Darby Dame, Senior Associate

Industries like automotive and mobility have had to navigate unchartered territories due to the global pandemic set off by COVID-19. Through these changes, emphasis on innovation has been key to success during these challenging times.

To foster collaboration and connectivity for those in the automotive and mobility industry, our client, North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), launched its Q’d Up Mobility series, a virtual global stage that provides industry leaders a platform to share best practices and insights. Its latest webinar featured insights from Dr. Martin Fischer, the President of ZF North America, on the topic of Navigating Through an Uncertain World to an Uncertain Future. There were many takeaways following Dr. Fischer’s thought leadership presentation, which we’ve had the opportunity to compile alongside our team’s outlook on what could be next for the automotive and mobility industry.

Innovation is Crucial, Don’t Stop Now

Though uncertainty is clear, continuing to innovate and explore new methods of applying modern-day technologies is paramount. Organizations can and should take this time to evaluate their unique capabilities and perspectives in order to create new supply applications, mobility components and products.

Future methods of transportation will continue to incorporate technologies such as autonomy, electrification, and even UV-disinfectant installations. OEMs and major manufacturers will continue to leverage the expertise that lives within these companies driving the change the future population will see in vehicles, ride shares, transits and more.

Strong Leadership is More Important than Ever

The time is now to step up and lead. Because of the shutdowns and other impacts resulting from COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever to instill confidence in your people and the customers you serve. Strong acts of leadership that are well-thought and ensure the continued health and safety of all audiences will only better the automotive and mobility sector and will allow for increased opportunities post-pandemic.

Lambert Tip: Don’t forget the importance of a robust internal communications strategy. In times of uncertainty, consistency and transparency are key to maintaining positive morale in the workplace. For more tips, review Lambert’s Communications Handbook for Automotive & Mobility companies. 

Diversity is Key, Find the Right Partners

Diversifying your capabilities within the automotive and mobility space is also a unique method in successfully embracing change. Suppliers that are structured to offer numerous resource lines to their customers are often in a solid position to charge ahead of their competitors. Portfolio diversity allows organizations to quickly pivot, cross apply technologies and more.

Finding the right partners in order to expand portfolios should also be embraced. For example, when ZF looked to expand its autonomous commercial vehicle initiatives, it partnered with California-based company TuSimple who was already a master in the space. Together they have been able to innovate never-been-done autonomous transportation applications that will launch in the next few years.

Don’t Neglect the Future

It’s important for the entirety of the automotive and mobility industry to continue driving the future forward. Though the opportunity to embrace change was mostly forced by the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, now is the time to embrace what could be next.

Lambert Tip: It’s always helpful to bring in new perspectives when coming up with plans for the future. Whether it pertains to organizational changes, a new marketing initiative or other factor, integrated communications experts can be a reliable sounding board in times that matter.

Q’d Up Mobility is a thought leadership series of monthly virtual events that provides automotive and mobility leaders the ideal platform to discuss or reveal the industry’s latest topics and issues. Produced by the North American International Auto Show, the thought leadership series provides a glimpse into what the now canceled 2020 show had queued up for guests. The series includes monthly events with top industry executives and shorter, dynamic discussions that will put the spotlight on some of the industry’s most interesting challenges. For more information and to watch the series, visit naias.com/qd-up.