Tech giant innovation threatens established carmakers

Google, Intel, Tesla and Uber are increasingly pushing autonomous driving, connected cars and electrification

Parked cars

Technology giants are increasingly stepping up vehicle-focused investment and innovation in a challenge to established carmakers around the globe.

That’s the verdict from a new report from technology advisory and investment firm GP Bullhound, which says Google, Intel, Tesla and Uber are threatening automotive businesses by pushing autonomous driving, connected cars, electric vehicles (EVs) and shared mobility solutions.

It notes Tesla is on track to outsell German carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the US and said several global vehicle manufacturers have issued recent profit warnings as a result of increased market pressure.

Guillaume Bonneton, Partner at GP Bullhound, said: “A battle is emerging between global tech giants and the traditional automobile manufacturers.

“The tech giants have an advantage in terms of total resources available, but do not rule out the original equipment manufacturers as they are pouring significant levels of investment into the four key sectors highlighted in our report.”

The report shows global sales of new EVs quadrupled between 2014 and 2017 but notes the proportion of fully-electric plug-in vehicles remains relatively low.

It predicts autonomy will catch up with shared mobility as the most disruptive sector with the greatest increase in transaction value rising from €200 million (£174m) in 2014 to €8 billion (£7bn) in 2018 and an average transaction value of €70 million (£61m).

This is just below the €75 million (£65m) average transaction value recorded for shared mobility technologies, which has dominated since 2014 – shared mobility activity value declined from €17 billion (£14.8bn) in 2017, to €8 billion (£7bn) last year.

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