potential in both manufacturing and sales.


To find out more about the future roadmap of the automotive industry – download the complete report on our website at or 2011 Global Auto Survey 2011.