Car manufacturers: survival of the fewest?

Local Councils have been advocating the benefits of car sharing for many years now. In most large towns and cities you will see a 2+ lane for such users in peak rush hour, and some businesses offer various employee incentives to encourage this practice. However, whilst this may be an easier proposition to those living in a city, the reality of school runs and rural living makes it a less compelling proposition.


Cars are not likely to disappear anytime soon - there are over a billion of them on the roads; but the way in which they are used is definitely changing. With increased urban living, insurance and fuel costs, as well as  the cost of maintaining a shiny new car, a great many people are looking for new ways to take advantage of the convenience of a car without the ongoing commitment. Firms like Zipcar are becoming increasingly popular.

So where does this leave car manufacturers? The industry is already changing, (e.g. requirements for planet friendly vehicles) so what can be done to ensure we are moving with consumer trends?  Volkswagen has created Moia, a mobility services company; the German car manufacturers aim to remove 1m cars from Europe and the US by 2025.

Meanwhile BMW and Daimler have created a JV - they will partner in five different areas to flesh out new concepts for future mobility.

It would therefore seem that the secret to the car manufacturers’ growth and success will lie in their ability to be agile and to follow the trends in each nation. The appetite for petrol and diesel cars continues to grow in countries such as China, and the introduction of electric vehicles in the UK and Europe is forecasted to have significant growth. However, it would seem the servitisation of vehicles will also play its part.

Karen Wightman is a Senior Consultant of Manufacturing & Engineering at Interim Partners.

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