Klaus Steinmann and Daniel Müller from Mercuri Urval are interviewed to share their thoughts on the effects of digitisation on sales, jobs and, in the future, important qualifications and career opportunities in the automotive industry.
This is a translated version of the original article "IT, After Sales und Flottenmanagement gehören die Zukunft" published in Süddeutsche Zeitung. You can access the article here.
What consequences does digitisation have for the future sale of vehicles?
Steinmann - Customers will increasingly buy "mobility" via the digital platforms, but not necessarily their own car. Fleet management will therefore become more important for manufacturers, as in the long term sales of vehicles will change. Instead of individual buyers who own the vehicle, public and private mobility providers will buy the majority of the vehicles and offer them via car-sharing models.
Which qualifications are the most sought-after in the automotive industry today in order to respond to this development?
Müller - At the management level, internationality, the willingness to change and the ability to adapt are demanded above all in order to actively shape the transformation of automobile manufacturers from vehicle manufacturers to mobility providers.
And how will the personnel requirements at the lower levels change concretely?
Müller - Employees will need fewer mechanics in the future, but more mechatronics and electronics technicians who can handle the many sensors and control elements in vehicles. And of course IT specialists who program and configure the necessary software for networked and autonomously driving cars.
How can car manufacturers compete with large IT companies to get the coveted specialists?
Steinmann - Trying to be as sexy and cool as Google is unbelievable and will not work. But being able to digitalize mobility, in conjunction with the still-emotional product "car", is also a delightful task for IT professionals.
Which areas of work will be most felt to be increasingly becoming high-tech products?
Müller - The jobs in the marketing and after-sales sector are becoming more and more specialized and gaining in importance because the vehicles are becoming more and more expensive to explain and require more maintenance. In addition, they need regular software updates, as every smartphone owner knows today.
What are the recommendations for young people who are looking for a career in the automotive industry today? Classical engineering studies or rather IT?
Steinmann - The engineer as a basic education remains very valuable, because this knowledge can hardly be made up later. But a further education in the IT-area should be added necessarily.
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