The Osborne effect is a trend that talks about the postponed demand for products due to the arrival of improved versions that causes the customer to delay their purchase. A force that is very present in an automobile sector immersed in a painful transformation that, according to some studies, could be faster than expected.
This is indicated by a study by Ray Wills, editor of Future Smart Strategies magazine and professor at the University of Western Australia. He has estimated the adoption curve of electric cars and its impact on sales of models with a combustion engine.
Its results are quite striking and take into account the variable that has caused the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Also taken into account was the acceleration of investments by the world’s leading automobile groups in areas such as car production, but also in the search for a reliable and economical supply of batteries.
The sector faces unique challenges in its long history, and where the drop in prices of electric cars is accelerating a transformation that has already started three years ago. And it is that sales of internal combustion motor cars have decreased steadily since the end of 2017. In other words, sales would have peaked in 2017. In 2018 they were less than in 2017; in 2019, it was less than in 2018, and quite possibly in 2020, they will be lower than the previous year. A trend that does not seem to have an end.
Sales that have been partially covered by sales of hybrid cars, but not enough to offset the decline with conventional hybrid technology that predictions indicate, will peak in 2022. At which point, they will begin their fall pushed by the explosion of sales of 100% electric cars.
Neither do plug-in hybrids appear to achieve a significant gap, and these will follow a similar trend to conventional hybrids, starting their decline in market share as early as next year, in 2021.
Meanwhile, electric car sales continue to multiply, despite the Covid-19 crisis and will surpass hybrid sales later this year. A trend that explains why customers are looking for an electric car will not explore the plug-in hybrid option whose sales will not grow.