• Jun 9th 2009 at 11:29AM
  • 19
Smaller, cheaper electronics have been a boon for the auto industry, as car technology has boomed over the past few years. J.D. Power has been studying the tech trend, surveying over 19,000 potential car buyers to gauge interest in new tech like nav systems and infotainment systems. The powerful research company found that customers are now far more tech-savvy than they were in the past, and they're also very interested in adding new features to their next car purchase. That's great news for automakers, but unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), many aren't interested in paying for the new features.

J.D. Powers found that 67% of those surveyed were interested in a navigation system. But when the average price of $1,600 was revealed, the number dropped to only 20%. Luxury buyers were a bit more interested, though only 45% of those surveyed would still opt for the interactive LCD. Cheaper off-board navigation services like On-Star or Ford's SYNC direction service weren't very good alternatives, either. Only one-third of those who were interested in navigation would go the off-board route, even though the systems have proven to be very effective and easy-to-use. We're guessing that part of the allure of the LCD nav is that it makes the whole dash look more high-end.

Customers are also very interested in utilizing their MP3 players in the car. Nearly two-thirds wanted the ability to listen to their music players in the car, while 27% wanted "smart phone" music connectivity. Of those who already use their music devices in their car, over half use an auxiliary jack, and 20% use an FM transmitter. Hit the jump to pour over the J.D. Power press release.

[Source: J.D. Power]


J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Entertainment- and Connectivity-Related Technologies Garner High Levels of Interest
Among Consumers Planning to Buy a New Vehicle Soon

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 3 June 2009 - Among consumers who plan to purchase a vehicle in the near future, select entertainment- and connectivity-related features are among the most desired technologies for their consideration, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies StudySM released today.

The study is designed to measure consumer familiarity, interest and purchase intent for emerging automotive technologies, both before and after an estimated market price is revealed.

The study finds that among consumers who plan to purchase a new vehicle within the next six months, interest levels are high for select entertainment- and connectivity-related features. For example, premium surround sound garners the highest interest rate among these near-term vehicle intenders (72%), while just 61 percent of consumers who plan on purchasing a new vehicle in two years or more indicate interest in this feature.

"Consumers nearing the final phase of the vehicle purchase process are often more well-versed on vehicle options and features than those in the early stages of shopping and likely have recently researched available vehicle specifications," said Mike Marshall, director of automotive emerging technologies at J.D. Power and Associates. "The increased familiarity of the possible benefits and conveniences of these technologies may lead to an increase in interest."

The study also finds that consumer interest in a navigation system is at 67 percent prior to the average market price being revealed, but falls to just 20 percent after the market price of $1,600 is known. However, among owners of premium vehicles, interest after the price is revealed is 45 percent.

Among those consumers who expressed interest in a navigation system, just one-third say they are interested in the lower-cost alternative of an off-board navigation system, which enables the driver to provide an address to a live operator and receive text or audible directions without a full-screen map integrated into a display within the vehicle.

"While the factory-installed options are considerably more expensive than an off-board navigation system, the price difference is not reflected in a proportionate decrease in consumer interest levels," said Marshall. "Among consumers who express interest in both types of navigation system, seven out of ten indicate they would choose a factory-installed navigation system rather than an off-board version-despite the cost premium."

The study also finds the following entertainment and connectivity patterns:

* Among consumers who listen to their portable digital music player in their vehicle, more than one-half use an auxiliary input jack, while approximately 20 percent use a wireless FM transmitter.
* Nearly two-thirds of consumers indicate that they would like the ability to listen to a portable digital music player through their vehicle's speakers, while 27 percent express a desire to use a smartphone's music capabilities in conjunction with their vehicle's audio system.
* Among consumers currently utilizing their vehicle's Bluetooth functionality, initial interest for a wireless connectivity system in their vehicle is 68 percent, compared with just 47 percent among those who have this feature but do not utilize this technology in their vehicle.

The 2009 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study is based on responses from 19,249 U.S. consumers. The study was fielded in April 2009.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's simple. People want that stuff at a reasonable price. If the auto makers are a bit too proud of it, they can keep it. Watch out, though because the Japanese auto makers will figure out a way to include it as a standard feature to keep their position of always being slightly ahead. That the market is competitive is an understatement. These things will soon be included in all but the basest models, and the first to do it will gain market share (and that is what it is all about).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it's the whole price and bundle thing that gets people turned off...
      like mentioned above paying $1500 for a built in SatNav system is insane, I paid $600 for my after market indash satnav system and it has ipod connectivity (not just aux in) and I can watch movies as well...

      Also, the bundles that you're forced to buy for certain features in stupid as well. If I want sat nav I don't want to be forced to buy the premium package with leather seats and bigger rims for $3000, I just want the satnav system installed...
      • 6 Years Ago
      once again common sense fails.

      Of course people are interested, and of course they would be turned off at a 1600 dollar price tag. Here is a friendly tip - auto makers do not have a secret back room of fairies cranking out custom designed nav units for each model.

      Seamless integration costs money, and they arent going to give it to you for free just because you don't feel like paying for it. I agree that the built in nav in my car sucks for what I paid for it, but i didn't care enough about the topic to NOT buy the car I wanted.

      Raider007 - i agree in the fact that paying 3K for a package when all you want the nav is kinda stupid, but the American mindset of "I want it today" has made that a fact of the business. You can custom order any car (that I'm aware of) but are you willing to wait 6 to 10 weeks for it? Sadly most people arent, they want instant gratification and that costs money.

      I equate this whole thing to the general attitude in this country of "gimmie gimmie gimmie". Nothing is free, and if you though it was going to be then you are a bigger idiot than I thought. (not insulting anyone specific). What should people learn from all this? let dealers and manufacturers know what you think WITH YOUR WALLET. Stop complaining and whining and just use your dollars to vote, trust me it works every time.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well said, Jeff.

        Also, it needs to be kept in mind that integrated units have to be built to a higher durability standard that the portable units. Car buyers expect that the units must last for the life of the car in what could amount to severe service conditions. Consider the price of a typical cheapo notebook computer versus a "toughbook" style.

        The aftermarket portable units are basically "disposable" and are built to that standard. Granted, for the typical user they may last a very long time, but the car manufacturers need to specify to the worst case scenario.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think this are the same people who expect tax refunds without paying taxes, and we all know tho they are.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And the ones who expect to win at the lottery without playing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This article is a little wacky cuz this has been but going on for years but it really comes down to cost benefit. Automakers need to come more inline with the tech and its prices. Many have a hard time justifying paying 1600 bucks for something there iphone now has the capability of doing for just 200. I mean hell, i can buy a whole laptop for 600 now...

      • 6 Years Ago
      When you consider that for most people probably don't need to use their sat-nav on a daily basis, the expense for an integrated system is hard to justify. I would much rather use my Garmin and be able to switch between vehicles for the 10 times a year or so that I really need it. It bothers me not one little bit that it isn't "integrated" into the IP, or that it takes all of 30 seconds to stow in the trunk.
      • 6 Years Ago
      a personal study shows i am interested in a solid gold bugatti veyron, but not if i have to pay anything for it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's not that people don't want to pay for these systems it's that they don't want to pay stupid prices for them. You can get a Garmin or Tom Tom for a fraction of the cost or even get a double din unit with bluetooth, DVD, Nav, iPod, etc for like $500-900. Where is the allure of spending $2,000 on a nav unit that is outdated in 3 years or you can't take from car to car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      auto makers need to look at simplification. Instead of adding a whole nav system in and jacking the price out of this world for the consumers who are now very price savvy shoppers. Just make shell that holds said type devices, done. It looks integrated and finished but the electronic equipment is still portable, upgradeable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have a portable nav system that has bluetooth handsfree, mp3 playback, and very nice voice prompts (street names..etc).

      The cost for all this goodness: $250.00.

      I bought an aftermarket system that I installed in my dash - bluetooth, iPod, nav, DVD playback and an AUX in for future use.

      The cost for this: $800.00.

      Why do similar systems cost $1600 and up from the factory? They aren't better quality (I've used many of them).

      The real problem is not that customers do not want to pay for these items, it is that manufacturers are charging WAY too much for them.

      The nav option on my G35X was part of a $4000 luxury package. F that. I stuck a Garmin on my dash and called it a day.

        • 6 Years Ago
        That is what most normal people would do, but many refuse, because they want that rich look you get when NAV is preinstalled......i call it money in the trash.
      • 6 Years Ago
      car companies need to get with a program; I remember when portable navigation systems were selling for a $1k which was still cheaper than $2k for a built-in. Now that those portable can be had for $199 while built-in systems are still overpriced
      • 6 Years Ago
      You're missing the point.

      Integration - that's why I paid $2k for the Nav in my G35.

      It looks like it's part of the car. Pop it up and it works, pop it down and it's gone. It integrates with the car to show me fuel economy, maintenance reminders, etc. It has dead reckoning so it knows where I am regardless of GPS signal (unless you freak it out inside a parking garage).

      Contrast that to a Double DIN hackjob that looks like a kids toy or should be in a "Tuner Car". I'd also hate to see the reliability of those motorized screens after a couple years on the road.

      Or the Tomtom (have one of those) that you have to connect/reconnect/find a home for. Or leave it on the dash and invite theft.

      No thanks - I'll pay the $$ for it integrated 100% in all my car's systems.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Finally... someone that gets it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Damn right. My RX-8 has the built-in nav, and while it's not the best, I wouldn't have it any other way. The first-gen center console just looks wrong without it.
    • Load More Comments