Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Shanghai, Audi sales chief Luca de Meo said that by the year 2020, electronics and digital features will be come just as important as the power unit.
At first, this may seem like a stretch of the imagination, but once we stop to think about it, it actually makes all the sense in the world. Think about all the electronics in your life for a second. Actually, if you love tech, you’re probably just thinking about your mobile phone or maybe your Smart TV, your PC/iMac, PS4 or Xbox and so on.
Let’s talk about your mobile phone first. As much as you care about the performance, meaning the chipset, the CPU and the GPU, you care just as much about the display quality, or the hardware and software features. In fact, just because phone ‘model X’ has a slightly better CPU and can run a game faster than ‘model Y’ doesn’t mean you’ll choose X if Y clearly has more helpful features such as a better camera, better display, fingerprint scanner and so on.
The same should and will undoubtedly apply to cars as in-car tech becomes more and more advanced. It’s what Agent Smith would call “inevitable”.
So just like de Meo argued in Shanghai, “by 2020, 50 percent of value creation will be based on apps, software, electronic systems and digital services.”
Does this mean we, as customers, will end up buying a car with less horsepower if it means staying up to date with whatever gadgets we can get our hands on? A logical answer would be yes, especially since ultra-economical EVs and plug-in hybrids will help shift our focus from spending more on 50 extra HP to spending more on 5 extra features.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was also quoted as saying that “never before in nearly 130 years of automotive history has our industry changed as fast and as completely as now: How we engineer our cars, how we produce them, how we present a new model, where we sell it, who we sell our cars to and who we work with in the future.”
We do indeed live in exciting times.
Story references: autonews