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Garry McGuire Shares Insights about Automotive Industry in 2019

The automotive industry is currently going through an unprecedented period of change, with electrification, new ownership models, and technologiessuch as autonomous vehiclesdisrupting a market that has experienced very few shifts in over fifty years. Digital transformation leader Garry McGuire, a consultant andformer top executive at a “Big Three” Detroit auto manufacturer, recently shared his thoughts about changes expected to unfold in thecar industry in 2019, as well as their effect on consumers. 

In a recent report, PwC declared that “the age of radical change in the automotive industry” has arrived, going on to say, “The automotive future is electrified, autonomous, shared, connected, and yearly updated.” According to Garry McGuire, the most significant industry developments in 2019 will occur as a result of the focus on mobility and new ownership models. There are already signs of dramatic change on multiple levels, he points out, adding that mobilityas a service has emerged as the hottest topic of conversation at the moment. Companies such as Ford Motor Company are investing in new transportation solutions, breaking away from the traditional car ownership model. The new year is also expected to see developments in the areas of on-demand transportation (ride-hailing operators such as Lyft), new ownership models (as exemplified by car subscription service Canvas), and an expanded range of luxury electric vehicles to compete with Tesla. Beyond technological and operational changes, Garry McGuire also expects 2019 to bring a flurry of announcements about significant mergers, alliances, and partnerships in the automotive OEM space. The balance sheets or stock prices of even the leading sector companies cannot assure their financial ability to invest in current operations, electrification technologies, and autonomous vehicles, which raises the strong likelihood of several major global players announcing partnerships or possibly even mergers.

A recent announcement from General Motors (GM) is indicative of the changes under way. The company said that its president, Dan Ammann, would relocate to California to oversee Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicles division. This leadership restructuring is definitelya big move for GM, according to Garry McGuire, who explains that the culture of Detroit’s Big Three auto makersis stronglyfocused on their day-to-day business, keeping factories productive, and having dealers move inventory. Ammann’s transfer to Cruise will help the unit become a core GM entity, a segment that is no longer an experiment or a side investment but the future of the entire group. As for what consumers can expect in 2019, the expert adviser forecasts that autonomous cars will hit American roads in test-mode, and there will be new developments in legislation aimed at regulating self-driving vehicles. New companies will emerge in the areas of automotive shopping, buying, and usage: the days of consumers going to a dealer to view and buy vehicles are coming to an end, andthe near future will see transactions conducted largelyonline and dealers delivering and servicing the vehicles.

Garry McGuireis an auto industry consultant, corporate advisor, and former automotive executive who has held leadership positions at multiple companies and helped them cope with the challenges of digital disruption. With experience in automotive, retail, and advertising, he has come to be regardedas a thought leader in digital strategy, digital transformation, and business turnarounds. In addition to his advisory work, he is also a technology investor with profound insight into the sector due to being the former CEO of several Silicon Valley companies. 

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