For more than four years, the Center for Automotive Management, an independent market research and consulting institute, conducted a study of the global automotive technology market. Compared to the company’s last long-term study (2013 to 2015), the Daimler brand Mercedes Benz was able to maintain its top position, Audi and Lexus have gained in innovative strength. With Nio and Wey, two Chinese premium vehicle manufacturers are represented in the top 15 for the first time. The losers include Cadillac (General Motors) and the Honda brand Acura. BMW and Tesla also lost one place each.
The study analysed the vehicle technology innovations of 31 premium brands. The innovations were evaluated according to quantitative and qualitative criteria. Due to the diesel scandal, the technology field "conventional drives" was not included in the evaluation.
With almost 180 innovations in series production, Mercedes-Benz is the most innovative premium brand, followed by Audi and BMW. The difference in innovative strength between the top performer Mercedes (390 index points) and the second Audi (252 index points) is particularly large. One reason for this is the many highly valued world firsts that Mercedes can boast. These include, for example, the accident reporting system Parking in the E-Class, the MBUX smart human interface in the A-Class, the Energizing Coach in the GLE, and aerodynamic body innovations in the CLA. A total of 77 absolute innovations or world firsts relating to specific segments were included in the balance sheet.