Car buyers today: Who cares who made it — will my smartphone connect?

By DPA | 12 April 2021

HAMBURG: Brand loyalty is a thing of the past for car owners. A recent survey shows that buyers no longer care as much whether there's a Prancing Horse or Blue Oval on top of the bonnet.

More important: Will my smartphone connect to the car's infotainment system? Will I be able to answer messages from the car? Will I be able to get my Spotify playlists while driving?

Seven out of 10 respondents (69 per cent) taking part in a survey by Germany's IT association Bitkom said that Android or iOS connectivity was a more important question before buying.

The brand of the next car, on the other hand, is only an important matter for 65 per cent.

The younger the buyer, the more important good smartphone integration via CarPlay, Android Auto or manufacturer software is, according to the research.

In the group of up to 29-year-olds, this is vital to 80 per cent of drivers, and to 78 per cent of 30 to 49-year-olds, meaning the vast majority of under 50-year-olds want to bring their own music and apps with them when driving.

But smartphone connectivity still doesn't trump all other factors: safety (98 per cent), as well as comfort (92 per cent) and modern assistance systems (84 per cent) were more important to most.

Whether a car is powered by electricity or fossil fuels is relevant to 79 per cent of buyers. The January 2021 study included 1,003 people in Europe aged 16 and over.