Every day, Thomson Reuters touches millions of automobile aficionados around the world, including people who design vehicles, regulate their safety, invest in automakers, provide tax advice to them, sue and defend manufacturers and suppliers, and, in the case of the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show which is currently underway, marvel at the sleek lines, speed and agility of the concept cars that offer unique and wonderful views of a future of which we all want to be a part.
What goes into bringing these provocative new cars to market? The concept car is someone’s best guess at a future, yet we’re now looking at one involving cars that are not driven by people and are connected to our personal network, as well as the Internet of Things. Apple, Google, Tesla, Uber and other technology giants are emerging players in the space.
Auto manufacturing is a global industry with a sprawling web of workflows, labor forces and international supply chains. There is steep competition in every class of vehicles so the need to innovate and differentiate is high. Moreover, the auto industry is highly regulated in areas such as safety, emissions, fuel economy and dealership networks. With stakes so high – including the lives and livelihoods of people – safety issues alone can cost millions of dollars in the form of new regulatory hurdles and class-action litigation. (more…)