The automotive industry has already been operating in a state of flux for the past 10 years as the world has begun to rethink the entire concept of mobility. New markets are introducing the possibility of owning a vehicle to individuals for the first time, while others are maturing as consumers choose ride-sharing and other mobility-as-a-service offerings over purchasing a car for personal use. These trends have been happening all while carmakers must manufacture gas-powered, electric, and automated vehicles simultaneously to meet consumer demands.

Accelerating Change in the Auto Industry

After surviving the Great Recession and the government bailout, the automotive industry is facing another historic moment in the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the U.S. government has enacted the Defense Production Act, automakers are required by law to produce complex medical machinery they’ve never engineered before along with personal protective equipment.

It’s unclear how long this situation will go on before workers will be prepared to return to plants at normal levels, or how long it will take for the auto market to recover. But the lessons automakers are learning today could lead to new ideas for how to reinvent production lines and get innovations very quickly to market. 

What’s on the Map for SAP Automotive Customers
The technology projects on their road maps may have to change, but there’s no doubt that automakers will need to lean on technology to get through their latest challenges. The top four priorities SAP automotive customers identified in our research for 2020 are likely to persist, even in a pandemic: supporting a global manufacturing environment, enhancing the customer experience, strengthening cybersecurity, and managing the supply chain. While they will need to reprioritize their technology work, ASUG believes that SAP automotive customers will not be able to put off fundamental projects such as moving to SAP S/4HANA, integrating their business systems, driving business process automation, and reworking plants for electric vehicle production.

Get a Recap of ASUG Automotive Research

We encourage you to learn how your peers are thinking about adapting for the future of mobility by reading our 2020 report. It has useful insights that remain relevant, especially in the wake of what the industry is learning by retooling to manufacture completely new products. You can get an update from other customers who are managing this change right now by listening to our on-demand webcast, The State of the Automotive Industry in 2020: A Research Recap. You’ll hear from Kristin Welch of Ford X, Ford Motor Company’s venture incubator, on the industry’s new focus on manufacturing personal protective equipment and ventilators through 2020.

Download our complete 2020 research report, The State of the Automotive Industry. Don’t miss your opportunity to hear about trends in the industry from other automotive SAP customers at our virtual experience ASUG Best Practices: SAP for Industries in September 2020.

ASUG Research Report The State of the Automotive Industry