by David P. Carlisle
Let’s transport ourselves to the not so distant, and not so uncertain, future. It’s 2019 and we’re taking stock of things that we call innovations, but that 2019 takes for granted. Much of what we see springs from changes that dawned with the new millennium. So, before we take a stroll around 2019, let’s go back to Y2000.
Back in Y2000, GM’s annual report showed a schematic of the web-connected car that dovetailed quite nicely with Motorola’s “smart vehicles” discussion in their annual report. Well, both companies were certainly on-target. The vehicles and the infrastructure are in place today.
Back in Y2000 we clearly saw what was going to happen to service shop sales. The internet would enable more convenience and better information, collapsing dealer service sales and margins. We nailed that one.
Back in Y2000 we definitely had enough tea leaves spread out on the saucer to get a pretty clear glimpse of the future.
Lives will be saved, and our businesses will change from both of these first order and second order effects. What else will be different?
Just about everything.
The “connected vehicle” that we saw in GM’s and Motorola’s annual reports from Y2000 will become a reality. The health and maintenance needs of vehicles will be monitored by the vehicle itself, with collaboration from a benevolent supercomputer. The driver will interact with their vehicle via the internet. The Service Advisor will become the human interface – a kind of greeter – and the dealer workflows will become more predictable. Finally, finally, the customer will be in control via the computer–no matter how much the customer doesn’t know, the computer will prevent upselling to the uninformed.
This will make things interesting.
I have used the term “boiling frogs” to describe slow dealer reaction to the threat of chain service providers. (That is, a frog won’t jump out of water that is very slowly heated to boiling – and eventually it boils to death. This is also applies to people who won’t or can’t respond to change that occurs gradually.)
We will have a different pot of boiling frogs in the future. This time, it’s the independent repair specialists who will be contentedly croaking in their steamy bath of hot water.
And we really don’t have to worry about those second order effects stemming from collision avoidance systems, because they will be crushed by second order impacts from the connected vehicles.
Bottom Line: In the next few weeks let’s look at the industrial vehicle sectors – construction, agriculture, and heavy truck. Life is going to change in the next few years. Carlisle & Company will be conducting a massive amount of research into what 2019 will bring us – numbers, interviews with change agents and focus groups. All of this will come together at the Crystal Ball during the 2014 NAPB.