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Future of mobility: 9 ways car brands are investing in change

2017-06-09 10:33

RISE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR: Electric carmaker, Tesla Motors, has risen by 32% in value according to the annual BrandZ 2017 global survey. Image: AP / Christophe Ena

Detroit - Concierge services, ride-sharing, Amazon to sell cars... Automakers and companies are changing the way they do business in the automotive world, reports the annual BrandZ survey.

Toyota has retained its title as the world's most valuable car brand in the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Study. 

A total of 10 automotive brands featured on the 2017 global 100 list, with the second and third place positions being awarded to luxury automakers. 

Top 10 most-valuable car brands in 2017

Car brands continue to plan for a vaguely defined future of mobility. New technology is challenging, says BrandZ, "the very concept of mobility as a system of vehicles and infrastructure designed to move people from place to place".

"With the rise of e-commerce, people increasingly stay in place and receive the delivery of goods, from clothing to ready-made meals."

Rising urbanisation

According to the report: "When people need to move, rising global urbanization suggests that they will be more likely to use public transportation or a ride-sharing option.

"Today, however, most consumers in the developed parts of the world reside in less dense areas, and are still dependent on networks of roads and highways. For them, the fastest way to get from place to place—with family, friends, shopping bundles, or vacation luggage—is to climb behind the wheel of a car, and probably one with some cargo space, like an SUV.

"Brands in the capital-intensive car business face this difficult challenge of meeting the needs of today’s consumers, while placing big bets on an uncertain future. The potential return on investment is long term and based on fluid assumptions around rapidly changing customer needs and societal trends." 

Ford best illustrated this tension; in New York, the automaker opened Ford Hub, a technology exhibition of the future of mobility. The aim isn't to sell Fords...

Self-driving cars, concierge services, ride-sharing... what do you think the 'future of mobility' will be? Email us 

Other solutions

Major car brands and automotive companies are experimenting with new mobility solutions as consumers desire "access" rather than ownership, or a vehicle matched to an occasion.

Here are 9 ways companies are using alternative means to get more exposure for their brands:

1 Mercedes-Benz launched an Airbnbtype network that enables members to rent their Mercedes-Benz.

2 Audi is testing a rental program called “Audi on Demand.” Members choose the Audi model that matches the occasion—shopping or going to dinner—and a concierge delivers and picks up the vehicle. 

3 Ford purchased a rideshare shuttle service called Chariot.

4 In Amsterdam, car-share service companies are picking up people in Tesla cars. Dubai has agreed to purchase Tesla cars to use as taxis.

5 BYD, China’s electric car brand, is exporting electric buses worldwide.

6 The Chinese internet company Baidu plans to open-source its self-driving software.

7 Tesla’s sharp increase in brand value in part reflects the success of the car’s positioning as a stylish luxury brand offering the performance of a high-octane, carbon-burning engine without the guilt. Although Tesla introduced a car without a dealer network, placing its cars in high-end malls and other high-traffic locations, most brands still rely on dealerships.

8 Meanwhile, Amazon has talked about selling cars. And cars are available on Alibaba, usually in flash sales.

9 The Ford Hub retail outlet purposely does not sell cars but rather attempts to reframe the Ford brand as different from the expected experience, and puts the manufacturer, rather than the dealer, in direct contact with the consumer.

Read more on:    mercedes-benz  |  ford  |  tesla  |  porsche  |  range rover  |  car sales

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