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When you follow only the slipstream, you risk running out of time

Sogeti Labs
July 08, 2021

Today I found it difficult to choose a title for this blog. It is one of those times when in your head you are clear about what you want to present, but the words do not end up reflecting what you think. Yes, we’re talking about emotions.

That sentiment is what many leading brands in the market play with. They use it to get closer to us making use of that most emotional part, the one that best connects and builds loyalty.

For a few months, I have been thinking of buying an electric vehicle, and from that perspective, although there are many options, they are all very much behind Tesla. The American company is, among other things, a benchmark for innovation and particularly disruptive. It has single-handedly “invented” a sector and has turned the entire automotive, energy and aerospace industries upside down. A few days ago, Elon Musk announced that Tesla is planning to enter the insurance sector, and provide insurance to the owners of their vehicles. Interesting, since these are tremendously “smart” vehicles, this would allow their owners to enjoy much lower premiums. As indicated by the term “smart”, Tesla cars have multiple safety systems that will presumably reduce the number of accidents in which their drivers are involved, which will result in a considerable reduction.

This is a new step for Tesla to value future services and expand its core business, and as we will see below, it does not turn out to be something occasional. Some time ago I heard that Musk was considering offering vehicles with autonomous driving capability, to be able to operate as taxis since they were not being used during at that time. Or even that the front trunk could be used as a pickup point for Amazon shipments, collaborating in the last mile delivery. In short, the company does not just create cars, but goes a step (or two) further in its quest to innovate and create value for both the company and its customers. All this has put the rest of the “old” companies in the sector offside for now as they still don’t know how to make anything other than “cars”. Tesla is beating them hands down as they remain stubborn in maintaining the model of “possession”, instead of moving towards a vision of collaboration, open to new uses.

Although the material quality of the interior of some of its models are not the best, or the plastic looks cheap or that sometimes the fit is not perfect, but to be honest, who cares if you are at the entrance of a Shopping Mall and you can prompt your vehicle to reach you, or if you do not feel like driving and decide that your own car does it, or if you need to recharge and you stop at one of the superchargers and in just 20 minutes you have enough autonomy to complete your trip and above, at half the price of the competition. As you can see, there are many differentiating points in its favour.

I understand that all European brands are working on their digital transformation journey. That this is helping them in the optimization of processes, services and so on, but what I do not see is that their focus has shifted from the “simple” production of cars to understanding the vehicle as a tool on which to build new digital business models, as Tesla is doing.

We are moving fast and 2030 is very close, so the challenge for the sector is enormous and without a global strategy that generates synergies and alliances between energy and automotive companies, the future for them looks complicated.

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


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