Revolutionary vs Evolutionary

Replica of the first motorised car, the start of a 'revolution' image: Wikipedia Guest writer, Lily, has her own take abou...

Replica of the first motorised car, the start of a 'revolution'
image: Wikipedia
Guest writer, Lily, has her own take about what qualifies as a revolution and an evolution in the automobile industry.

The present economic situation brought my attention back to ‘product life cycle’ and ‘business life cycle’, in making sure that I’m on my toes when it comes to what’s happening around me. The automotive industry is one of the most important economic sectors in the world by revenue, hence, the ‘automobile industry life cycle’ comes to mind. Depending on which angle that you are examining it, looking at the bigger picture of the industry life cycle, it seems like the automobile industry never stops growing.

When car production seemed to slow down in the US, here comes the group of emerging countries, spreading its wings to overtake the US as the world number 1 ranking car market. The latest report by the Global Automotive Forum indicated that China will hit 20 million new car sales by 2020; in the following 10 years, the figure will double to 40 million car sales.

Personally, I do think that the automobile industry life cycle is a very big cycle. This big cycle is being maintained by all the small product life cycles of the individual auto manufacturing companies. Evolution keeps on happening in these auto manufacturing companies by benchmarking with one another to produce what the customers want, to incorporate the latest technology into the cars and to bring more convenience to the consumers. The only day that the automobile industry life cycle dies off will be the day that human beings start to drastically change their mode of mobility, making cars and related infrastructure obsolete; then, a revolution takes place, starting a new industry life cycle for human mobility. I know, it’s a mind blowing thought. How likely is that to happen?

Humans have been wanting convenience of mobility since the stone age. The first car that moved without the aid of an animal was invented by Karl Benz back in 1886; we can call that a ‘revolution’ because it had enabled humans to travel without relying on a strong, four legged animal. Subsequent improvements in making cars a more comfortable, convenient and appealing mode of transportation was an ‘evolution’. The same applies to the Wright brothers who made a difference between ‘humans cannot fly’ to ‘human can fly”.
Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford, who brought the American automaker back from the brink of bankruptcy to the most impressive turnaround in corporate history, mentioned that despite the dramatic changes in transportation and the world, he has only one vision - this vision is constant and never changes, but what might change is the journey to the destination. This vision is “opening up the world’s highways so that everyone can have freedom of mobility, and can access the opportunities for growth that experiences can offer”. That’s a powerful vision! To me, it is difficult, though not impossible, for us to have another car revolution but we are going to see many different types of evolution. This car evolution becomes part of the “highway” which increases the mobility of human beings by cutting down travel time, and increasing comfort and prestige to achieve efficiency and satisfaction.

We may experience a revolution in transport if someone invents an underwater transportation for individuals to ‘swim’ across countries (without having to actually exert any physical energy), like the underwater motorcycle. That would ease road congestion, save time and allow privacy by not requiring us to sit on a plane with so many other people! If such a contraption was invented, I would call it a revolution, for at first it was not there, now it is.

Every car company is trying to watch over their products' life cycle within the industry. Many business reports illustrate today’s business world as volatile, complex, and the situations of “moving parts” or “uncertainty”  are growing in an exponential way. A product life cycle is just like a molecule in the air - it can’t stand alone, and it needs to be combined with other molecules to make it more stable, to withstand environmental changes. Everything in an organisation, from leadership to technology to culture, affects the product life cycle’s health.

Mulally, in an interview by McKinsey & Company, mentioned one fundamental which makes his leadership a success in transforming the organisation. It is “recognising that it is an honour to serve.” How many people actually want “to be served” rather than “to serve”? That is a good statement for all of us to start pondering on and examining ourselves.


news 61699062256491739

Post a Comment



sponsored by

Hot in week

Connect With Us