Carmakers Up For ‘Battle-of-the-Dashboard’, Study Suggests

More than half of automakers believe they can fight off the digital giants in the ‘battle of the dashboard’ yet nearly as many believe partnerships are their future.

A study by European management and technology consultancy BearingPoint suggests the big auto manufacturers have a robust view of their chances in securing top billing in future vehicle technologies.

The survey of automotive, telecoms, transport, banking and insurance executives found that 52% of automakers were happy to take a “walled garden” approach to the technology available to their consumers to keep the digital giants’ hands of their data. Meanwhile 46% of automotive companies still expect a more than 16% boost in revenues in the next two years from adding partner ecosystems.

That said, most automotive companies believe that they can go it alone with just 48% feeling that to be successful they need to develop and manage a clearly defined partner ecosystem. A possible reason for this is that 70% of automakers were worried that the complexity accompanying partner ecosystems may lead to consumer confusion over the brand.

Awareness of future demands made by technology was also evident in that 50% of automotive companies have clearly defined digital business strategies in place and are implementing them, while 49% remain in the planning phases.

Carmakers are also aware of future problems with 59% citing the biggest challenge face is having the right technology in place to manage monetization across the partner ecosystem. Some 57% also noted that, with IT landscapes built on traditional linear value chains rather than multi-sided business models, there was difficulty in identifying the right technology to manage a partner ecosystem, while 48% included the challenge of overcoming the spaghetti of a complex IT environment.

Matthias Loebich, global leader production industries at BearingPoint, commented: “Automakers understand the impact that emerging technologies trends like connected cars, autonomous drive and mobility-as-a-service will have on their businesses. Many also understand the need for partners who can marshal investment, IP assets and provide complementary digital skills and capabilities.

“But a slim majority are living in the past, clinging to a world in which a ‘walled garden’ protected innovation from competitors. Shedding this default mindset is the number one challenge for automotive companies who want to capitalize co-innovation and the digital ecosystem business model opportunity.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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