Digital gravity

Joint global automotive study by KPMG International and Egon Zehnder

Due to the impact of “Digital Gravity”, the automotive industry has taken various measures to tackle the challenges of digital transformation. In order to determine the status quo of digitalization, we have consequently asked more than 500 senior executives in the automotive sector to provide their opinion on topics of leadership, culture, organization, processes, and technology. Based on these insights, we have developed a digital roadmap and necessary points for action.

The new joint global automotive study, Digital Gravity, by KPMG and Egon Zehnder allows you to not only take a closer look at our different topics, but also choose from almost one million different perspectives. This allows you to create your individual analysis in order to answer questions that, to this day, we maybe haven’t even thought of.

Based on the opinions of over 500 C-level executives from 17 countries as well as ~30 interviews with a selected group of leading CEOs and top executives throughout the industry, this new thought leadership piece aims to better outline experiences around digitalization and their future impact. Best practice approaches regarding organization, leadership, people, culture, and processes as benchmarks within the industry will be introduced.

Extract of some key results:

  • Digital Gravity drives what you do: Executives need to understand that measuring success is changing in the digital world. Previously proven metrics do not work, since the new world is a lot about trial and error and paths to product success are incomparable. “Over 90 % of executives already state today that they have a clear picture of digitalization and know how it affects their responsibilities.“
  • Capturing ecosystem logics: Automotive companies should orientate themselves towards tech companies. “Over 3 out of 4 executives believe that the development of new business models is achieved primarily through cooperation with tech companies.“
  • Exploring new network families: In order to be successful with digitalization it is necessary to cooperate with a competitor or digital company. “Over 60% of the executives agree that auto companies should cooperate rather than compete against each other.“
  • Open up to diverse orbits around a new center of gravity: There is no single path to digitalization: Organizations have to tolerate and be open for different speeds and approaches – even to the extent of seeking trial and error and allowing failures to happen. “Almost 80 % of the executives are currently pursuing one uniform digitalization strategy in their company.”
  • Engage the organization to do things differently: Digitalization is not about a top-down strategy, it is about a mindshift throughout the organization. ”The need for this mindshift does not yet seem to have reached the automotive industry, as ‘cultural changes’ and ‘leadership awareness’ are rated last by executives when asked about the necessary prerequisites for digitalization.”
  • Selecting the right route for organizational change: It is common sense that just establishing the CDO function doesn’t solve the problem. “Nevertheless, 3 out of 4 executives are convinced that a CDO would be necessary to complete digital transformation.”
  • Hiring cultures: Executives see the need for a new culture: An overwhelming majority recognize the need for a new culture but only a minority have already tackled this topic. “92 % of the executives are convinced that you need to define a new and different cultural approach, but more than 50 % say that nothing has been done so far.”
  • Blending old world and new world leadership models: Talking about digitalization is not only talking about speed and efficiency. “Speed and efficiency remains the most important guiding principle in a digitalized world for 64 % of executives.”

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