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Auto executives are more concerned over hybrids

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Hybrid vehicles and underlying technologies seems to be the top concerns of automotive executives for the next five years, KPMG’s annual survey shows.

KPMG, which has been surveying global automotive industry executives for the past 10 years, said this was brought by consumer concern with fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency, which has to do with how much gas a vehicle consumes for every mile, was also the most frequently mentioned factor that would affect consumer purchase decisions over the next five years.

In return, hybrids were seen as the most important alternative fuel technologies for the industry, with 85% of respondents preferring it over pure battery electric power, fuel cell electric power and biodiesel, which came in last.

“The consumer mindset on fuel efficiency is forcing automakers to build more fuel efficient cars and to create new product that satisfies demand,” Gary Silberg, KPMG head for its national automotive industry business, said.

Global carmakers will most likely increase spending on new technologies, especially for hybrids, KPMG’s study suggests.

“Automotive manufacturers are in the challenging position of being asked to compete on both technology and cost,” Mr. Silberg said.

However, KPMG analysis quoted that hybrids still face “unfavorable” economics because such vehicles are still relatively expensive.

KPMG’s survey involved 200 senior executives who represented suppliers and vehicle manufacturers in 24 countries and all had a CEO or C-suite title.

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