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Top 20 Post-Covid Automotive Trends (Part II)

  • Gen Z As Car Buyers: A big one for car companies will be the coming of age of Gen Z customers. This trend will be noticeable in countries like China, India and Saudi Arabia which have young populations as well as the U.S. where car ownership happens at a much younger age. Automakers will perforce create differentiated Gen Z focused strategies, while special models underpinned by connectivity technologies —I think the Chinese will steal the thunder here, again—will be designed to appeal to Gen Z customer preferences.

    Heterogeneous Society As Customer: Post Covid, social polarization along age, gender, income, and even political lines is set to intensify. This creates a serious challenge for car companies that have hitherto excelled at segmenting and sub-segmenting both cars and customers. The real challenge now will be not to build more models but to drive greater personalization. The good news is that new digital IoT solutions can enable just that. As a result, car companies are working on what we call “customer transformation”, in essence, creating personalized and customized digital solutions across the customers’ lifecycle management of the vehicle.

    Future Of Work: In the workplace, we will see a transition from working in office to working from your castle, i.e., home. Accordingly, commuting miles will decrease and the role of the car, which used to be primarily for work commutes, will shift to being used for the weekends, evening trips and shorter drives. Such trends will again challenge car companies who depend heavily on high mileage driven by the workplace commute. Another consequence of lower commuting miles will be felt in lower aftermarket sales.

    Luxury To Manifest In “Digital” Vehicle Functions: We expect luxury vehicle sales to decline by 30-35% over the short-term before gradually picking up over the medium- to long-term. At this point, luxury will reinvent itself, manifesting as “digital” experiences.


    Cars As Points Of Health: Built in, bought in and beamed-in features are converting the car into centers of health, wellness and wellbeing (HWW). New HWW features like ionizers and ozonizers that purify in-vehicle air as well as self-cleaning car surfaces will become standard offerings in cars.

    Cars As An Element Of Connected Living Solutions: Cars will become an integral part of connected living solutions. Voice recognition and personal assistants, combined with the launch of 5G in the near future, will connect the vehicle-to-home, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-everything. I, for one, am looking forward to driving back on a cold winter’s night, while being able to set the temperature at home to a balmy 27C.

    Car As A Marketplace: in the future, everything related to on route mobility services will be available through a car. Enabling technologies will convert cars into marketplaces, allowing consumers to do literally everything—refueling, purchasing services, paying for tolls, getting Features on Demand (FoD), and much more—from the comfort and convenience of their car.

    Connected Car IoT Platforms: Much like mobile phones, we will see operating systems becoming standard for cars. This will be a key way of achieving differentiation in the future. I expect over 100 connected car features to be available to consumers across emerging and developed markets by 2025, from current figures of less than 40 in most high-end vehicles.

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