How will automakers respond to megatrends?
(Bloomberg View) — After 30 years of intense convergence in the auto industry — a period that has seen most mass-market products and brands evolve toward near-interchangeability — shifting dynamics appear to be pushing cars into an unpredictable new future.
This shift has not been triggered by the abrupt, secular shocks that many predicted (think oil prices and new technologies) but by the steady maturation of the auto industry and the markets it serves. Even as potentially disruptive technologies and business models have emerged, the industry remains wholly resistant to the kind of revolutions preached by Silicon Valley and its Wall Street allies.
This tension between evolutionary reality and revolutionary vision is on full display in Goldman Sachs’ recent report on the seven megatrends it sees dominating the future of the car. About half these trends reflect the industry’s deep conservatism; the other half represent far more uncertain forces that hold the potential to radically transform it.