Mobility and the Future of Automotive Industry

The car industry as we know it will gradually disappear, agreed participants of the panel termed Mobility and the Future of Automotive Industry at the Business Bled Strategic Forum on Tuesday. The industry will become increasingly adjusted to individuals and their lifestyle.

We are moving from the economy of ownership towards the economy of sharing. »This is logical because an average car today is less that 10% used,« said Mr Matej Čer, entrepreneur from Slovenia. With digitalisation comes a revolution that will change the way that transport is being used, ordered, paid for and shared.

Dr Annalisa Primi, Head of Structural Policies and Innovation Unit at the OECD, warned though that even in the economy of sharing someone was still the owner and this role would be important. Company Uber for example is already planning autonomous car that will be owned by the company.

The alternative will be a platform through which individuals, who are still the car’s owners, decide on its sharing.

The car industry will need to change its mindset. Rather than cars, it will be offering mobility. Cars are increasingly disappearing from cities. The price of cars is increasing and the price of sharing is decreasing, said Mr Matej Zakonjšek, Head of Cabinet of European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc.

Participants agreed that there can be no uniform mobility solutions, as the needs of those living in the countryside, which is still most of the population, are different from those in big cities.

Dr Uroš Rosa, CEO of Akrapovič d.d., Slovenia, therefore expects more diversification in the future, based on the actual needs and lifestyle of individuals.

While agreeing that car sharing services will be popular among the young in 2050, he doubts that car ownership will disappear completely. »Many people will still want to have a car as a way of life.«

Mr Zakonjšek said that in the future, an average car will have less emissions, and will be interconnected, largely automatised and shared.

Dr Primi begged to differ, saying there would be no average cars but many different vehicles of different design and fuel.

Mr Felix Ang, President of the Auto Nation Group, Inc., Philippines, believes that in the future, roads usage will be a payable service. Mr Čer, meanwhile, believes the car industry as we know today will not exist in 20 years.