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  • Writer's pictureJesus Grana

Beyond the Line: Investment & Innovation

Updated: 20 hours ago



CX Insights - Trend Watch - Automotive Industry (ICYMI September 2023)


ICYMI - We’ve arrived at Q4 and I’ll be honest: As I sat to identify key highlights in select September articles, I faced slim pickings as news about the strike dominated the headlines throughout the month. For our purposes, let’s take a look at news outside of the strike and focus on what I saw as the most interesting highlights for September.


| INVESTMENT MARCHES ON

Firstly, we continue to see investment and collaboration on batteries and charging solutions. 


Hyundai and LG, for instance, announced they are further increasing their investment in joint battery manufacturing by earmarking $2 billion in a new plant based in Georgia. This plant aims to create 2,600 jobs and produce the lion’s share of lithium-ion batteries for Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6 models by 2025. 


BMW, Ford and Honda are partners in collaboration with the formation of a brand new vehicle-charging utility company. ChargeScape, LLC, aims to create a single point of pooled EV charge across multiple OEMs utilizing a cross-industry concept called the Open Vehicle-Grid Integration Platform. One net positive includes an exclusive-EV pool when conventional grids are low on energy. 



| CHANGE-UPS IN REVENUE STREAMS

We also continue to see OEMs venturing into new revenue streams as they leverage software to offer new features and services to their customers either as standard options or as subscription-based add-ons. We will continue to see how customer experience plays a key part on what stays and what is reconsidered. 


For example, BMW listened to customer feedback and has scrapped their subscription service for heated seats (reported on earlier this year). That said, they are actively exploring subscription models for other accessories, such as driver-assistance cameras doubling as dashboard recording devices. 


On the other hand, Cadillac announced its Velocity Upgrade option for its 2024 AWD Lyriq model. Owners of this vehicle can pay a one-time activation fee of $1,200 to increase its horsepower, torque and acceleration. The upgrade is aimed at attracting the driver who wants that extra oomph behind the wheel. 


Some of these transactions aren’t tied to vehicle performance at all, but instead aim to provide pure convenience.  


Looking at revolutionizing the garage door opener market, Honda and Acura have partnered with Chamberlain Group to develop an app to open, close and monitor select garage doors. This feature is housed completely in their vehicles’ infotainment screens for an easy-to-reach solution compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 


Hyundai is also in the touchscreen-for-transaction game, having introduced Hyundai Pay this month. This feature has rolled out in Hyundai’s Kona model and aims to streamline parking payment at participating Parkopedia locations across the country – with gas stations and drive-throughs possibly following suit if this revenue source takes off. 


For further information on how we got to where we are, I encourage you to check out our previous ICYMI blog posts throughout 2023.

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