These are exciting times for the automotive industry. Mobility and car concepts are changing fast and workshop managers and automotive service professionals are obliged to keep up with engine trends. These trends in the automotive industry are going to affect, for better or worse, workshop management and profitability.

We say for better or worse because the impact does not necessarily have to be negative: in the hands of the sector, and its professionals, is transforming what seem to be threats into opportunities.

There are many examples. It is enough to look at the history of the engine to see that we are in a sector that has disruption in its DNA, in a constant race to improve different aspects such as speed, road safety, ergonomics, consumption …

The automotive sector is on the move

The automotive industry is used to looking for new materials to reduce environmental impact or optimise costs, for example. It’s used to looking for maximum ergonomics and comfort. Would Henry Ford have thought of a space for a coaster or a piece of equipment to listen to music in the car?

He would probably have done so if he had detected the need among motorists. Or, for example, did you know that in its early years Peugeot was dedicated to making coffee grinders and that it took many years to start in the automotive sector?

The car of the future, at least in the long term, seems to be powered by electricity, an energy a priori less polluting because it reduces the problems of noise pollution and emissions of harmful gases. In fact, it is estimated that by 2030 approximately 55% of cars sold will be fully electric.

It will also be an autonomous and probably electric car, which will allow motorists to perform other tasks while travelling in their vehicles. Artificial intelligence, in this sense, will probably play a crucial role in all of this.

The arrival of new materials in the vehicle is also a reality. Manufacturers are investing more and more in the search for materials that are more flexible, resistant, durable… but also environmentally friendly.

Connectivity will only gain weight in the car. A necessary connectivity for work or leisure inside the passenger compartment (i.e. the connectivity of different devices inside the car), but also for many functions of the car itself or for the important relationship with other vehicles and even with the infrastructure.

Likewise, the concept of vehicle ownership seems to be diluted in favour of a more flexible and economical subscription model: the motorist only pays to use the car for as long as he needs it.

What will the mobility of the future look like? More sustainable, flexible… and individual mobility

Cars on demand: that’s the key. Being able to have a car only when you need it and pay only for use, without having to worry about other issues such as car insurance, maintenance, parking … The trend goes beyond the car sharing model, already present in large cities.

By means of certain services, motorists will be able to get a vehicle wherever and whenever they want, without necessarily having to share it with other users. In fact, some reports indicate that by 2030, one out of every three kilometres on the road will be developed as part of some form of shared use.

The car as a service, from all points of view

It is one of the trends in the automotive sector that is already emerging with more force: payment on demand or by service. Digitization is making it possible to offer new services that, for example, in after-sales, go beyond the sale of a spare part or a maintenance operation.

This disruption affects all areas of the engine. From taking out insurance policies on demand, by the day or even by the hour, to many workshop service points. In fact, service revenues are expected to increase in the coming years, so there are many companies in the sector that are transforming and adopting digital models to ensure their survival in a future that may be promising.

Data collection and analysis, management or storage will change profoundly. This should not frighten us: remember the case of Peugeot and its coffee grinders…

The car as a software compendium

An intelligent and connected car is actually a kind of great computer and, as such, it will have to be updated relatively frequently, in one way or another. Thanks to the update, motorists will be able to benefit from technological advances. In fact, there is also speculation that the life of cars will be shortened and that they will be replaced in less and less time, but perhaps it is still too early to be able to predict this with rigour.

However, vehicle manufacturers and related industries will be forced to change or explore other business models in order to fit in and make that new scenario profitable.

All businesses linked to the motor world, including dealerships and their after-sales areas, and workshops, will have to boost their digitalisation so as not to be sidelined in the face of competition and motorists, consumers with the clearest and most demanding ideas on mobility.