point of view Post-crisis: digital innovation in the automotive industry

Digital trends in the automotive industry are shifting

Public measures against COVID-19 have a serious effect on the automotive sector. The crisis reveals dents in current business models and gives rise to a feeling of instability in the industry. Contrary to widespread belief, our research hints at a comeback of individual mobility in “the new normal”. We are going to see the next iteration of individual shared and multi-modal forms of mobility, too. Establishing smart digital sales becomes crucial as consumers are turning online for information – and here they expect outstanding digital experiences. In our new report we present how contactless e-commerce experiences in automotive can be designed.


Run through our main findings and access the full report below 

Spotlighting digital transformation in the automotive industry

Many opportunities remain untapped, especially in relation to personalised services and customer interaction in dealerless digital commerce. There is much to gain in the digital representation of iconic vehicle brands and experimenting with access/ownership models. As a player in the automotive industry, following areas should be considered and addressed during and after the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Digital sales funnel

Induced by changes in habit that come with COVID-19 responses, customers are more willing than ever to try new channels. Are sales and marketing teams really ready for online vehicle sales? How can automotive players profit from digital sales channels? Market leaders such as Tesla pave the way to reform the traditional customer journey with digital means.

2. Millennial clientele

Millennials (*1981 - 1998) are projected to make up around 40% of potential customers for new vehicle trade in 2020. Which offerings are compelling to this customer group? What are millennials' expectations and what is their willingness to pay? If OEMs seek to convince the millennial customer group to decide for their brand(s) in “the new normal” they have to invest in meeting their expectations with regard to digital experiences.

3. New ownership models in “the new normal”

During economically uncertain periods prospective buyers tend to suspend purchasing plans. In tune, new leasing and renting models gain momentum. New subscription-based offers might make the cut. What are the viable models in between personal car ownership and mobility-as-a-service? OEMs have to expand on ownership models in order to meet mobility demand at the correct price point of diverse customer groups.

4. Responsive measures

In uncertain times responsive culture and iterative approaches shine. When future developments are unclear a responsive culture enables companies to redirect time and effort while keeping routines and tools. The digital transformation of the automotive industry needs a smarter customer experience management concept. Team agility allows for timely responses to external shocks and changing demands.

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Sebastian Plagge, Global Client Director
Aperto – An IBM Company
Chausseestr. 5
10115 Berlin