Photographed: Nico Kersten, CEO, Mercedes pay; Igor Murakami, Director New Services, Software and Open Innovation, Jaguar Land Rover; Frederic Ruesche, Managing Director, Renault Trucks Germany; Tony Whitehorn, Executive Advisor, Endava; Nadia Pabst, Chief of Staff, Antenna Group at Reuter’s Automotive Europe
Few industries are undergoing the dramatic transformation as the one we’re seeing today in the automotive sector. From the complete vehicle redesign as we go all-electric and fully autonomous, to a new emphasis on platform integration and a data-driven passenger experience, the future car focuses on one consumer-driven concept: car-as-a-service. Take General Motors’ self-driving vehicle design, Origin by Cruise, as a striking example of how quickly and dramatically vehicle designs are changing. And with it will come a host of issues around vehicle charging, monetization, data privacy, and cybersecurity.
Antenna Group spoke to these issues during Automotive Europe, Reuters’ European Flagship conference in Munich, Germany. On the first of Antenna Group’s two panels, we sat down with Bentley Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Vulcan Green Steel to speak to The State of Automotive in Europe and areas where today’s leading vehicle manufacturers are advancing more sustainable business practices. For our second panel, The Future of the OEM Business Model, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz Pay, Renault Trucks, and Endava outlined a vision for our vehicle-to-everything (V2X) future and why it’s happening sooner than most people think.
Photographed: Dr. Christian Weingaertner, Managing Director for Ford Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Ford Motor Company; Sally Hepton, Director of Government Relations and Sustainable Luxury, Bentley Motors; Harssha Shetty, CEO of Jindal Shadeed, CMO of Vulcan Green Steel; Nadia Pabst, Chief of Staff, Antenna Group at Reuter’s Automotive Europe
Here are some of my key takeaways from Antenna’s lively panels and our two days in one of the leading car-building capitals in the world:
The consumer experience is at the heart of the future OEM business model.
It was Mercedes-Benz Pay that perhaps said it best during this week’s event: the most emotional consumer experience has traditionally been at the point of sale. This is changing, however, with today’s leading OEMs determined to transform the vehicle design to enable a frictionless, 360-degree passenger experience. They’re investing in new technology platforms to enable an in-vehicle experience most analogous to your smartphone interface. Imagine accessing the best nearby hiking trails straight from your vehicle dashboard, effortlessly buying a last-minute anniversary gift through voice activated orders, or conveniently paying for gas using a fingerprint pay-point on your steering wheel. Name it, and there’s likely an app being developed, designed to be accessed directly during your ride to work.
All-electric by 2030 is all the talk – but is it possible?
As we dive in, I’ll put on my former Florida Power & Light hat for just a moment to say: yes, the all-electric future is coming and cross-sector collaboration will make it possible. Yet, a shocking point made during this week’s conference is that certain regions in Norway are incapable of building any new electric vehicle (EV) charging points. This, coming from the world’s leader in EV adoption, where EVs account for 20% of passenger vehicles in-country, and more than 80% of new vehicles sold. Yet, any additional electric plug-ins are rumored to topple the local power grid.
The growing spotlight on vehicle charging — both here and globally — raises questions on whether electric grids are able to withstand the accelerated transition to battery-powered cars, buses and other forms of transportation. The reality is, however, that grid regulators and utilities are already preparing for needed adjustments for widespread EV adoption. With innovative cross-sector collaboration at the heart of the energy transition, there’s no reason why transportation electrification cannot be achieved.
Automotive OEMs are looking to more sustainable supply chains.
On average, 54% of a vehicle is steel. This means a single car accounts for a staggering 5.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions the moment that it comes off of the manufacturing line. Companies, like Vulcan Green Steel, are partnering with the world’s leading automotive OEMs, however, to build demand for a greener supply chain (i.e., green steel). They’re helping raise awareness around these legacy sustainability challenges and working across the sector to help drive down costs. Perhaps more importantly, manufacturers, like Vulcan, are helping lead conversations around the responsible sourcing of raw materials as we build out our all-electric, fully autonomous future.
Antenna Group is the nation’s leading PR, marketing and digital agency for leaders in the energy transition. We’re seeing a measurable change in public sentiment and public/private action to reach net-zero, moving us away from an age of ideation and innovation in climate technologies to one of widescale deployment. We call this new era in climate work the Age of Adoption, and we’re proud to be working with the world’s leading businesses and organizations to get there.
Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how to tell your organization’s story in the Age of Adoption.