Investment Strategies to Attract Millennials
It's not a secret that the technology in our vehicles is becoming more complex and more integrated with the driving experience every day. From WiFi hotspots and Bluetooth connectivity to built-in GPS and advanced safety features, many of us feel like we're driving around in a giant smartphone. This isn't the fault of the industry, it is simply giving the market what it demands and battling fierce competition to be the first-to-market. This increased demand and competition seems to have split the thinking of U.S.-based auto manufacturers.
On one side of the table are companies like General Motors and Ford who are working diligently to attract Silicon Valley talent to the Motor City. Billions of dollars are being spent to renovate and invigorate Detroit to make it appealing to Millennials. GM is investing $1 billion to renovate its 60-year-old Technical Center in Warren while Ford is overhauling its Dearborn campus to mimic those found in California. These automakers feel the pressure to make Detroit a more attractive locale for the new generation of talent coming to the market. Competition is no longer solely housed in the auto industry but is forcing them up against the likes of Apple, Uber, and Google.
On the other side of the table are those with more traditional auto-industry thinking. Fiat Chrysler, for example, is collaborating with the west coast tech giants to convert their vehicles for the new era. The thinking here is that each can do what they do best. Instead of investing to get candidates to move to the Midwest, Chrysler will continue making the best automobiles it can while the software companies upgrade them with the best technology available.
Both schools of thought are leading to the same point, vehicles that can do more. Within the next 10 years, we can definitely expect to see more self-driving vehicles on the road. The software and hardware to make this possible is going through rapid development, driven by Millennials who want to change the world. Only time will tell which tactic will deliver the best new cars, trucks, and vans to the roads.