Why the Automotive Industry Needs to Embrace the Entire Mobility Ecosystem
“It is time for carmakers to make a change, and pay more attention to the whole mobility ecosystem, rather than staring at sales numbers. I think the mindset about the auto industry should not only be about automotive but also about mobility,” shared Amy Gu in a recent interview.
The global car industry is struggling with slumping sales. Market players should change their business models and mindsets, according to Amy Gu, managing partner at Hemi Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund based in Silicon Valley.
The German auto trade association, Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), recently reported that sales in all major car markets dropped in the first half of this year.
Japan experienced one of its bleakest half-year sales, as the registered new passenger cars during the January-to-June period were down 0.3 percent from a year ago. Light vehicle sales in the U.S. contracted almost two percent in both June and the first six months of this year.
Across the pond, the EU’s new car market contracted three percent in the first half of 2019. Top car buyers, including Britain, France, and Italy all witnessed a sales slump. In addition, car sales in China fell 14 percent due to uncertainties brought about by import tariffs.
Gu suggested that it is time for carmakers to make a change, and she advised automakers to pay more attention to the whole mobility ecosystem, rather than staring at sales numbers.
“I think the mindset about the auto industry should change. It should not only be about automotive, but also about mobility,” she observed.
“People probably not only need a car but also a bike, public transportation like planes and trains, and even walking,” she said, adding that car manufacturers should “design their products around the whole mobility ecosystem, rather than just focusing on selling cars.”
As the economy slows and trade frictions intensify, the global auto industry faces increasing challenges. Gu speculates that there are other reasons behind the industry recession, including the trend of personalization. As consumer demand for multiple products rises, automotive customization services will bring new development opportunities to the industry. When consumers want more diverse services and more unique cars, it means that the OEM must change the way it produces cars.
Hemi Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, with satellite offices in New York, Beijing and London. Hemi invests in seed and Series A stage startups in autonomous vehicles, A.I. applications, healthcare, and other rising technology sectors. ‘Hemi’ means ‘half’ in Greek. We serve as the complementary half to our founders, and partner with entrepreneurs whose cutting edge innovations unlock new frontiers for human potential. Our tech rebels are trailblazing new markets as they push the industry forward to overcome the limitations of today.
Hemi’s mission is to invest in the technologies that solve the big problems. The future of transportation is definitely one of them. As a fund, Hemi works hand in hand with entrepreneurs, empowering them to dream big and build new technologies and businesses that will shape the future. Our investments into Polysync, an AV middleware company focused on safety, Point One Navigation, a precision GPS and sensor fusion company that solves the urban canyons problem, PlusAI, a company building a full-stack solution for lvl-4 vehicles, Starsky Robotics, a full stack autonomous trucking company that’s operating its own fleet, Scotty Labs, providing safe tele-operation to subsume level 5 autonomy, Tanvas, connecting people to the digital world through rich touch interactions Ample, delivering a full charge to any electric car in minutes, Sense Photonics, a pioneer in solid state flash lidar, are just the first step in our long-term vision.