The Future of Mobility Retailing

Are automakers and retailers ready for the future?

Full house at the Automotive Roundtable last night (Oct 24, 2018) in Shanghai where automotive experts were presenting and debating The Future of Mobility Retailing and whether automakers and retailers are ready for it.

In an insightful and entertaining evening event, high-level speakers from Porsche, NIO and Next Mobility Lab shared their views on future retail trends and their approach in this field.

Mr Daniel Schmollinger (Vice President Network Management & Development), Porsche (China) Motors Limited

Porsche presented how the brand is using its strong roots to conquer its largest growth market. The strength of the brand gives Porsche a decisive advantage: a focus on own brand values and brand orientation in a market that is now flooded by many new competitors. Delivering experiences only Porsche can do, is what makes the Porsche retail environments a haven for enthusiasts and new customers alike.

Steven Zhao (Vice President, NIO User Center), NIO

NIO presented itself as a brand with a value proposition that completely reinterprets the freedom of personal mobility. NIO offers a freedom that goes far beyond the product of the car: it is about creative, joyful and enjoyable spaces within the city. And this freedom is embodied in the revolutionary Retail Concept “NIO House”.

Next Mobility Lab showed how much the car trade has already changed today due to digitization. Furthermore, with its vision for a Mobility Concept Store in 2025, the Lab showed that car brands will change into comprehensive mobility providers, integrating different means of transport and business models.

Here is what we have learned this evening.

Future of Retail @ Porsche, by Mr Daniel Schmollinger (Vice President Network Management & Development), Porsche (China) Motors Limited

Key Insights:

· Digital retail experiences enable Porsche to present the entire range of models — This creates space in the physical store for experiencing the brand

· The brand builds on its rich heritage — but in order to appeal to the younger customer structure in China, they evolved these brand values in a modern and even more luxurious way

· Porsche shows agility in extending their retail network. By developing special pop-up and studio formats, the Porsche maturity of a city can be tested

The new retail reality that is shaping the future of mobility, by Mr Patrick Peter, Next Mobility Lab

Key Insights:

· The big four challenges of car companies (CASE) force car brands to strongly invest in the innovation of their customer experience

· Next Mobility Lab/mediaman created new mobility business models like Car subscription, a big data based omnichannel concept, and a dealer less car shopping experience — these trends are now a reality and will further shift customer expectations towards an end-to-end digital customer journey

· In the future, car companies will transform into multimodal mobility providers

NIO House: Innovating Mobility Retailing, by Mr Steven Zhao (Vice President, NIO User Center), NIO

Key Insights:

· In the era of Automotive 3.0, NIO’s vision is to build the brand on the foundation of delivering exceptional customer experience, not by delivering a technologically driven product in the first place

· Yet still, this experience first approach drives NIO to innovate products that lead to a greater customer experience, i.e. the innovation of a battery changing system that only takes 3 minutes for the battery swap

· Unlike retail champions like Apple, NIO is not planning their retail stores to be uniform — instead, the characteristics of the respective cities should be reflected in the design of the stores

Panel discussion, moderated by Mr Michael Adick (Managing Director, Auto Industry), Accenture Greater China

Key Insights:

· NIO and Porsche believe new competition on the Chinese market will lead to greater innovation in retail

· Unifying and managing the various data sources is one of the most pressing challenges of car brands in order to fill the gaps in the customer journey

· The Next Mobility Lab is challenging the value proposition of car brands: assuming autonomous mobility becomes a reality in the long-term, and the paradigm shift from ownership to usership business models (by ridesharing and subscription models) that hits today, automotive brands must create value beyond transportation and this is enabled by embedding software products into their cars

The panel and the guests agreed that more challenges to the existing automotive retail concept are underway.

Being in China, the future of mobility is surrounding us already. It is inevitable that automakers and dealerships need to change their traditional set-ups to charm well-informed and highbrowed customers looking for customization and connectedness.

To master these challenges, mediaman started the Next Mobility Lab. They create products, services and ventures for the digitization of the mobility industry.

About the Automotive Roundtable

The Automotive Roundtable is a regular event series in China where experts meet, share and discuss industry insights. For this specific occasion, the roundtable was co-organized by GI-events and mediaman, Shanghai office. More information about the roundtable: https://www.g-i-events.com/automotive-roundtable/