Auto CEOs: Tech To Transform Car Biz In Just Five Years

DETROIT — A vast majority of automotive CEOs believe technology advances will transform their business in the next five years, according to the 17th annual global CEO survey of Pricewaterhuose Coopers LLP.

In addition to 79 percent of CEOs forecasting quick tech
transformation, the PwC survey showed 57 percent of
automotive CEOs currently have a program underway or
completed, or already have a strategy in place, to implement
change around technology investments.

“From the purchasing process and ownership experience to in-
vehicle infotainment and fuel-efficiency expectations,
technological advancements are radically changing the
automotive industry,” said Rick Hanna, PwC’s global automotive
leader. “Technology is playing a growing role within company
operations and future growth. Beyond the customer, automotive
CEOs are betting on advancements in technology when
managing their supply chains, driving innovation, developing
integrated infrastructure models and attracting talent.”

The survey showed CEOs are also increasingly worried about
bringing on a talented workforce — 63 percent are concerned
about the availability of key skills, up from last year’s 49 percent.

The demand for top science, technology, engineering and
mathematics talent is becoming increasingly competitive. Some
45 percent of the CEOs say they are planning to increase
headcount, so there’s a strong need to attract top talent. Plus, 91
percent of sector CEOs see a need to adapt their talent strategy
in response to global tech trends.

The majority of automotive CEOs also see a need to adapt their
supply chains, and 20 percent have already started or completed
change programs. Fifty-six percent are somewhat or very
concerned about supply chain disruption being a potential
business threat to their organizations. As a result, CEOs are
focused on improving regional supply-chain and logistics
strategies to create an efficient flow of resources and products,
including building where their customers are. For example,
China, the world’s largest new vehicle market, ranks first on the
list of countries automotive CEOs consider important for overall
growth prospects, followed by the United States.

The auto CEOs also fret about aging infrastructure — 57 percent
say they’re concerned that inadequate basic infrastructure could
threaten growth, compared to 47 percent of CEOs overall.

The complete survey, titled “Fit for growth: The automotive
industry — Where it’s going and how it plans to get there” is
available at

The automotive survey interviewed 87 automotive CEOs in 34 countries. It was part of a larger survey in which PwC conducted 1,344 interviews with CEOs in 68 countries

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