STUDY

iCar: Consumers show interest but are also skeptical

Apple. © kropekk_pl on Pixabay
Apple. © kropekk_pl on Pixabay

Is the iCar coming – and if so, who actually wants it? Many consumers – especially in Apple’s western core markets – are “still rather skeptical” about the Apple car. This is the conclusion of a study by the management consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners.

iCar: Great interest in China

The “automotive experts” Martin Gehring and Matthias Riemer looked at whether the iCar could be successful at all. In one sentence: Absolutely. Although the consumers would show “great interest”, they would also show “healthy skepticism”. A survey of around 9,500 car buyers from America, Europe, and Asia found that 72% of electro-affine customers worldwide would be “generally interested in the iCar“, in China at 80% significantly more than in Northern Europe. In the USA, however, 30% of those surveyed would also assume a “big flop”.

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56,000 euros for the Apple car

According to consumers, the Apple car could score points with a “disruptive design” and “user-friendly technology”. It’s not defined any further. In terms of price, the people surveyed assume an average of 56,000 euros – upper-middle class. That’s actually not entirely unrealistic, as the iCar isn’t supposed to come onto the market until 2025. It can be assumed that there will be significantly more inexpensive e-cars on the streets by then.

Tesla is also known to be working on a model for around €21,000. Nevertheless, the study makers assume that Apple will not have it easy at the beginning. It will “need a lot of persuasion to reach customers of Tesla or German premium manufacturers”, even if Apple has a “loyal community as brand advocates with a high willingness to pay”. In addition, the monetization model would only work to a limited extent. Apple currently makes around 40% of its profits from digital services. But that should also become common practice on the car market: with VW and BMW, German car manufacturers are also planning to introduce software subscription models in the future.

Ultimately, more banal aspects could also decide between success and flop: Tesla in particular has built up a very successful image in the USA. That could dig the water out for Apple: “If they (Apple and Tesla, note) now compete directly with each other, it is highly questionable whether automotive newcomer Apple can stand up to the comparison,” says the study. We won’t know for sure until 2025.

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