Reliability and Safety

Sammy Chan, Senior Analyst

13 May 2021

The battleground continues to evolve

Back in the day, a car had a chance to stand out from the crowd with looks alone. Potential buyers did not have the same ease of access to YouTube reviews, safety ratings & reliability rankings, as they do now. With today’s level of visibility, and with more brands available globally, competition between manufacturers is fiercer than ever. Brands will continue to compete in familiar areas, such as pricing, brand perception, design & styling. However, some areas of this battleground are evolving.

It is plain to see that advanced technology and autonomous features will play an increasing part in a manufacturer’s success, particularly with the growing role of infotainment systems in today’s launches. There have been several software issues which have plagued model launches recently (which even the Volkswagen Golf was not immune to). These often require updates to fix at a later point. Making sure that a new vehicle is reliable – not only from a mechanical standpoint, but all the way through to the software displayed inside a vehicle – will be progressively more important as this technology becomes integral to a car buyer’s ownership experience. 

Similarly, the idea of safety will also shift to be more closely linked to vehicle software, as cars gain more autonomous features and self-driving capabilities, requiring a new element of trust from the consumer. Renault recently announced it will add a speed limiter to Renault and Dacia brand models, as Volvo did before them, in a bid to raise their safety profile.

And so, while the concepts of reliability and safety have always been vital to a brand’s reputation, they will continue to evolve with the car market.