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The future of the automotive industry

This week’s guest blog post continues our interview of Peter B. Kosak, Executive Director, Urban Mobility Program, General Motors Company by Arianne Walker, Sr. Director, Brand Strategy, Oracle Data Cloud.

Continuing our conversation from part one, Arianne talks with Peter regarding his reaction to the recently released Future of Transportation Project Report from the Center for the Digital Future, as well as his perspective on what the future holds for the automotive industry.

Arianne Walker: How is marketing Maven different than marketing, “buy this car?”

Peter Kosak: I think absolutely central to acceptance, interest and ultimately adoption, is bulletproof reliability. At the core of ownership is the certainty and the freedom that “it’s mine,” and I have access to it on my own terms whenever I want. 

The person who has a nine-to-five job and his vehicle sits in the parking lot all day is burning up carrying costs. But he is unwilling to submit that vehicle into a peer-to-peer sharing network, unless he is absolutely certain that a vehicle is available for that situation where he gets a call from his child’s school to be picked up.

The same is true in ride sharing. People must feel they can rely on whatever set of services, or whatever particular service, before they’ll give up that certainty and freedom of ownership. Marketing certainly plays a part in that.

One of our guiding stars is to make shared use feel like ownership; to make it feel familiar. Maven is a service that must drive adoption and habit formation. To achieve this, you have to become a very quick and reliable consideration and to do that you have to continually satisfy.

You can’t let people down. You need to build a community and develop a reputation for having reliable technology that works as well as your phone; that is always there and without problems. That’s really how you market it. We’ve also focused our marketing much more around digital, including social networks. We haven’t used broadcast or print media. Marketing for this kind of service must be inherently grass roots; part of your community.

Arianne Walker: How do you differentiate yourself in the marketplace?

Peter Kosak: One way was setting up this project in New York City with Stonehenge Luxury Apartments and Icon Parking. It was really cool, because we set up a system for people who live in the Ritz Plaza apartment building on 48th Street, with an Icon garage downstairs. This allowed them to access our vehicles with an app, and allowing you to park at any of the Icon parking garages—all 220 of them in the area.

And, you can park at any of those without having to pull a ticket or give a credit card. Further, this project allows us to improve what might be a terrible cab experience for a relative or friend coming for a visit. 

I think about a time my mom came to visit me in Manhattan. It was not pleasant for her. Her first experience with Manhattan was driving down the highway in this smelly cab. If I had that service, I could have reserved a car—a brand new Equinox, a Trax or an ATS—and driven it to the airport, picked up my mom and we could have ridden back into the city together while having a conversation.

And then if she asks, “Where did you get this car?” I could answer, “It came with my rent. Just like I have access to the fitness center and the pool, I have access to this car.” If you make this stuff personal for consumers, and you think about the lives they lead, the friction they face and the options they have, there are lots of opportunities to differentiate yourself.

Read part one of this interview by visiting the Oracle Data Cloud blog.

About Peter Kosak

Peter Kosak is the executive director of global Urban Mobility Programs, and responsible for implementing the company’s urban mobility initiatives around the world. His team is charged with developing new services, products and partnerships to address new opportunities and challenges associated with the world’s growing urbanization.

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Image: l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock 

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