Automotive Industry Hot Topics with CAR Senior VP of Research and CINO, K. Venkatesh Prasad –  (04/26/2024)

This week we are joined by a special guest, Dr. K. Venkatesh Prasad, Senior Vice President or Research and Chief Innovation Officer at CAR. Prasad covers and shares his thoughts on the latest Hot Topics happening in the automotive industry.  If you would like to receive this bi-weekly insight into critical industry issues you and your organization are facing, sign up for our mailing list here to get Hot Topics sent directly to your inbox.  


Stellantis Clashes with Suppliers:

Prasad’s thoughts:

The auto industry is in transition, arguably the biggest transition it has seen in more than 100 yearsWith a transformation of this scale, where trillions of dollars are at stake and winners and losers will be identified in the next few years, it is understandable that almost all business relationships will get pressure tested and we will witness many manifestations of stress. What we are seeing, in this case, is perhaps one example of the industry transition stress playing out: a legacy OEM that has to manage dual operating systems: be highly profitable with ICE products to nourish the fast-growing electric vehicle business. 


UAW Volkswagen Vote:

Prasad’s thoughts:

The immediate response suggests that production costs will rise, potentially resulting in the emergence of a new and expensive product mix aimed at maintaining profitability, aligning with the product trends observed at the D3 factories. However, stepping back to look at the bigger picture, we can see that the dynamics of the automotive business are changing. The workforce landscape is evolving, marked by big gaps identified by the Center for Automotive Reasearch in the electric industry education and training needs. It is a call for private investors and economic developers to redesign the business operating environment. It is time to rethink the changes that will be needed to ensure that the tango of state incentives and private investments will work to retain and attract businesses, and above all, be in unison to train and prepare our workforce for a better tomorrow.  


Amazon Private Charging:

Prasad’s thoughts:

This is American enterprise at its best. Commercial customers want zero unplanned downtime and that’s what this is designed to deliver. It is a great example of how a great industrial platform works to scale both the marketplace and innovation. With this execution, Amazon has understood many different dimensions associated with the design of the critical services needed to ensure efficiency for its internal fleet customers. This can easily be turned into a business offering for all, not just Amazon’s fleet. It is highly probable that we will soon see additional developments on this topic, such as EV charging partnerships and services that could extend benefits to non-Amazon fleets and everyday EV consumers alike. 



Carla Bailo

K. Venkatesh Prasad

Senior Vice President of Research and Chief Innovation Officer

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