Auto connectivity and digitalization now #1 key trend through to 2025


Auto industry executives agree: connectivity and digitalization is the number one most important trend that will hold through to 2025. According to the 17th annual KPMG International Global Automotive Executive Survey (GAES) released today, this is a significant jump from its ranking 10th last year.

This year, 800 auto executives from 38 countries gave their insights to KPMG on topics such as business model disruptions, connectivity and digitalization, customer data, new products and who will be the winners or losers in this industry undergoing massive change. To give further insights and ‘reality checks’ to the industry, KPMG also surveyed over 2100 customers from around the world. 

According to KPMG’s GAES major business model disruption is extremely likely for around 10 times more of the auto executives surveyed this year compared to last year—82% of the auto executives surveyed estimate a major business model disruption in the next five years to be extremely likely or somewhat likely.

Dieter Becker, KPMG’s Global Head of Automotive, comments: “Nothing will stay as it is in the automotive industry. Ever-changing service and data-driven business models should be paving the way towards owning, securing and keeping the key stakeholder–the customer. In order to meet their current needs, becoming a customer-oriented service provider is of utmost importance. One way traditional car makers can add value and offer customized client experiences is by leveraging the massive amounts of data that both the car and its driver(s) produce.” 

Data for cash?

However, according to the KPMG GAES report, the majority of auto executives say the use of data and the application of informational engineering is still at the very beginning stages. Around 70% of the auto executives state that data use is in an early stage some even state that there is no usage at all. 

32% of the auto executives surveyed believe that auto buyers trust OEMs (car makers) the most as the ‘owner’ of the data generated from their vehicle. However, 54% of the over 2100 customers surveyed say that they trust only themselves with the data generated in their car. 

According to Becker: “Indeed, customers are aware of the value of their data and KPMG’s GAES results show that for these stakeholders, cash is king. When given the option to rank several response choices, 82%of the customer respondents across all age groups say that monetary benefits for their data is the number one/most attractive benefit desired; followed closely by ‘customer incentive schemes’ (75%), and  individualized service and customer experience over the whole customer lifecycle (71%).”

Auto executives place high importance across all benefits they would offer to customers for their data; which suggests they are unsure of where to place their bets. Different from customers, auto executives place monetary benefits (82%) behind equal figures for individualized service and customer experience over the whole customer lifecycle and ‘customer incentive schemes’ (88% for both). 

The survey results also show that receiving nothing in exchange for data is not attractive to customers (30% – 4th place), yet still 43% of the executives surveyed believe doing nothing is acceptable.