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Carmakers Try to Figure Out the New Generation - - Connectivity is getting more important.

I’m glad to see a growing awareness of the need for connectivity but the manufacturers’ response is to add a hodgepodge of “features” rather than recognizing that connectivity is about transcending the different twisting passages and about treating the car as just another place. As people bring their own technology the car loses its special status. The speakers, for example, become a resource rather than part of the car’s own sound system.
Among car companies, which are displaying their latest products at the Paris Motor Show now under way, there is a growing recognition that young people may simply not care about cars as much as their elders. Smartphones now rival automobiles as the default symbol of adulthood, and the portals to the world beyond home and school. Electronic technology competes ever more for the younger generation’s disposable income.
As a result, in Paris automakers seem to spend more time talking about how well their cars interact with an iPhone than they do about engine performance. Connectivity is the new horsepower.
“Before we talked about steering, ride and all those elements,” said Gunnar Herrmann, vice president for quality at Ford of Europe. “You could argue those are dropping down in importance. Connectivity is getting more important.”
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