The pace of change in the automotive industry is mind-boggling. More important: It will continue to accelerate beyond our imagination through the next 10-15 years or so. Old knowledge is rapidly becoming irrelevant or dangerously misleading while new players take full advantage of the new scenario.
To survive, prosper, and hopefully lead the way through this chaotic metamorphosis, automakers fight to attract business talent outside the century old car industry.
Elon Musk didn’t set foot in the industry before creating Tesla, doing everything differently. Which ultimately resulted in a company with the combined market cap of the world’s nine next largest carmakers (as of October 2021).
Most recently, Jim Rowan was appointed CEO & President of Volvo Cars. According to the company’s news release, “he has worked extensively with digitalization, disruption, innovation, engineering and supply chains.” Again: no conventional auto industry background whatsoever.
THE ONLY WAY AHEAD
At the very top of the organization charts these may still be exceptions. But not so in areas like technology development, distribution, or marketing and sales where digital transformation is universally accepted as the only way ahead.
It’s easy to understand why. An overwhelming majority of buying journeys begin online. Car buyers’ reasons-to-buy are increasingly related to digital innovations. New channels and services are gaining ground. And the obvious benefits of new, digital sales and marketing solutions speak for themselves.
In a recent report, Roland Berger outlines a “CEO agenda for the (r)evolution of the automotive ecosystem”. This includes an analysis of the five main players in tomorrow’s automotive ecosystem, including:
- Mobility Service Providers
- Device Manufacturers
- Infrastructure players
- Device Component Manufacturers
- Infrastructure Component manufacturers
- The service providers will be in direct contact with what we now think of as the customers.
RETHINKING BUSINESS-CRITICAL COMPETENCE
That’s the long game, which may seem a bit outlandish today. But we already see a new breed of Mobility Service Providers challenging our firmly rooted ideas about car utilization and ownership. Even though most of us are not yet ready to degrade our beloved cars to “devices”.
This kind of earth-shaking redefinitions is anything but new. Several decades ago, a major supplier of air defense systems (shockingly respectlessly to some) described the new generation fighter planes as “peripheral equipment”. The real deal was not the planes but the digital control system. The complete transformation may still take a while but, make no mistake, the process is already underway.
So, whether you are in product development, sales, or marketing: Get ready to sell subscriptions for devices on wheels. Or better still, think about the new opportunities in automotive solutions already here.
At Phyron, we continue to finetune our solution for attractive and engaging car ads, automatically mass-customized to make the most of every single car in stock. And, step-by-step, we expand our geographical reach. Now we are actively looking for talented, hardworking, and open-minded people to expand our business in Europe and North America