Connected car technology tops the list of priorities among senior automotive executives this year according to the 17th Global Automotive Executive Survey by KPMG International.
The survey interviewed 800 senior executives from the world’s leading automotive companies including vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and dealers.
Dieter Becker, KPMG’s global head of automotive, said: “Connectivity is rising at an unimaginably fast pace and fundamentally changes the way we live our lives – nothing will be the same as it was before.
“The automotive industry is experiencing big pressure from all sides and is facing an unthinkable disruption ahead.”
Connected car data
Connected vehicles generate ‘static data’ – VM repair and maintenance information – and dynamic data, generated by the vehicle itself.
Moritz Pawelke global executive for Automotive KPMG International said: “The car generates data directly through movement and interaction with other vehicles or the infrastructure, such as location, road conditions and crash information.
“Meanwhile, the consumers are also generating data, including information from their everyday life, from personal gadgets and apps that are in the vehicle with them.”
Even today, vehicle manufacturers have access to a wealth of data generated in or by the vehicle.
Around 70 per cent of the executives surveyed said that data use is still in its early stage and that its application and even realisation is yet to be defined.
Independent aftermarket threat
At the IAAF annual conference in December, Neil Pattemore of FIGIEFA highlighted the importance of data privacy and the urgent need for legislative framework to protect the consumer and aftermarket.
He said: “We need unmonitored access to the vehicle because today plugging in a 16-pin computer, there’s no big brother over the shoulder of an independent workshop with a Ford or Opel hat on, looking at what we’re doing.
“What’s coming with the connected vehicle, is the possibility to monitor us and they are now actively doing that.
“The claim is that it’s because they need liability tractability so that they know who’s done what to the vehicle – we’re fighting that.”
To maintain fair choice for the consumer, he said that it’s essential the aftermarket is able to extract data from a standardised device – similar to the 16-pin computer.
Motor industry trends 2016
Alternative powertrain technologies are high on the list of trends this year according to the results of the Global Automotive Executive Survey.
Hybrid electric vehicles are at number two in the list of priorities, battery electric vehicles at three and fuel cell electric mobility at number five.
The report suggests that the aftermath of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal and recently exposed unreliable emission test results has seen the formerly high-ranked trend of downsizing internal combustion engines from number two in 2015 to number ten in 2016.
BMW and Toyota are expected to lead in the field of e-mobility and autonomous driving with Honda, Ford and Tesla following in their wake.
Stephanie Goring, EMA executive for automotive at KPMG, said that downsizing combustion engines to three or fewer cylinders is “the only choice OEMs have to achieve set CO2 emissions in the short term.”
She added: “In the long run, OEMs will prefer to offer CO2 neutral technical solutions and accelerating the path to hybrids, BEVs and fuel cell driven vehicles.”
Exponentia’s Steve Carter said that technological developments in alternative powertrains such as hybrid and electric are already filtering down into the independent aftermarket.
He explained: “It’s going to happen whether you like it or not and as an industry we have to acknowledge the fact that it’s going to happen much sooner than we ever thought.
IMI figures suggest that just 1,000 garages are currently certified to carry out work on hybrid vehicles, despite sales of these vehicles going up by 80 per cent in one year.
For Steve Carter, this is an opportunity that independents can’t afford to miss.
What do you think the next year will bring in the era after the ‘dieselgate’ scandal? Do you think tougher emission regulations and testing accelerate VM developments into alternatively fuelled vehicles? Now that connected cars appear to be at the top of the agenda, what are your concerns for the future of the aftermarket?