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A Decade Of New Possibilities
Feb 04, 2020

A Decade Of New Possibilities

At the outset may I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

The decade that went by was one of the most chaotic for the automotive industry in India, and even across the world. Transition to new technologies and new mobility, the impact of slow down in the national economic growth, with issues like liquidity crunch and fall in demand, were among the major factors that battered Indian industry. The impact on individual companies across the world depended on their robustness and ability to understand emerging requirements; to compress the ‘time to market’ as also reduce cost.

The decade ahead will witness high levels of obsolescence and disruptions at shorter intervals because of Digitalisation facilitated by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Human Machine Interface and Machine Learning. The trend of suppliers to different industries producing new cars, which began in the second half of the last decade, would gather speed in the coming years. Sony, the entertainment electronics major, stunned the automotive world by presenting an electric car at the recently-concluded CES 2020 in Las Vegas, USA. Nobody expected such a move from Sony though there were rumours that Samsung and Apple were working on vehicle-related projects.

Even traditional car manufacturers and suppliers did not lag behind in developing AI-linked technologies. At CES 2020 Audi had exciting exhibits ranging from futuristic vehicles to technologies ready for series production as well as technology that defined the brand’s digital experience of the future. Global suppliers like Continental and ZF are also coming up with production-ready know-how for tomorrow.

With AI taking over vehicles from humans it is easier for technology companies today to build a car by just sourcing the major modules from traditional suppliers. Core technologies that revolve around Internal Combustion engines and transmission are becoming irrelevant. Markets with strong research and development facilities, multiplicity of startups and innovative automotive suppliers will have an edge over others.

In this, China is way ahead as it had realized the emerging trends earlier and equipped itself with the relevant technologies and products for the new mobility segment. Though the Chinese presence in the traditional vehicle manufacturing sector is not very impressive compared to other countries in the top 3 ranks, it has leapfrogged forward to become a powerhouse in all areas of electric vehicles. Perhaps this is the reason for the country to invest heavily in new mobility, and not necessarily because the Chinese are passionate about preserving the environment. China’s domination in the Auto Expo in India is an indication of its strategic plans for India. China is rushing in to where many Indian OEMs fear to tread. The expo will be a strong platform for the Chinese companies to showcase their EV prowess.

 

Happy Reading.

T Murrali

Editor - MotoringTrends

Twitter: @tmurrali

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