COVID-19 Pandemic and German Automotive Enterprises
The German automotive industry — which, as we all know, is still one of the world’s leading industries — is under pressure.
The restructuring of the automotive industry is already underway. Global market developments in electromobility (think: electric and hybrid cars, bikes, busses, and so on) are causing serious upheavals.
Let’s be honest — a lot is happening in the global market environment worth thinking about.
Electromobility is opening new doors! Many countries and regions are trying to be involved in new market opportunities, pushing for low-cost production of vehicles and batteries.
Those who can also try to secure a share of the crucial resources needed for battery production, such as lithium.
New players are entering the automotive market, such as Bolivia, an emerging country with one of the world’s highest natural lithium deposits.
Alarming developments, such as the cancellation of the joint venture for lithium extraction with Germany by the Bolivian government in late 2019, leave many questions unanswered.
The perfect opportunity to up-level digital transformation.
This upheaval is, I believe, the perfect opportunity for a digital transformation of the automotive industry. In this article, I would like to provide some food for thought about bringing auto sales up to speed with the times.
The digital transformation poses additional challenges to the large established and global organizational structures (think Volkswagen or Mercedes-Benz).
Of course, digital channels are already the basis for important analytics, data-driven sales, and product development strategies.
The industry is rich with experts who use digital means to gather, analyze, and actualize valuable information about competitors, customers, prospects, and business partners.
But, there’s still a wildly crucial aspect of the industry that remains offline.
How to stay successful and competitive in the global market.
If companies want to stay successful and competitive in the global market in the long-term, they absolutely must adapt and implement new online technologies for customer communication, customer service, and sales.
It’s not going to be easy. A trip to the stationary car dealership next door represents a traditional customer experience. When making a large financial investment, people want to know the vehicle’s model, see it, touch it, and test it.
They also want to personally meet representatives of the company as a business partner with whom they are concluding the purchase agreement. So, over-the-counter sales are still the most important channel for automotive companies.
How then does the automotive sector leap into the digital world? How can a car purchase be digitally designed as an experience to encourage customers to make their purchases online? Which business processes are affected, and how can they be implemented holistically and coherently?