The Need for Speed

Four recommendations to turbo-charge digital performance in the automotive industry

The automotive industry is feeling its greatest jolt of change since the advent of the internal combustion engine. Our research shows that organizations across sectors are struggling to turn their digital vision into reality, and this problem is particularly pronounced in the automotive industry. Automotive companies lag behind on all key dimensions of digital transformation—just 30% of automotive organizations surveyed believed they had the required digital capabilities compared with 35% of organizations globally.

The new report by the Capgemini Research Institute The need for speed: four recommendations to turbo-charge digital performance in the automotive industry’ highlights the following priorities that will be critical for automotive organizations to journey from digital laggard to master:

  • Leverage digital technologies to enable self-service and improve the retail experience. Just 28% of automotive companies use digital technologies with customers to enable self-service compared with 64% of digital masters.
  • Develop a digital culture that spans traditional automotive silos and hierarchy. Six out of ten automotive respondents say that culture is their main hurdle to digital transformation.
  • Create a center of excellence to set direction, coordinate digital products and services and share learnings. Only 28% of automotive organizations have a digital unit in a marked contrast to 67% of digital masters.
  • Build an open innovation platform for digital services. This is critical to automotive companies if they are to protect against digital natives entering their space.

Given the sheer scale and pace of change in the industry, automotive companies need to shift up a gear to not get left behind by more digitally agile new entrants. Download the report.

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Sound Bites

Bill Ford, executive chairman at Ford Motor Company

Ensuring the freedom of mobility requires us to continually look beyond the needs of today and interpret what mobility will mean to future generations.

Ethan Bernstein, professor at Harvard Business School professor

Imagine the difference between an employee-centric and management-centric approach: ‘here is a tool for you to track your steps’ (employee-centric) or ‘here is a tool for your manager to track your steps for you’ (management-centric). If you know your manager is tracking performance, you deliver compliance with her or his expectations. If you are the only one tracking it, you experiment to see how different behaviors trigger different results, yielding improvement and innovation and change.

Nils Wollny, head of Digital Business Strategy and Customer Experience at Audi AG

With [Audi VR], we are taking the next step in our strategy to combine digital innovation with the strengths of the brick-and-mortar dealership.

Key Takeaways


Percentage of consumers who prefer a mix of human and AI interactions when purchasing high-consideration products, such as cars


Percentage of automotive organizations that use analytics to personalize marketing communication


Percentage of automotive organizations that say digital culture is the top hurdle to digital transformation