Diverging trends at the Frankfurt Motor Show
Imagine you are a business owner in a changing, Willy Wonka-esque world wherein you have to entertain two extreme ends of your market to satisfy clients.
Photos: Eva Shirley
The problem is that the subtlety of the sale requires two broadly different approaches in your sales technique. One of your customers is looking to engage with you to buy something that is now considered a bit risqué, and the other wishes to express themselves in something more wholesome – think rare steak and vegan being cooked side-by-side, or adult entertainment and religious icons on the same shelf.
The industry that is working through this crazy period of change is the auto industry. Here at the bi-annual Frankfurt Motor Show manufacturers are sowing the seeds of the future in svelte electric cars with ever greater ranges and reduced re-charging times, while at the same time showing off the kind of hair-raising hydrocarbon fuelled cars we have known for generations.
Polestar 2 – made by Volvo’s performance electric car company – is coming to the market soon.
As the car buying public is discovering there is an increasing and sometimes bewildering list of options and packages to purchase, and to add to the complexity the way customers are being offered the opportunity to own or use a vehicle is changing to adapt to new purchasing trends.
Going are the days when you saved a deposit and borrowed money to buy a car. The car of the near-distant future is probably going to be hybrid and eventually all electric. The user will have the choice between outright purchase, lease or a PCP (personal contract purchase) type arrangement, or a pay-as-you use option.
If the explosion of e-scooters across Frankfurt is a gauge of the consumer’s preferred method of mobility, and the rise of pay-as-you-use is anything to by, car manufacturers have a lot to consider about how and where to position themselves in the next decade.
Car charging speeds and capacity on display – from 40 hours to 40 minutes for a full charge, depending on the technology used.
Bosch are demonstrating a fascinating cloud based technology at the show which monitors battery function and health constantly, and which will produce a new industry standard ‘energy certificate’. Broadly understood, it will determine a value and usage of the battery, and have a significant impact on the resale value of the vehicle.
Based on the health, capacity and range a vehicle might either be re-marketed (sold!), deployed for shorter urban based journeys (taxis, food or materials delivery) or the battery be used for a unit in a large battery bank to reduce the load on the grid, or sent for recycling.
The Frankfurt Motor Show runs until 22nd September 2019.
The Volkswagen id.3 – the basis for an entire new family of VW vehicles – along with the company's new logo.