Six Transformation Axes affecting the US Auto Industry

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What is a Transformation Axis?

A Transformation Axis defines the current and future end states of a major change.  The end state is known but how and when we reach that end state are not. The term Transformation Axis(TM) was developed by Value Innovations, Inc. and Vision21

Transformation Axis is a trademark of Value Innovations, Inc. and Vision21.

Over a two year period twelve members from these two companies developed six Transformation Axes in place today that are impacting the Auto Industry. The first Transformation Axis relates to a vehicle’s drive train. Today the internal combustion engine is the primary source of power in 98% of new vehicles sold in the world today.

Tony Seba in his book Clean Disruption predicted in 2014 that by 2030, the internal combustion engine (ICE) would be obsolete, i.e., no major auto manufacturer would sell a new car powered by an ICE by 2030:

There are many factors leading to this conclusion:

  • The efficiency of converting electricity to kinetic energy is >85%;
  • The efficiency of converting gasoline to kinetic energy is in the 25% range;
  • Fuel cost is lower;
  • Maintenance costs are lower;
  • Life expectancy of an electric vehicle (EV) is a million miles or more;
  • Tailpipe emissions are zero, although there is endless debate about the carbon footprint of the source of electricity;
  • Governments are adopting regulations that forbid the sale of ICE powered vehicles by specified dates (e.g., India by 2030, Norway by 2025, Sweden by 2030, UK by 2040))

We are not sure if 2030 is the year but we think Tony’s prediction is very close.  When Volkswagen’s CEO recently announced VW would develop and manufacture 300 different electric vehicle models by 2030, that was the icing on the cake for us..

The end state is all new cars sold will ultimately be powered by an electric motor but how and when we get there are up in the air.

Here’s the First Transformation Axis:

The Second Transformation Axis

Relates to how cars are sold and we purchase a car. Today in the US this is primarily conducted through 17,000 auto dealerships.  This will change to Omnichannel Retail and auto dealers will have to figure out how they can thrive in this Online world that has been masterminded by Amazon..

The Third Transformation Axis

Describes how our world of mobility will change. Today we can move from A to B in multiple, different ways; we drive our car; we may drive to a light rail station to take light rail to the office; we take a bus, or ride a bike.  This will change to an end state called Mobility as a Service (MaaS).  This is where multiple forms of transportation are linked and our journey from A to B is seamlessly programmed…we will never miss another train or bus!

The Fourth Transformation Axis

Shows In tomorrow’s world we will be transported in driverless vehicles, freeing up our time to conduct business, just have fun, or perhaps have a drink on the way home. For the disabled, this will open up a whole new, incredible world.

The Fifth Transformation Axis

Today we drive dumb, unconnected cars.  At some point time in the future we will be riding in connected vehicles.  OEMs will be able to regularly update software – Tesla Motors can do this every 24h with its vehicles today.  Stolen vehicles will be instantly located and maintenance monitoring with updates will make us safer.

The Sixth Transformation Axis

It is unlikely we will own our car, we will be riding in vehicles from shared fleets.

 Who controls the outcomes from these Transformations?

The answer is nobody and no single company.

We will see things happening we would not have imagined a few years ago, e.g.,

  • Entirely new entrants to the marketplace (e.g., Amazon [we don’t know when they will enter or how they enter but we are confident they will enter this very attractive market] Apple, Foxconn and Google);
  • Collaborations between tier 1 suppliers and auto manufacturers (e.g., It’s rumored that Tesla Motors is in discussions to have Magna manufacture their Model 3 in Europe).

The primary stakeholders in the auto industry, i.e., auto manufacturers, tier 1 and 2 suppliers and auto dealers have no control over Transformation Axes. In order to successfully navigate through these Transformations, each stakeholder must understand and manage their way through to the end state so they have high confidence the new business(es) and business model(s) they define and implement will be profitable and sustainable.

Want to learn more?

You can download a brochure from Transformation Workshops on this website or view our 6.5 minute video:..we’ve had very positive feedback, so we are confident you’ll enjoy it too.

Want to up your innovation game? Want to up your organization’s innovation game? Attending one of our Mastering Value Innovation Workshops is a great place to start. In 2016 we are going to change our approach. We will work with you to develop your own custom workshop that addresses your problems and you define the length and location. More information can be found in the Workshop Brochure.