Talent management—attracting, developing, and retaining leadership, managerial, and technical talent—has become the ultimate priority for CEOs and their executive teams. While this challenge is not a new one for senior leaders, it has become more critical than ever, due to the technology, business-model, and consumer-preference disruptions affecting the automotive industry. These challenges will be particularly stark for automotive companies, OEMs, and suppliers, and how they respond to these challenges will play a large role in determining the winners and losers in the coming decade.
To better understand how this unprecedented change will affect automotive companies and their approach to talent, we partnered with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), a trade association of automotive suppliers, to survey and interview 60 automotive companies across a range of business sizes and technology areas. The companies surveyed were headquartered in the United States or were the US division of companies headquartered outside of the United States, but the responses have global implications. The effort involved a committee of senior executives from 22 automotive suppliers that shaped the effort, provided deep insights, and pressure-tested the findings.
This report shares the findings from our study, focusing on best practices for talent management in the automotive-supply industry. The findings may be of interest more broadly, as this industry bears many similarities to the larger automotive and mobility ecosystem and to most industries being disrupted.
Unprecedented disruption in the automotive-supplier sector
The automotive sector is experiencing unprecedented disruption through changing technologies, business models, competitors, and buying behaviors. For instance, McKinsey’s Center for Future Mobility predicts that over the next decade, vehicles will increasingly have the following characteristics:
- Autonomous. Today about 1 percent of vehicles sold are equipped with partial autonomous driving. In 2025, 60 percent of the top 20 OEMs plan to have a level 4 autonomous vehicle in their offering, though the applications may be constrained to certain geographical areas or use cases. Even though business models for autonomous people-and-goods transport are still under development, measurable progress is being made. Recently, for example, the increase of vehicle miles traveled between disengagements has risen from 5,000 to 12,000 miles for two leading autonomous-vehicle players.
- Connected. Today approximately 12 percent of new cars sold are equipped with embedded connectivity, generating revenues of $1.5 billion globally. The percentage of consumers ready to switch to a car brand with better connectivity (and value-adding connectivity services) remains high, at around 40 percent.
- Electric. By 2021, more than 50 percent of the announced models will have xEV, or electrified, powertrains. For 2025, the estimated share of new-car sales ranges from 5 to 9 percent for battery electric vehicles (BEV) and from 5 to 8 percent for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for the United States.
- Shared. Today shared mobility (that is, app-based transportation network companies comprising car sharing, ridesharing, and micro-mobility) accounts for 1 to 2 percent of passenger miles traveled in the United States. Two-thirds of US consumers expect to increase their shared-mobility usage over the next two years. While the terminology “shared” is still evolving in light of changing consumer preferences, the shift to technology-enabled and digitally managed transportation modes is evident.
The impacts of these trends are in their infancy and will have sweeping implications on talent in the sector for the coming years and decades.
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SOURCE: McKinsey & Company