Disruptive evolution for the mobility industry



July 2020

As part of the recent Special Activities for Students collaboration between the FISITA Education Committee and Society Committee, we are sharing an insightful and forward thinking piece from José Manuel Barrios, FISITA DVP Society Committee & Sociedad de Técnicos de Automoción (STA) VP. José shares his thoughts on the current mobility industry and how the landscape could change...

"With more than 100 years of history, the automobile has always lived through times of change. It is a robust industry, but at the same time agile and dynamic. Today, however, there is talk of a turning point, a moment that experts in the field have called a disruptive evolution. Why is now the moment of truth for this disruption?

A VUCA society (Volatility Uncertainty Complexity Ambiguity)

We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous society (VUCA). It is an unstable environment. It is difficult to remember times with so many socio-economic changes in so many territories at once. Many times, we do not understand spontaneous social reactions, nor consequences derived from these inertias of the population. This environment of permanent change and of difficult rational understanding of cause/effect may seem like a scenario of risk and instability. However, in the opinion of the today’s sociologists, it is the ideal scenario for change, for disruption, for the introduction into the market of disruptive innovations... in short, for the change of the rules of the game.

Traditional industry vs new players

In recent times there have been numerous announcements by companies out of the automotive sector or mobility sector that could be interpreted as an intrusion into the sector. These new players seek to change the rules of the game. Thus, traditional manufacturers accustomed to competing with each other must now prepare for a new dimension in which business models can change.

A generation Y, Z, Touch,..

Although generation Y is the one that has had to adapt to the digitalisation of society and thus define or redefine its modus vivendi, generation Z is the one that has already been born connected... connectivity has been part of its life since the beginning. These new generations will be the basis of the new market. It is a generation not interested in products, but in service. They are demanding with the service and not very loyal to the brand. They are an active part of social networks and pursue very different values in compared comparison with other older groups of somewhat older age.

If we combine these three factors: a society in permanent change, new agents with the intention of defining new rules of the game, and a market/generation with different values and interests accustomed to permanent digitalisation and instantaneous connectivity... we can visualise a scenario in which the automation of driving, mobility as a service, the sustainability of the product and its use, and the need for a product of higher quality, greater performance and a quicker expiry date are seen as a reality.

So, it is necessary to prepare the entities of the Automotive Sector for major new technological challenges. Climate change, energy efficiency, environmental quality, safety and mobility demand a faster pace of innovation than ever before. The loss of human resources (talent) would is a major burden in meeting these challenges. It is very important to guarantee the preservation of know-how in key activities. The loss of human resources always means the weakening of the automotive sector in key activities for the future.

The students are the future and it is necessary to take care about their curiosities, interests, needs and expectations".