Navigating New Mobility Report Surveys, Ranks Participants

As the auto industry shifts from selling sheet metal to marketing mobility services, manufacturers are looking to avoid a “Kodak Moment.”

Doug Newcomb

December 23, 2019

3 Min Read
Wards Intelligence special report details tech-driven transportation market.

Individual car ownership has dominated personal transportation in the U.S. and many other parts of the world for more than 100 years. Consequently, not much has changed in terms of transporting people and freight since the start of the Automotive Age.

While vehicles and transportation infrastructure from freeways to traffic lights to have dramatically improved over the last century, the cars, trucks and buses of 2019 share the same basic propulsion technology and form factor as those in 1919. Automakers also have pursued the same business model: manufacturing, selling, financing and servicing vehicles via a network of dealers.

But we’ve witnessed one well-established industry after another – telecommunications, finance, media, real estate and retail, just to name a few – become transformed by technology, and now it’s transportation’s turn. Consider how ride-hailing, a transportation service that’s been around for less than a decade, has in short order decimated the taxi industry and created new billion-dollar companies.

People in cities and even suburban areas now have access to not only ride-hailing services but new forms of transportation such as car-, bike-, and scooter-sharing that, if not negates the need to own a vehicle, requires less use of them. This proliferation in alternative forms of personal transportation options is accompanied by societal factors such as a population shift to urban areas and a diminishing emotional attachment to automobiles by a younger generation that could further impact individual vehicle ownership.

Automotive OEMs and Tier 1s are acutely aware of the threat technology and cultural shifts represent to their long-term business. And that they need to guard against getting caught in a “Kodak Moment” – a reference to the 131-year-old company’s former tagline that subsequently became a symbol of what can occur when a business doesn’t plan for technological disruption.

This is why OEMs and Tier 1s are pouring billions into mobility technologies ranging from ride-hailing to self-driving cars. And why they’re also partnering with and investing in large and somewhat competitive technology companies such as Uber, Lyft and Waymo to combine competencies and spread financial risk.

In a new special report “Navigating New Mobility,” Wards Intelligence analyzes the strategies of OEMs, Tier 1s and technology companies participating in the rapidly evolving space.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Among the 13 automakers tracked for this report, three rise to the top as being best-positioned in the mobility sector today: U.S.-based Ford, Japan-based Toyota and the Europe-Japan Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

  • There’s a tight race for leadership among the 15 tech companies examined. Eight of those firms draw an A rating and seven others earn a B.

  • Partnerships between OEMs, technology companies and others in the space are paramount.

  • Automakers and other mobility stakeholders must engage with city and government officials at levels unseen in the past.

  • Individual vehicle ownership and new-car sales to consumers is expected to decline in the coming decades, corresponding with an increase in mobility options.

  • Mobility services and data will become important source of profit for OEMs and other stakeholders.

  • Fleets of electric autonomous vehicles will become common in urban areas, due to factors such as traffic congestion, emissions, efficiency and safety.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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