I’m a Millennial who has worked in the Automotive industry for several years. During this time, I’ve gained extensive experience in the concept of ‘mobility’ – one of the biggest trends in the automotive space. In this article, I want to align meaningful insights about “mobility” from the 2017 Capgemini Cars Online “Beyond the Car” report to my professional experiences and personal views.

Having observed some of the biggest recent trends in the automotive and customer experience space over the last few years, it’s clear that the importance of car ownership is changing as a result of the convergence of technology and consumers’ desire for greater flexibility and mobility in their lifestyle.

I have experienced this shift myself. I have never owned a car (nor have most of my friends or younger colleagues). Whilst living in London, Berlin, and now New York, I’ve travelled from A to B using all kinds of transportation systems.

From public transport to vehicle rental/sharing services like Car2Go, Zip Car, Enterprise CarShare and Citi Cike to one of the several on-demand services such as Uber or Lyft. The first apps that welcoming New Yorkers urged me to download when I moved to the city, was on-demand, ridesharing services such as Via and Gett.

What’s changed?

For consumers like me and millions of others, the priority is convenient transportation options and less about owning the actual car. In the past, I wouldn’t have been considered a prime target customer for automotive companies. However given today’s shifting mobility trends and changing consumer priorities, I belong to an ever-growing target market that’s becoming increasingly important to automotive companies.

This is supported by results of the 2017 Capgemini Cars Online report that 51% of consumers in the US would like to combine the advantages of an individually owned car and intelligent mobility services. Interest in mobility services has risen more than 20 points in 2017 compared to 2016 and mobility services will continue to enjoy explosive growth.

Car brands are seen as important when using car-sharing programs although this is less important to US consumers. 58% of consumers in the US say that the car brand is relevant for choosing a car-sharing provider compared to 66% in all markets. Interestingly, although car hailing and ridesharing services are having a huge impact on car purchasing and ownership models, most car-sharing users still own their own car.

As a result, car companies are not only competing against their peers. They are also competing against a broader set of mobility service companies such as Uber. At the same time, car companies are also functioning as suppliers to the disruptors like Uber.

Thus, the drivers for ridesharing services are the automotive customers of today and of the future.  This shift comes with a whole new set of challenges and projects for automotive industry, which I will feature more in-depth in another article.

Additionally, autonomous driving technologies will likely convert vehicles into mobile lifestyle living rooms. These features have also become a significant selling point for consumers – 81% of consumers in the US say they would pay for them (2017 Capgemini Cars Online report) – and they turn driving into a mobile experience making it easy to get from A to B.

The growing amounts of data due to connected car services will increase the potential to connect with customers.  Concerns about data privacy are decreasing as customers are embracing the connected-device model.  In fact, 84% of consumers are willing to share data with an automotive company, and 21% would do so without restrictions.

How should automotive companies respond to these trends?

Automotive companies need to acquire new capabilities in mobility and digital services. As service concepts are evolving towards intermodal mobility (solutions connecting different transportation services to get from A to B), Automotive companies need to overcome purely car-focused solutions and build required capabilities.

Additionally, the shift from product-focused mobility to car-as-a-service has pressured automotive companies to design a variety of new solutions including completely new mobility experiences that are created through new technologies.

For more about how automotive companies can create value for mobility read the 2017 Capgemini Cars Online report.