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Car making in the digital age: which way forward?

Automobile manufacturers have realized how smartphones have changed car interiors and drivers’ habits, but they are struggling to readjust their strategies.
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Car making in the digital age: which way forward?
Car making in the digital age: which way forward? © Renault

Digital services are not automobile manufacturers’ main line of business. They clearly are not used to the way the pure players work.” The remark comes from a specialist in Big Data and sums up the challenges facing management in the automotive sector. “Continuity of customer experience is a new factor that needs to be taken into account, says Jean-Pierre Dumoulin, chief technical officer at PSA. Products and services in tomorrow’s world will operate hand in hand, but services are what will make the difference.” But automobile manufacturers are struggling to provide relevant offers, creating added value from the vehicle data they collect. Everyone is trying to implement good practices. Ford, Renault and leading automotive component manufacturers (Valeo and Bosch) have opened offices in Silicon Valley. Audi and BMW are working in close collaboration with them to speed up their own transformation. Various consortiums, such as MirrorLink, bring together automobile manufacturers and mainstream electronics companies to ensure that smartphones continue to be used in cars. Above all, automobile manufacturers are referring more than ever to the automotive innovation strategy: to use technology and practices that have proved successful with their competitors. At the same time, they hope that they have not missed the boat in this revolution, which is the first in this sector for a hundred years.