The Washington Post recently published their view on the most important automotive trends we can expect to see in 2017. It was interesting to see ideas like the revival of old model names as an important trend as this is an idea that appears to come around every decade, but some important trends were discussed – such as:
- IoT and Big Data; cars are now collecting enormous amounts of data that can be shared on the Internet of Things (IoT) helping vehicles diagnose problems and communicate with manufacturers without the owner even needing to take part in a customer service call. This data is also likely to start changing the insurance industry as cars are becoming aware of how, when, and where they are driven – all data that can make policies more accurate.
- Ridesharing and millennials; some analysts suggest that younger urban consumers are spurning car ownership and just using services like Uber and Lyft to get around. Others are suggesting that there is a new generation of car owners out there, but they value different attitudes – such as much better fuel economy. Which way will younger customers turn in future?
- Autonomous vehicles; will the auto brands or tech brands win this race? With so much being pumped into research one thing is clear, autonomous vehicles are really on their way and are already being tested on real highways. The only question is when they move from experimental to mainstream.
- Electric vehicles; we are moving into an era where all the major brands are launching electric vehicles that are becoming affordable and have a range that makes them useful for everything except the longest of journeys. This could change city driving.
- Direct retail; Tesla has shown that retail stores can be used to sell cars without dealers needing to carry a large amount of inventory. A single display model can work if the customer experience is smart enough to use technologies that allow the customer to feel as if they are experiencing the vehicle. Will more brands start exploring more direct retail sales in addition to online customization and sales?
Change is all around for the auto industry at present, but there is a thread connecting many of these changes and that is the customer experience. Customers are becoming more demanding when buying a vehicle and they want an ongoing relationship with brands that is not just limited to when a service is due at the dealer.
What do you think about some of these trends and the need for CX to be a key part of the organizational strategy for auto brands today? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.