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ThinkLA’s “Motor City West: Automotive 2020” brought together some of the brightest marketing minds on the left coast this week to explore the trends, fads and failures of the industry as it reaches a crucial inflection point in our headlong rush into an uncertain future. Our dutiful foot soldier and Chief Strategy Officer Ian Beavis joined more than 500 professionals—including Allie Coulter (Honda), Steve Kosowski (Kia), Tom Libby (HIS) and Brian Cooley (CNET)—in Long Beach and has reported back with his ThinkLA findings and expert analysis.

ThinkLA –  7 Key Takeaways You Need to Know About

1. The Industry Remains Industrious:

17 million units is in our foreseeable future, but more than 60% of them will be CUV/SUV or pickup trucks if current trends continue.

2. Buyers Have Picked Their Teams:

Customer brand loyalty is higher than 50%, so expect the ever-present battle over conquest buyers to heat up even more.

3. The Playing Field Is Leveling:

The gap between top seller and seventh place has narrowed from 16 percentage points to 9 points in 2017, adding just one more driver of ultra-competition.

4. EV Growth Is Over-Hyped:

Pure EVs currently represent 0.6% of the market and are expected to only get to 2.9% by 2025. Meanwhile, the stalwart internal combustion engines will keep chugging along and still account for 75% of new vehicle sales in 2025.

5. The Shopping Process Has Accelerated:

Car buying is changing rapidly due to consumer demand for more convenience and transparency. 68% of buyers take less than one month from the start of research to purchase, and most only shop 1–2 dealers—often of the same brand.

6. The Key, Essential Attributes for Car Technology:

Call it Apple-ization: tech has to be transparent, intuitive, intimate and constant. Failure of any one area will be catastrophic.

7. State of the Autonomy:

The industry has done a lousy job explaining autonomy, leading to widespread distrust. Consumers need to know that autonomous vehicles are safe, comfortable, confident and in control, when necessary.

That’s it from #ThinkMotorCity.

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