The Deloitte report: “Italy wants electricity, but it still costs too much”

The paradox? More and more Italians, ideally, want to abandon petrol and diesel cars to switch to plug-powered cars, at least according to surveys that periodically analyze consumer trends, even if the market for electric and plug-in hybrid cars has shrunk in 2022 in Italy, while in other European countries, France, Germany and Great Britain, the sector will grow. The latest report, the Global Automotive Consumer Study 2023, which Deloitte carries out every year on over 26,000 consumers in 24 countries to shine a light on new trends in the automotive field, Italy is at the top in the ranking of consumers attentive to sustainability and which they would like to leave petrol and diesel vehicles behind and switch to electric. The percentage is high: 78% of consumers say they are ready. A figure that clearly distinguishes other countries where the desire to leave the traditional engine is lower such as Germany (49%), China (55%) or South Korea (62%).

A transition that is difficult to achieve in practice then causes several problems that make the transition difficult. “Even the 2023 edition of Gacs confirms that the road towards the new paradigm of electric mobility has now been traced, although the still high list prices represent one of the most important brakes for the diffusion of electric vehicles on the market”, underlines Franco Orsogna , automotive leader of Deloitte Central Mediterranean. Net of the various eco-incentives, Orsogna points out, “the price factor can also be counterbalanced by the strong desire of consumers to systematically reduce the costs of refueling and using the vehicle, an aspect amplified by the 2022 energy price increases”. These days, how much has the price of petrol and diesel at petrol stations risen after the government did not extend the cut in excise taxes on fuel. Other factors holding back the spread of cars with batteries? still too low, and vehicle recharging times.Manufacturing companies and public institutions should be able to converge with their various initiatives so that “electric mobility is accessible and sustainable also economically”.

Despite the change that the sector is facing with the transition to the agency model, Italians continue to trust the dealership more than the car manufacturers (14%). However, consumers look to product quality, considered essential by 64% of Italians compared to 54% of Germans and 48% of Chinese, and above all to advanced on-board technology. They affect 45% of Italian consumers compared to 32% of Germans and 31% of Chinese. Vehicles that must be increasingly connected and digital. In Italy, the most popular services are those that provide updates on vehicle maintenance or health (69%) and road safety improvement (69%), followed by predictive maintenance and updates on traffic and road congestion (64 %).

In Italy we have become more patient with vehicle waiting times. In short, we have become accustomed to the long times from the order to the arrival of the machine caused first by Covid and then by the problems with the supply chains. One Italian out of three (33%) is willing to wait from 5 weeks up, although abroad there is an even greater “patience” (in Germany this quota involves almost half: 47%, while in Japan it even rises to 57 %). Waiting times that could lengthen due to the stock crisis, making room for a concept that is gaining ground in the automotive industry: building only to order.

“The players in the sector must aim to optimize operating and production costs as much as possible, leveraging the efficiencies and economies deriving both from technological innovation and from the increase in the dimensional scale – underlines Orsogna of Deloitte – a key element of future competitiveness then it will be the ability to seize new sources of profit from the monetization of value-added services for the end user, for example by enhancing the level of connectivity, safety and personalization on board vehicles”. Elements which, in addition to improving the driving experience, increase the value, also of the brand, in the eyes of the market and consumers.

The Deloitte report: “Italy wants electricity, but it still costs too much”