Cars are the ultimate mobile device. And changes in mobile purchasing and big data have changed the way consumers interact with cars, with taxi hailing apps as the most vivid example.
Bill Russo, Managing Director and Automotive Practice leader at Gao Feng Advisory Company, spoke at AmCham China Oct. 28 to address these tech disruptions impacting the auto industry. Russo has nearly 30 years of experience in the auto industry, paired with 12 years in the IT industry. Listen in to the full podcast below to hear what he makes of tech's latest target.
Q: The China market is adopting new innovations in cars faster than other places in the world. What are these innovations happening here first?
A: The car is a mobile device and today it's not as connected as other things that people carry with them. So the expectation is high that the care will be an extension of their mobility world.
I think we're actually saying that Chinese adopt new mobile technology faster than the rest of the world, not necessarily new mobile technology in cars.
When you compare China to anywhere else in the world, it's much more densely populated and everybody's connected through some form of mobile device. The Internet population is now well in excess of 600 million, and almost all of them are connected some sort of mobile device.
To the auto industry, one of the disruptions that is plainly evident if you live in China is that people have the choice of whether to own a car. It's become less and less convenient to drive a car or hail a taxi at certain times of day. Internet companies came in and said that's another convenience that we could provide. You can book a car through your mobile device. That's having a disruptive impact on the way people use mobility.