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Foundational auto research

An auto manufacturer wanted to gather foundational insights from the US market about factors that car owners like/dislike about their current cars, reactions to a recently released model, and ease of use of in-car features in both the current and test vehicles.


Areas of interest for this study included topics such as aesthetics, exterior and interior design, technology, and safety features.

A multi-tactic approach was employed to obtain feedback on experiences with current cars and reactions to the test model.

Prior to fieldwork, participants completed homework which included taking pictures of various aspects of their current car and completing a survey.


Each research session consisted of a focus group discussion followed by individual stationary in-car interviews. Up to 8 participants were recruited for each focus group and 2 were chosen to move on to the in-car interviews.

Data collected included qualitative feedback and comments, behavioral observation, and ratings. Sessions were conducted in English and simultaneously interpreted into the client’s native language for both live observers and session recordings.




The results of this study provided a lens into US car owners. We summarized delighters and pain points owners currently experience in their own vehicles.

Results from the in-car sessions provided insight into usability, usefulness, and aesthetics of specific features in the test vehicle and specifically in comparison to their own vehicle. The foundational results of this study will allow the manufacturer to adapt their strategy roadmap.