Is the auto industry innovativing or optimizing?

This morning, Mashable published an article about Carlos Ghosn’s recent presentation at the LeWeb conference in Paris.  During his talk, Ghosn explained that “cars have stopped being perceived as symbols of modernity.”  Mashable takes this further…

“The reason for this, he says, is due to the auto industry’s choice to focus on optimization over innovation. Optimization is all about reducing risk, while innovation is about increasing it in order to achieve the breakthrough that will push a business to the next level.”

What happened?  Has an industry that was founded on innovation gotten to comfortable and arrogant that innovation no longer needed to happen?  Instead of fighting the government on gas mileage, why not embrace the challenge and offer consumers a product that provides value?  The electric car, whether the Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf, is an innovative technology.  They are solving for a real consumer need as gas prices begin to rise.

Last week, I shared a couple of videos that demonstrated how 2 other established industries could redefine themselves…newspapers and books.  How great would it be if these prototypes actually became a reality!  The technology is available TODAY!

Other countries are adopting technology at a faster rate than the United States.  Look at this infographic on cell phones and usage.  Specifically, look at the average number cell phones per person.  Notice that the U.S. isn’t even in the top 10!  Mobile is driving a  lot of the new technologies today.  My point in all of this is that if auto manufacturers took the time to innovate instead of trying to maintain a business model that is long since outdated maybe there would not be bankruptcy or the need to put everything on sale.  You could possibly develop a customer base that is as passionate as Apple!

One final thing to leave you with…I saw the following status on Facebook this morning:

Reading the auto industry media take on telematics and infotainment, all I can say is, if you think this is all about being able to say “play genre rock” to your dashboard…you don’t get it.

Technology affords so much more than that.  Wouldn’t it be great if your vehicle could be interconnected with every device you own?  Providing value instead of gimmicks?

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One thought on “Is the auto industry innovativing or optimizing?

  1. Pingback: Is the auto industry innovativing or optimizing? « Salt and Light | Michigan Not Mexico

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