Focusing solely on the further development of the internal combustion engine could mean the main global automakers fall behind their more innovative rivals
As the mobility eco-system becomes more complex, the main players must choose between several different, and in some cases conflicting technologies, raising the stakes for critical investment decisions. By betting too much and too soon on future trends, automakers could lose existing, loyal customers. But if they fail to gain a foothold in new mobility solutions, they risk falling behind competitors.
Although downsizing the internal combustion engine remains the number one investment priority, such a route leaves automakers vulnerable to increasingly strict environmental regulations in both established and high-growth markets. Recent marketing initiatives, supported by wide media coverage, suggest the age of innovative technologies, like fuel cell vehicles and self-driving cars (a last evolutionary step of vehicle connectivity) is rapidly approaching. Despite such signals, most executives in our survey do not anticipate such developments becoming significant in the next 20 years.