Since the advent of hailing apps it has definitely become easier to summon your ride. 

Taking inspiration from Software as a Service (Saas) so Mobility is increasingly called MaaS. Partly marketing hype perhaps, but it does also point to the potential that the connected car (and one day autonomous vehicles) holds for a change in the way people buy and use vehicles. 

How the market will end up looking is uncertain but the change could be profound. Finding your distinctive role in that 'eco-system' is essential if you are to preserve profits let alone seize the opportunity. Some basic questions need to be asked: 

  • Do you sell vehicles, or mobility or a mixture of both? 
  • If you sell mobility, what capability and network is required?
  • ... and how does it compare with yours today? 
  • How is your position in the value chain advantaged or disadvantaged?
  • ... what strategy should you pursue?
  • ... and with whom?

A lot of our clients are asking these questions and in particular what the role of the OEM will be and how distribution networks will evolve including direct selling/MaaS provision. 

We see huge scope for a range of downstream players and a window of opportunity also. The change is evolving at a time when the industry is having to augment and replace the internal combustion engine - a hugely capital intensive task. No wonder then, that Daimler and BMW have teamed up their mobility businesses. 

More such JVs will surely follow as others are forced to participate or lose out, but cannot bear the risk and cost alone along with other pressing priorities. These JVs will need to include many of the players with downstream technology, process and network who facilitate mobility today. HERE the once-Nokia owned mapping services company now owned by Audi, BMW and Daimler is a prime example, but is by no means unique.