A message from Dieter Becker

Dear Readers

As the mobility ecosystem matures, we often wonder what developments can be expected and which route to take. Over decades, this question could be answered easily in a global context, because our offer was driven by the market. Steered mostly by technology developments for customers and markets, we determined which developments would be introduced to which markets. Previously, there were not many alternative forms of personalized transportation – to my mind, one thing is certain when envisioning the future: there will be no global answer and we shall differentiate between product-, customer- and ecosystem value on the roadmap as we explore the route towards treasure island.

Is our industry still in the driver’s seat?

We are moving from a supply-driven global world into an insular world that is demand- and influencer-driven. The world is evolving into a network of islands, where application areas are the new segments and drivers are ecosystems in which our product offerings must fit in seamlessly. Depending on overall raw material policies, regulators determine individual energy agendas, which consequently satisfy economic, environmental and political interests.

Which road are our customers on?

The more customers who are integrated in ecosystems, the more expectations are set as to whether our products offer a seamlessly integrated customer experience, which customers have already experienced in other applications like mobile or tech environments. To give an example: the future of electric cars becomes more a question of whether our products are seamlessly integrated into energy networks or whether customer applications are not limited by the network and ecosystem in which we operate.

What does it mean?

We are increasingly developing from globally valid vehicle segments into islands of applications, which requires a flexible approach that our industry is not yet able to deliver.
The task will be to identify new patterns, like islands, integrated in similar structures and patterns around the world. These patterns must factor in similar mobility behaviors and grid structures, as well as similar applications in cities, suburban and urban areas. It will therefore be most important to detect each of these applications at individual customer touchpoints and provide the desired customer experience, which customers already know from other applications such as shopping, mobile, platform use or grids. Vehicle segments are outdated and the new insular world is one driven by ease of use, no hassle and seamless ecosystem interfaces.

For 20 years now, looking far beyond the obvious has always been at the core of our annual Global Automotive Executive Survey. Throughout this time, we have always aspired to leave our readers a little puzzled by or even questioning the thought-provoking ideas that we have published. Looking back on the statements we’ve made in recent years, I am very proud to say that all of these provocative ideas have transformed into what can be considered common knowledge today:

  • 2011

    “Within the next decade the Internet will revolutionize private transport. Web providers and car manufacturers will be vying for supremacy.”

  • 2012

    “New non-asset based players will increase in significance in the automotive value chain until 2025.”

  • 2013

    “Get ready for the post powertrain ecosystem. Acceleration is not all that matters in self-driving cars.”

  • 2014

    “The automotive industry will have to adapt to and shape the converging world of personalized mobility and the Internet of everything.”

  • 2015

    “OEMs need to think about how to reshape their business model from a genuinely product-driven approach to a more service- & customer-oriented model.”

  • 2016

    “Mobile connectivity, the value of customer data and self-driving cars are the next big thing.”

  • 2017

     “Say goodbye to a complete auto-digital fusion – say hello to the ‘next’ dimension of co-integration.”

  • 2018

    “The auto business is part of an open, dynamic & self-organizing ecosystem consisting of physical assets, services and content. Finding the right balance between where to compete, cooperate or consolidate with industry peers and to wisely co-integrate content from non-asset based digital challengers is key.”

  • For 2019 I would like to provoke your thoughts with the following:

“Seamless Vehicle2Grid transition is a treasure of islands waiting to be explored like a treasure island.”

I am therefore – as always – very delighted to invite you to join us in exploring this future ecosystem and what’s next; because nothing drives progress faster than embracing new ideas together.
Enjoy the read and stay tuned!

Dieter Becker
Global and EMA Head Automotive Practice
KPMG International