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Five Ideas: Trends in the Automobile Industry

How technology will change the way we drive

December 2010

At the annual meeting of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association in Detroit, Michigan, executives from leading automotive original equipment manufacturers and suppliers provided an economic and operational analysis of the global automotive industry. Overall, panelists expressed strong confidence in the economic recovery, although all agreed the turnaround is slow, according to Sasha Banks, senior director of Industry Strategy & Marketing at Oracle, who attended November's meeting. Read on to see what other experts are saying about how life on the road is changing, from how automobile companies are embracing new strategies for growth, to how trends like mobile could soon be impacting your morning commute.

“I went fishing for other real stories of IT innovation. What I found was the automotive industry. It was a surprising discovery, considering U.S. carmakers were near collapse less than three years ago. But today the industry, like so many others, is being remade in some fundamental ways.” —Aaron Lazenby, Editor-in-Chief, Profit magazine

“As automakers gear for the next-generation industry transformation, panelists cited a number of factors that will be affecting the resurgence of original equipment manufacturers and suppliers alike. These include increasingly rigorous legislative mandates on emissions, safety and quality; intense pressure to scale, particularly for the emerging markets; new or evolving joint-venture business models due to all the recent mergers and acquisitions in the industry; and narrowing product portfolios. All of this must also be tied to a myopic focus on taking the number-one or number-two market positions and delivering best-in-class project margins.” —Sasha Banks, senior director of Industry Strategy & Marketing at Oracle

“I would consider the relationship between OnStar and Oracle—and between GM and Oracle—to be one of our few really, truly strategic relationships from an IT perspective. We really rely on Oracle's technology stack throughout the OnStar IT landscape. At this time, where we are with the launch of our new global systems, this is as good as it gets in terms of having a strategic relationship with a key IT supplier.” —Doug Mutart, chief architect at OnStar

“Mobile technology could make it easy to share things between drivers. For example, we're working on an application called Road Talk, which uses voice memos and geographical positions to let drivers share observations as they travel.” —Oskar Juhlin, author, Social Media on the Road

“To provide the best highway system for the state, we look beyond just asphalt and concrete, and partner with local communities, transit agencies, environment advocates and others to ensure that we provide the best overall product. We also rely on Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to control and manage our construction process in an environmentally friendly fashion. Primavera P6 gives us the power to quickly assess the impact of different construction techniques and methodologies on our projects. This enables us to choose the construction approach that minimizes the environment impact of our projects on the community.” —Larry Myers, State Project controls engineer, Construction Division, Utah Department of Transportation


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