What's a traditional automaker to do in the face of an industry constantly besieged by emergent technology and marketplace interlopers like Google and Uber lurking on the edges of the automotive world? For many, the answer is clear: Break apart and embrace the need for specialization.
As The Verge's Sean O'Kane reports, several powerhouse automakers are undergoing substantial restructuring endeavors in an effort to better focus on the rise of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), self-driving technology, and other trendsetting practices that will undoubtedly shape the future of the transportation landscape. The most notable examples of this concept in action? Daimler AG and Ford come to mind, with both organizations laying out specific "blueprints" for how to undertake this transition.
For Daimler AG, taking on a more tech-oriented approach to business operations includes splitting into three different, discrete companies that still fit under the overarching Daimler corporate umbrella. While Mercedes-Benz AG and Diamler Truck AG will continue to focus on traditional automotive pursuits, Daimler Mobility AG is where the forward-thinking driverless and MaaS operations will now call home.
For Ford, the concept of more is better applies to the situation. From ride-sharing and bike-sharing departments receiving their own company (Ford Smart Mobility LLC) to the new self-driving outfit known as Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, this heritage member of the automotive world has shown that it has no problem spinning off specialized units to create separate and unique ventures that can stand on their own.
Could this business model be the future for the rest of the automotive world? How does this approach fit into the growing amount of partnerships between tech titans (like Google and Baidu) and traditional automakers? To answer these questions, and learn a little more about how tech and consumer demand for mobility services continue to reshape the automotive industry, feel free to dig into the full story from O'Kane on the other side of the link offered up below.