Forget the engine – it’s going online that’s driving the car industry

Making sure drivers are ‘connected’ in their cars is now the top priority for
world’s top automotive executives

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.telegraph.co.uk

I love reading stories about what executives want in their products and in this case what they feel is the most important feature that will help them maintain or grow market share and increase sales and profit. I wonder to what degree they are truly in touch with their customers and customer segments.

I’ve always felt that outside of hard-line dedicated fans of a particular brand or model of car, gadgets and aesthetics have always been key factors. Governments led by motoring associations help push safety features, which is just as well because individual people tend to buy based on emotional decisions, ‘backed up’ with facts, not because of ABS, crash ratings, number of air bags or even fuel economy.

Many people will buy their car based on comfort, the quality of the in-car entertainment system, cup holders, adjustment capability of the seats, the in-car computer (which has about the same intelligence as the workout machines in your gym, color, upholstery and their brand preference or that of their family.

Cool new features that will be popular with new drivers or those who are slightly challenged in driving skills will like leading edge features like reversing camera, self parking, and perhaps even navigation systems if maps are available for the life of the car (pretty unlikely), although most people today will get that satisfaction from their smartphone and in future probably from their watch.

If legislation does its job and all cars have to meet minimum safety standards, then for a lot of people it does come down to gadgets. It would be great to do a straw poll on what customers say they want in a car, with a view to which features would get them to buy a particular model. I do think connectivity and gadgets will be high up there, inversely proportional to the views of the lobby against distracted driving.

Would hybrid electric vehicles be up there? In principle yes, in practice, there remains fear about costs of replacement batteries, time to charge and the range of a car. Of course hybrid and electric cars are also still more expensive. Resale values are dubious and whilst I know a few people who say they will never go back to internal combustion engines, they are few and far between and several of them don’t own TV’s.It’s not that long ago that many companies still swore by their MSDOS accounting systems.

Market Growth in foreign markets has dropped as a focus for manufacturers. I guess this means that manufacturers feel they can make enough profit in developed markets in most cases by adding services like Ford Sync. Ford seems to have figured out how to reduce costs even more by going to Blackberry for their platform, who are holding on to their existence by the skin of their teeth, could be purchased by Ford if they go belly up and would then be cheaper still.

I’m not going to go through all of the line items here. I would love your comments though. When you buy your next car, will it be based on how it is powered, how many gadgets it has, connectivity to the Internet of Things, because it can drive and park itself, price, performance or would you not buy a car at all and go for mobility as a service?

I’ll make it simpler, what were the top 2 reasons you bought your last car?

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

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About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Autonomous cars, cars, connected cars, Driverless Cars, love of cars, new cars, Smart Cars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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