Yanfeng Automotive Interiors reveals “Quality of Life” research study and insight into global consumer behavior
According to a global research study conducted by Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI), quality of life is becoming more valued over conventional definitions of success all across the globe. Quality of life is a global mega trend monitored by YFAI’s Strategic Research team that looks at the persistent human need for peace, personal interaction, rich experiences, purpose, and good health. As a leader in the design and development of automotive interiors, YFAI is looking at the time people spend in their vehicles and how sharing, ownership, and other quality of life factors influence the use of that time.
The leading trend study is in response to the growing importance of automotive interiors as people spend more time in their cars each day. In the study, 2000 participants were surveyed online in China, Germany, and the United States to understand how consumers define quality of life in different regions, how this influences their decision-making process, and how this knowledge can lead to improved future mobility experiences. The study results reveal that eight quality-of-life dimensions rise to the top as key influencers. Three of them—security, physical well-being, and quality—are nearly universal across all regions. Although quality of life values change with age, emotions, connections and relationships remain important across all age groups.
“Recognizing Quality of Life as a driver of change and innovation, it was critical for us to conduct a study around this global mega trend, as a way to deepen our knowledge and understanding of its expected impact on consumer preferences of new mobility offerings.” said Renae Pippel, director of strategic research for Yanfeng Automotive Interiors.
On defining quality of life, the research reveals that the countries are more similar than they are different, although subtle differences remain. For example, Germany places more priority on experiences, while the United States and China prioritize interactions with things. The United States is unique in considering purpose and motivation as key components for quality of life. Environmental friendliness falls to the bottom in the United States, but rises to the top for both China and Germany.
Related to mobility choices, consumers perceive unique benefits to personal cars vs. alternative transport options based on how each delivers quality-of-life dimensions. Personal transportation solutions are valued for their speed and flexibility to travel long distances, thus providing convenience and freedom—both quality-of-life influencers. Vehicle sharing services are valued for their ability to circumvent driving-related stress, and are most used by Chinese consumers, followed by Americans and then Germans. In all markets, once consumers try mobility sharing services, they tend to continue using them. Only a small percentage of respondents indicated they have tried ride or car sharing services only once.
Based on the study results and insight gained, the research team at Yanfeng Automotive Interiors concluded that a critical factor for understanding quality of life as it pertains to mobility is not necessarily the service selected, or even the sharing or ownership model of mobility, but rather the length of time that the passenger spends with the vehicle. In shorter interactions, those car- or ride-sharing experiences that last for 15 to 20 minutes, a certain set of priorities emerge that differ greatly from those behind ownership and the traditional multi-year car/owner relationship. In between are mid-range trips that may take a few hours to complete and have their own set of priorities and influence on quality of life.
With this new filter of minutes, hours, and years, it became evident to the team at YFAI why traditional mobility products (i.e., cars) are not ideally suited for their new-found roles as shuttles experienced for short timeframes via car- and ride-sharing services. The ability to design the right vehicles and the right interiors is not only based on understanding practical functions and features, but also on targeting and executing the right experience for a journey’s specific length of time. Knowing that a vehicle has only 20 minutes to fulfill its brand, service, or product promise to the passenger is a different proposition compared to the way that cars have been traditionally designed, developed, marketed, and sold. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors will use this valuable insight to influence and inform future product innovations in order to improve future in-car experiences, whether the vehicle is shared or owned, and whether the interaction between passenger and vehicle lasts minutes, hours, or years.