Adobe brought together 100 key players from across Europe’s biggest and most respected car manufacturers as part of this year’s EMEA Summit held in London. (Adobe is CMO.com’s parent company)
As with other business sectors, digital technology is revolutionising how the automotive industry responds to consumer behaviour and is driving transformational change across the whole sector. The discussion centred on the four trends that are disrupting the automotive industry.
1. The Rise Of The Electric Car
Some 12.5 million cars were bought in Europe in 2014, with hybrid-electric vehicles accounting for only 1.4% of all new car sales.
However, sales of these vehicles are expected to explode in the next 10 years. In the U.K, sales of electric and hybrid cars are expected to outstrip petrol and diesel models by 2027.
Norway is leading the way across Europe, with almost a quarter of all new car sales coming from plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) or battery-electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2015.
The race is now on across the industry to develop new, cheaper, and more widely available models to reflect this increasing demand.
2. In-Car Connectivity
In-car Wi-Fi is providing the latest in car personalisation, allowing your car to share internet access with devices inside and outside of the vehicle.
A recent McKinsey report found that “13% of buyers are no longer prepared to even consider a new vehicle without internet access, and more than a quarter already prioritise connectivity over features such as engine power and fuel efficiency.”
It is estimated that, by 2020, there will be 250 million connected cars on the road with wireless internet connections that can utilise the latest Internet of Things technology. This means that the apps built into your car will not only be able to pay for road tolls, parking, and fuel payments, but also help you control the car.
The rising cost of running a car is driving many young drivers off the road. A recent survey by the Department for Transport found that there had been a sharp drop in the number of 18-year-olds acquiring a full driving licence in the U.K.
However, offerings such as BMW’s DriveNow car-sharing service in partnership with rental company Sixt indicate that the big automotive brands are rethinking their relationship with consumers and introducing a new kind of relationship based not on the purchase of a new car but on delivering on consumers’ transportation needs.
Growth of affordable services such as UberPool, which allows consumers to share a car with other travellers, as well as services such as Zipcar and Paris’s electric car-sharing service Autolib’, have provided car manufacturers with some surprising new competitors who are looking to disrupt the marketplace.
4. Autonomous Vehicles
Science fiction has now become science fact. “Driverless vehicle technology has the potential to be a real game changer on the U.K.’s roads, altering the face of motoring in the most fundamental of ways and delivering major benefits for road safety, social inclusion, emissions, and congestion,” claimed Claire Perry MP recently in the U.K. government’s first report into self-driving or autonomous vehicles.
The majority of cars are already semi-autonomous—with adaptive cruise control, lane control, and self-parking becoming increasingly common.
Johann Jungwirth, chief digital officer at Volkswagen, expects the first self-driving cars will appear on the market before the end of the decade, while Google is claiming that its first autonomous vehicles will be on the road by 2018.
The biggest stumbling block may be the legislation required in different countries. However, the U.K. government has already set out its plan for facilitating the testing of these vehicles on our roads.
These four key trends are fuelling how marketers across the automotive industry are approaching the challenges and opportunities they are set to face over the next 10 years, including how they use the valuable data provided by our increasingly connected cars.
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