Like quite a few others, I broadcasted for many years how the EU automotive sector was driving into a wall while ignoring the uptake of its Chinese counterparts.

First, they ignore the Chinese EV, then they laugh at it, then they say it’s unfair...
The Paris Motor Show is in full swing, and for the first years, Chinese automakers such as BYD are front and central. The full capabilities of China as a technology leader are now on full display, and incumbents in the West are starting to feel queasy. It’s disturbing, I root

Fast forward to 2023, and the signs of decline cannot be ignored.

EV Market’s Surge Toward $57 Trillion Sparks Global Flashpoints
The electric-vehicle land grab is reshaping economies and challenging political allegiances around the world.

As Chinese vehicles demonstrate an undisputable edge in terms of digital integration, efficiency, and, yes, design, protectionism is the last solution on the table.

It's not. But it will probably require a few more dominos to fall. And by domino, I mean large bankruptcies. As I write this, it's not unrealistic to see VW getting there within 2 or 3 years.

If it's the case, will it be a wake-up call? This industry is so entrenched in its narrow culture that I wonder. I also wonder if this shouldn't be a full reboot with fresh operators entering the market. When I look at a Tesla today, I see the car of the future... from 2012. The technology continues the beat the crap of everyone else, but the concept of the car itself is dated. When I look at the impressive BYD top models, I'm very much impressed, and yet they speak of big-city urbanism and highways. Fine for crushing BMW, but what of Dacia?

There is so much room for reinvention and innovation. And I'm not even addressing the other elephants in the room (there are quite a few of them). What about the cumbersome market of auto insurance, the borderline scam that is financing and leasing, the antiquated concession model, oh, and let's not forget the bloody energy distribution system?

And while I'm looking at the sad state of our automotive market, don't blame them too harshly for their cultural blindness. Most other EU industrial sectors are smoothly entering the same pipeline.

The IT sector...

The US just forced China to commit to full digital sovereignty – Innovation Copilots
I’m in Vietnam right now and don’t have a lot of time to share my thoughts and a thorough analysis. I just want to pin that down for further reference: > China has spent nearly two decades building a digital wall between itself and the rest of the world,

The luxury sector...

China is officially reinventing luxury on its own terms
As an echo of last February’s article on cracking the luxury market in China and other signals indicating that China was starting to get branding right, we now have many little big bangs confirming European brands are officially in trouble. While selling Western taste and glamour for decades was an

Or pure deeptech...

China innovation now leads the planet, not California – Innovation Copilots
Among other things, China’s innovation now leads the on-demand mobility revolution with more and more electric vehicles and… bikes. While I was already forewarning my customers in luxury, automotive, energy, and retail for years, this is hopefully obvious for everyone. The country’s size, the prob…

We see the tidal wave coming. It's slow-moving and should be rather difficult to ignore.

"Those are not mountains. They're waves..."

Don't be depressed, though. As for the automotive sector, there is room for reinvention. So. Much. Room. And we even have a standard innovation practice to deal with such dramatic turnarounds.


I know. It sounds gruesome and unbearable, and yet it's a playbook many of us have practiced many times over. Now that design thinking is less en vogue, maybe we should return to more systemic and impactful innovation strategies.

Your choice.

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