Based on a global survey of 125 respondents including C-suite automotive executives and senior EY partners, the report reveals the top five C-suite priorities for the next 18 months. These are:
- Navigating volatility: Volatility is expected to continue, with emerging market demand and political instability topping the list of concerns. Sixty-three percent of respondents are facing problems due to demand slowdown in emerging markets and concerns about the Eurozone. Eighty percent feel their organizations are unprepared to respond to such situations effectively.
- Enhancing value proposition:There is consensus (71% of respondents) on the value of advanced vehicle features and functionality (connectivity, driver assistance and powertrain) to help drive loyalty, with 39% feeling well-prepared to meet the needs of the customers. There also is a greater recognition of the critical role of delivering seamless digital/in-store experiences and leveraging online resources to influence choice, to be critical to win and retain customers. Seventy-one percent of the respondents expect demand for digital experience to support their value proposition. However, only 13% of respondents feel well -prepared to leverage digital to improve the customer experience.
- Gaining competitive advantage: Market penetration and expansion, owning innovation and having an effective corporate strategy development process top the list of strategic initiatives for C-suites to drive competitive advantage. However, 73% feel their organizations are not sufficiently prepared to implement strategic initiatives to gain competitive advantage. The report adds that it is important for C-suite to bridge the gap by establishing a network of technology and business model partners within and outside the auto industry to improve agility of innovation processes, optimize digital strategies (customer analytics tools) and first movers will need to make the most of a shorter window to capitalize on differentiation, whether from market/segment expansion or innovative marketing strategies.
- Improving operational efficiency:Eighty-four percent of respondents cite a strong focus on data management and analytics initiatives as critical to drive operational efficiency and thereby enhance financial performance. However, only 12% portrayed confidence in their organization’s ability to execute.
- Securing access to resources: Sixty-three percent of respondents believe critical resources can offer a competitive advantage; they also see these as necessary for business continuity. Talent topped the list of critical resources, followed by capital/infrastructure and technology. However, securing these resources continues to be a challenge for most of the industry, with 83% still not well-prepared.