J.D. Power Roundtable Gives Glimpse into the Future


J.D. Power and Associates - February 8, 2013

The annual J.D. Power Inter­na­tional Auto­mo­tive Round­table, held Fri­day dur­ing NADA Con­fer­ence, included a dis­cus­sion by the company’s exec­u­tive direc­tor of global vehi­cle research.

Get insight from Mike Van Nieuwkuyk on chang­ing tech­nol­ogy requirements.

Q: Evolv­ing platforms—such as PDAs and Tablets, are pro­vid­ing new ways for con­sumer to com­mu­ni­cate, share infor­ma­tion and engage with prod­uct and ser­vice providers. How is the auto­mo­tive indus­try keep­ing pace?

Van­Nieuwkuyk: Since con­sumers spend nearly 3 hours per day in their vehi­cle, they are seek­ing to make their time in the vehi­cle more use­ful and enjoy­able. We see that new fea­tures that offer con­sumers greater con­nec­tiv­ity, real-time infor­ma­tion and flex­i­bil­ity to select who or what and how they want to be con­nected are being received with great con­sumer interest.

Q: Much of the tech­nol­ogy is inte­grated into a sin­gle screen on the dash­board. The chal­lenge there is tak­ing tech­nolo­gies from dif­fer­ent sup­pli­ers and try­ing to inte­grate them into a sin­gle sys­tem… Are the sup­pli­ers talk­ing to the other sup­pli­ers to help inte­grate their var­i­ous sys­tems? If not, why not?

Van­Nieuwkuyk: In the con­nected car world, there is now an influx of new, non-traditional sup­pli­ers, where the car is just a por­tion or expan­sion of their busi­ness port­fo­lio. These sup­pli­ers are not cap­tive to the auto­mo­tive indus­try, which makes it very dif­fi­cult for OEMs and exist­ing sup­pli­ers to work with them and within an indus­try that works at a very dif­fer­ent pace and has dif­fer­ent (some­times com­pet­ing) objectives.

Q: Is there such a thing as too much tech­nol­ogy in a vehicle?

Van­Nieuwkuyk: I don’t think the issue is too much tech­nol­ogy but rather that you can have too com­plex tech­nol­ogy and you can have unnec­es­sary tech­nol­ogy. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Match­ing the tech­nol­ogy to the need and the exe­cu­tion to the use envi­ron­ment is critical.