Almost all industries are currently undergoing dramatic change, as multiple, overarching trends disrupt the way people and organizations think, act, and communicate. The first issue of this Oliver Wyman series, “The Digital Automaker,” outlined five megatrend clusters that are reshaping global business and the world economy: 1) demographic asymmetries, 2) economic globalization, 3) resource constraints, 4) innovation shifts, and 5) new consumption patterns. These trends are being intensified by digitization and technological change, which means that many processes can be carried out faster, cheaper, and with fewer resources.
Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are heavily affected by these digitization-driven advances, as scarce resources that once helped vehicle manufacturers to differentiate their products have become abundant. As a consequence, the companies that will win in the marketplace are those that can create competitive advantages based on means that are still limited and therefore valued. These will be focused on customer interaction – the trust, service levels, and emotions that customers experience. So now, more than ever, automakers must put the customer first. Rethinking organizational action from a customer-centric point of view is pivotal for an automaker’s long-term success.