Automotive Industry News That Makes a Point

While the average person may not have much interest in automotive industry news, a lot of useful information can be obtained. This would include the interesting reasoning behind why you can’t always find the car you want at a dealership. Many consultants push for dealers to listen to the customers and their needs. Though this suggestion would work when you look at it theoretically, there are some things that are stopping it from happening.

It is not actually the dealers that are dropping the ball most of the time; it’s the automakers themselves. They may not ship what has been requested by the dealers, instead shipping the vehicle they want. This leaves the dealers with an inventory that isn’t what they requested or what their customers want.

This unfortunate circumstance leaves the dealer with the choice of resorting to hard sell tactics or letting the vehicles sit around forever. Those hard to sell cars can continue to sit for a while, but ultimately they will create problems for the dealer, as no customer may really want to buy them. You either hope they have the vehicle you want or sometimes settling on another choice.

Continued build up of those vehicles can leave the dealer with absolutely no cars that will fit their customers’ needs or wants. You will definitely want to figure this in when you head into that local dealership and don’t see a car you want.

Those hard to sell vehicles that continue to sit around are called a “brown banana”, because it’s become overripe and the value has been going down as it continues to sit around. At this point what can a dealer really do about that problem?

Giving away the cars free, while it might thrill customers, is something that isn’t going to happen. Even when they knock off a lot of money on the price, they are hurting themselves as dealerships are held to making a certain amount of profit. If they don’t make that amount of profit, they could be shut down.

Of course dealers could head back to the days when hard sells were being used all the time. However, that isn’t going to make a customer happy in any way. Many people hated to see a salesperson walking up them in those days.

You’ve probably had it done before – you know the old “let me see those keys” routine. They would state they needed to look at your car to value it for trade-in, however, once those keys were gone it took some might serious persuasion for them to bring your car around so you could leave.

It was a process that earned many people a bad reputation in the past. They would wear you down over time, until you would finally agree to the sale. Not only would you get a car you weren’t really sure you wanted, but you may have put yourself into too much debt.

The Automotive Industry Crisis is a Customer Service Crisis

“If we are not customer driven, nor will our cars be.” Henry Ford

As you read this article, I believe you will discover the real key to true greatness. The key is to be of service to others. No matter who you are, if you are breathing you are in customer service in one way or another. The concept of service has not been understood by most people. Whether you are Madonna, or Billy Graham, you are in customer service. We are all rewarded materially based on the pleasure or service we bring to others.What do all the great ones have in common? They have an attitude of being of service instead of being self-serving. They all serve their audiences or customers with impeccable excellence which resulted in them becoming great.

THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY CRISIS
We have a crisis in this country underlying the financial crisis. I believe that it is at the root of the present financial crisis. It is called the CUSTOMER SERVICE CRISIS! The word crisis in Chinese means danger yet opportunity. We definitely have lots of opportunity to improve in our nation in the area of customer service. I think it is the real financial problem we face today. I am not an economic genius, but I am a customer service expert. I am tired of watching people put band-aids on economic cancer. So I am writing a series of articles which will get to the root of the economic problem and if heeded could help turn this crisis around.

AMERICA WAS BUILT ON SERVICE, BUT TODAY WE HAVE BECOME “SELF-SERVING!”

We have a service crisis that has caused a financial crisis in everything from banking to housing, and of course, automotive.With GM, Chrysler and others bleeding, and people losing their livelihoods and retirements you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see it. Have you had any poor customer service lately? Cold food or dirty restrooms, Late deliveries, Defective parts, Unfulfilled orders, Lazy, rude staff (this is epidemic!!!)

I started out in the auto industry in the mid 70s or what we now call the good old days. I was working for the largest GM dealership in Alaska and one of the largest in the country. This was when GM was GM! I started out washing cars (or busting suds as we use to say). I eventually moved up and became a corporate trainer for the SOUTHEAST Automotive group. One thing I noticed over the years was the deterioration of customer service in the automotive industry. My first boss was a thirty year company man that was customer driven and he constantly reminded us that without a customer we would all be unemployed!

I drank the kool-aid, I believed him. But as the years passed, I noticed that the customer started to become more of a statistic on a graph in a conference room where strategies for up-selling and getting more out of each transaction at the point of sale was the goal. At the same time we were cutting back on quality and service! “Higher profits” – less service became the mantra. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe in profit. But I believe what my good friend and mentor Dr. Ken Blanchard has said about it; “Profit is the applause we get for taking care of our customers…

“If We Are Not Customer Driven, Then Our Cars Won’t Be Either!” Henry Ford

Changes in the Automotive Industry

This may be old news to some of you but the automotive industry is not what it used to be. The days of car manufactures making new cars, slapping an expensive price tag on them and then watching happy go lucky customers drive off the lot in large numbers has passed long ago. With the economy being in the worst shape that it has been in in a very long time, people just don’t have money to waist on vehicles the way that they did once upon a time.

In recent months thing have began to stabilize a little more than the last twelve months. In what was being called the automotive crisis many people lost jobs as almost no cars were being sold. Household names Like GM, Ford, and Chrysler all looked to the government for help. A big reason that the crisis took place was because the automotive industry was weakened by a substantial increase in the prices of automotive fuels. With virtually no fuel efficient models to offer consumers the “Big three” of the American automotive industry watched their sales quickly decrease.

While car companies from other parts of the world had been focusing on making cars targeted at fuel efficiency for many years, most American automobile manufacturers were way behind and therefore suffered the largest loss in sales during the global financial downturn. Hope full the mistakes made by these companies served as a lesson in economic to these companies. Sadly, from the looks of the cars that they are still producing they haven’t.

How to Find Employment In the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is constantly searching for trained technicians. There is an increasing demand for specialised services, and moreover, trustworthy employees that promote company values.

Learn where to find the good jobs; job boards such as Automotive Employment, New Zealand have a wealth of information on them for both local and international job seekers. If you do not know how to use a computer you have an immediate disadvantage. In today’s world online employment applications have become the norm for the automotive industry. You can no longer expect to secure employment without a resume nor can you expect to secure employment without the ability to email the application.

To secure employment in the industry, it is well-advised to have relevant qualifications and in many countries this means completing a formal apprenticeship with your employer combined with a Trade Certificate. Next to that, relevant work experience and good character references from previous employers will place you ahead of other job-seekers. Another useful skill to have is the ability to keep informed about current market trends and new technologies. For instance, it will be significantly harder to find a job as a mechanic if your knowledge of parts only extends to kombi vans made prior to the 1980s. Stay on the ball by subscribing to facts and figures about new makes and models, their functions and specific components. If you have the right knowledge, the expertise associated with the job is one you can take to automotive industries all around the world.

Customers really appreciate thoughtful after-sale services – you should be prepared to go out of your way to make customers happy. This way, they will pick your service over others’, and spread the word about your positive attitude, thus guaranteeing a steady stream of business for both you and your employer. Be approachable – that goes without saying. Service industries rely on positive customer feedback, something that is impossible without your friendly, ready-for-action demeanour.

Your performance will be judged on the precision of your work. If you are not the attentive type, you could jeopardise not only a business deal, but also your client’s life. Botching a car repair could have deadly consequences – it isn’t something you want on your employment record. So if you are seriously determined to find automotive-related employment, you are already an eagle-eyed, honest person who puts his customers before himself.

As an employee in the automotive industry you need to be adaptable to changes in the trade. Currently there is a gradual shift to more carbon-conscious or ‘green’ technologies, while emission-producing processes have become more and more frowned upon.

Continuous Innovations and Changing Trends in Automotive Industry

The global automotive industry is developing with increasing demand for new vehicles. Automotive parts are either Original Equipment or aftermarket parts. From last few years there was fluctuation in the growth of automotive industry. U.S., European and Asian markets are contributing to a large extent in the development of automotive industry. Due to globalization, the pressure on manufacturers, suppliers, and the dependent businesses has increased. The demand and preferences of customers are changing with improved technologies in automobile industries.

It’s a tough challenge for automobile industry to cope with ever-changing trends in the industry. Customers and manufactures are becoming more quality conscious. Market research reports determined new methods adopted by manufacturers for improving quality and productivity like assistance of computer design, production, and testing. Total Quality Management, Six-sigma, 5 S, Kaizen, just-in-time etc. Use of these techniques has increased durability of parts which results in less need for repairs. Globalization has increased the competition in market which increased cost pressures on producers. Many producers had cut-off prices by using advanced techniques of productions and offered quality products at low price to the customers. National focus on volatility and environmental movement has increased the pressure on automakers to opt for alternative energy resources like bio-fuels, hydrogen, etc. During the recession phase automotive industry had suffered a lot. The production and sales decreased with shift in trends. The number of automobile manufacturers is increasing every year.

In the present scenario the rates of internet savvy and techno savvy customers have increased. This in turn forced the global automobile industry to do technological innovations to survive in the market. Research reports have analyzed that in days to come the demand for hybrid vehicles may increase due to increase in fuel prices. Some growing trends in automotive industry are shift in demand from large vehicles to small vehicles and from high-consumption vehicles to fuel-efficient cars. New technologies were introduces in the industry like diesel hybrids, clean diesels, and hybrids, manufacturers became more customer centric. The challenges of automotive industry increased with emergence of globalization, new technology, change in customer demands and economic uncertainties. To overcome these challenges companies started investing more on research and development of existing technology.

This was done to modify engines and producing more fuel-efficient vehicles and machines so that customers can save cost of spending on fuel as well as to increase the sales, profitability and market share. Fuel efficient vehicles like power and battery vehicles came into existence with innovations in technology. Manufacturers adopted production techniques like mass production, lean production and craft production to get benefits if economies of cost and reduce cost of production per unit. Major innovations made by manufactures in product offerings were improved transmissions and engine modifications which improved the operation level of engines. Businesses have been making continuous changes in their production methods and technology in order to serve customer needs, meet customer expectations, improve productivity, increase sales, increase market share and in all to sustain in the market.

A Story for the Australian Automotive Industry

Introduction to the Topic

Australia is one of only a few countries with the capabilities to design cars from scratch and manufacture in significant volumes. Car sales in Australia are also an important factor of the Australian Automotive Industry and the Australian Economy in total.

The Australian Auto Industry (A.A.I. in short) can be divided into two interrelated sectors, the Production ( Manufacturing) sector and the Car Sales (or Import-Sales) sector, both equally important for the total performance of the A.A.I. On one hand, the Manufacturing sector refers to the market conditions under which Australian Manufacturing businesses compete, by producing vehicles and related products, with the main aim of maximizing profits. On the other hand, the Sales sector refers to the market conditions under which car representative sale businesses compete, by the sale of cars and related products, having the same aim with businesses within sector one.

It is very important to state the distinction between these two sectors within the A.A.I., as we will be talking about two different market structures, business strategies, competition conditions, e.t.c. In order to analyse these market structures it would be appropriate to develop two economic models, one for each A.A.I. sector.

1.1-Analyzing the Manufacturing Sector

There is only one market structure that can best describe the market conditions in the Manufacturing sector if A.A.I., this is Oligopoly. As there are only two organizations that produce cars in Australia, and these are Ford and Holden, the competition methods and pricing strategies are based between these two organizations. The following economic model shall help define the competition and economic conditions for the Australian Automotive Manufacturing market.

The first important characteristic of Oligopoly that needs to be stated is that prices between competitors tend to be “sticky”, which means that they change less frequently than any other market structure. This statement will be explained in more detail later on, when we will be developing the Game-Theory model, as it is a very important concept of competition. The second most important characteristic is that when prices do change, firms are likely to change their pricing policies together. These two characteristics can boost up competition within the market. Firms will either try to match rivals’ price changes or ignore them. This is depended on the Game-Theory that is explained bellow.

However, the recent market conditions for the Australian Automotive Industry and the actions of the Australian Government have worsen the competition conditions and possible pricing options available for firms in the market. The production and maintenance costs for a manufacturing business in Australia are already high and rising, mostly due to lack of economic resources and advance of technology. That is, as Holden and Ford try to compete each other, given that prices tend to be “sticky”, they are forced to focus on technological advantage and marketing. Both of these business sectors produce high costs. Furthermore, the Australian government has made it clear that is unwilling to further subsidize automotive organizations in the market. All these factors stated above produce a negative effect on the competitiveness of both firms. In other words, rising costs alongside with decreased revenue push firms in experiencing lower and decreasing levels of profitability.

Profitability and the level of competitiveness are highly interrelated in an oligopolistic market structure, being the two most important factors, alongside with product differentiation, in the competition policies that the firms follow. When we say that the level of competitiveness of a firm is very low, we mean that the firm cannot react effectively to any price changes or competition changes or even changes in production costs. This may leave the firm depended on its’ competitor’s pricing and competition actions, not being able to affect the market competitiveness at all. The firm is then exposed to external danger and can be pushed out of the market, or even worse to shut production and declare bankrupt.

1.2- The Game-Theory Model for Oligopoly

The Game Theory model is used to explain the pricing and competition policies of firms in an oligopolistic market structure. Furthermore, it can show the few different competition policies based on pricing that the two firms can follow, that is High and Low as stated above. All firms in this market structure follow a Game-Theory model, although it is surely more detailed than our example, in the process of trying to forecast competitors’ pricing and competition movements and also keep track of the competition levels in the market and market share. But how does this happen?

For example, let’s say that there are four different fields, each divided in half. These fields represent the pricing strategies that Holden and Ford may use in the process of competing each other. Field A and C represent a High-Pricing policy for Holden, while fields A and B represent a High-Pricing policy for Ford. Lastly, fields B and D represent a Low-Pricing policy for Holden, while fields C and D represent a Low-Pricing policy for Ford. When both firms decide to follow a High-Pricing policy they share a profit of, let’s say, $12 million. If Holden decided to move to a Low-Pricing policy it will experience a maximum of $15 million profit, while Ford’s profitability will fall to $6 million. The exact opposite may also occur, while if both firms decided to follow a Low-Pricing policy they would realize a maximum of $8 million of profit.

What we can identify from the above example is that firms in an oligopolistic competitive market rarely change their pricing policies because this may produce a negative effect on their profitability levels. However, Holden and Ford, being the only two firms in the Australian Automotive Industry, they will focus on competing through product differentiation and marketing. That is, they will try to compete by differentiating their products, for example by producing vehicles with different features, or even base their production on technological advantage. Marketing plays an important role here, as it is the main tool that delivers and connects the customer with product. For example, if Holden introduces a new driving technology that improves driving experience and safety and produces this technology alongside with a newly designed vehicle, it is quite likely that Holden will effectively differentiate its newly designed vehicle from a relative vehicle of Ford and lure more customers in the store. Holden may also use marketing techniques to deliver this technology to the public, in the form of knowledge; hence try to boost sales without changing its pricing policy. However, it is important to state that this new technology may produce higher production costs, if not evaluated properly; hence Holden can only rely in increasing its market share to gain greater profitability. The sales part, however, will be analyzed in more extend within the next chapter of this report.

The Game-Theory is not just a theory for the Automotive Industry in Australia, it’s a fact. It shows us that auto manufacturers in Australia have based their competition strategies on all the factors stated above and as much as they possibly can on pricing strategies. They may advertise that they have low prices, but in fact their prices are very stable. If we have a close look at Holden’s or Ford’s websites, we will identify that there is a huge variety of products and each firm competes in that. However, the new market conditions stated before have greatly changed the way auto manufacturers think of the future and this in turn may change their pricing and competition policies, or even determine their existence in the market.

2.1- Analyzing the Import/Sales Sector

While the auto manufacturers are considered to be operating in an oligopolistic market structure, importing and selling vehicles or relative products is a different story. The import and sale of vehicles is the second and equally important business sector of the Australian Automotive Industry. There are many different car selling businesses and we shall only consider first-hand sales, as second-hand sales in general are not included in economics and more specifically in GDP measurements. To enter the industry hard at all as there are not many barriers to entry, however someone who is interested needs to consider of the high costs in setting up an automotive dealership. All businesses in this market are mostly based on product differentiation to compete and while prices are not “sticky”, pricing competition is set up by the market mechanism and tends not to be considered a regular phenomenon. Lastly, cost analysis and cost management play a very important role. All of the above characteristics refer to the Monopolistic Competition Market Structure. In this market structure we will focus on two phases, the short-run phase and the long-run phase, each with different competition characteristics and outcomes.

An important factor that we need to state here is that when the costs of developing a vehicle in the manufacturing sector rise, then the cost for selling the vehicle for a dealership may rise as well. This is always depended of course on if the vehicle was produced in Australia and if it was produced overseas, under what economic conditions was it produced. Price might be “sticky” for manufacturers, however prices will change much easier in this sector if needs be. Here firms will change their pricing policies if costs either rise or fall and this is always depended on the market mechanism. The amount of competitiveness along with the amount of price elasticity of demand will depend on how many rivals the monopolistic competitive firm will have to face.

In such market the following situation is very common, a situation that helps us distinct between short-run and long-run:

Stage One

In this stage the firm experiences economic profits. However, this fact will draw new firms in the market causing the profits to be competed away.

Stage Two

The economic losses indicated in this stage will cause many firms to exit the market, as they cannot keep selling under these market conditions.

Stage Three

In the final stage, the market clears-up, or reaches equilibrium point. As all firms that needed to exit the market have done so, the market mechanism comes to the point where no economic profits/losses are realized by the firms. This is the point where the market is most stable.

Studying the situation above we can identify one very important fact for any monopolistic competitive firm in the Australian Automotive Industry/ Sales sector. That is that in this market structure, in the long run, firms will realize only normal profits and the market mechanism will eventually reach an equilibrium point. Hence, in the long-run firms will compete mostly through product differentiation. However, in the short run firms may experience economic profits or losses and this is what causes firms to enter or exit the market and “shows” firms how to compete and when to apply pricing competition policies.

Conclusion

The Australian Automotive Industry may be experiencing rough market conditions, mostly because there is no more government support; however competition and profit maximization is still possible. Thinking of moving overseas is not always a good option for the manufacturing businesses, as the Australian Economy needs the manufacturing sector, as it represents a reasonably big part of GDP.
Market competition conditions are well defined for every manufacturer or car dealership, hence any business in the market ought to use the available to them competition strategies and achieve higher market share and profitability level or stabilize its profitability levels. Either way, these are the main goals for almost every profit-motivated business in any market type under any market structure. However, every business ought to define the market structure that is operating in, so that it can then clearly define its goals, strategies and policies. The market mechanism is in all cases responsible for all the above strategies and most of the cases responsible for setting up pricing policies or indicating pricing and marketing strategies.

The Automotive Industry and Global Trade

In the United States, one city is typically synonymous with the automotive industry. It’s challenging to think of an American made car without thinking of Detroit, Michigan, and in recent years the financial trouble the automobile giant has endured. Though foreign manufacturers in Japan and Korea have gained strength and drivers in the US, it doesn’t necessarily mean US automakers are done. MSNBC reported in late 2011 that the Big 3 in Detroit – Chrysler, Ford, and GM – enjoyed a nearly 30 percent increase due to a demand in sports utility vehicles and trucks.

Quick Facts About the Automotive Industry

Since 2000, an average of 48 million passenger cars alone have been manufactured annually around the world.

According to Worldometers, China produces one of every four new cars, and more than half of all cars are produced in Asia and Oceania.

Of the approximated one billion passenger cars on the road around the world, close to 25 percent of them are registered in the United States. (Source: International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers)

According to Businessweek, the top selling car in the world is the Toyota Corolla, with sales of well over 35 million.

Major Exporters of Automobiles

While China is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger vehicles, the country is not necessarily ranked high among top global exporters. The International Trade Centre recently put out a report on top automotive exporters, with the following leading the pack:

Germany – The roots of the German automotive industry date back to the late nineteenth century and the various patents owned by Karl Benz. Where in that time the country produced barely a thousand cars a year, now over five million are manufactured. Popular German brands include Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, and Porsche.

Japan – Gasoline-powered vehicles have been built in Japan early as 1907. Despite natural disasters that threatened the nation’s economy, Japan has worked to maintain its place among top car producers and exporters. Toyota, one of the top selling brands of all time, is based in Japan, as are Nissan, Honda, Mazda, and Subaru.

The United States – The US auto industry took a hit in recent years due to the economy. Through a combination of asset liquidation and government funding, the major brands (Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors) have worked to stay afloat. Despite this issues, the US remains a top producer with over seven million cars made on average in the country.

Republic of Korea – Over the last decade, South Korea has established itself as an automotive power thanks to an association between Daewoo Motors and GM, and Hyundai’s presence in the US with a major assembly plant.

Canada – While the country has no major native brand, Canada is important to the automotive industry by virtue of the many plants established by foreign brands, including Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda.

Major Importers of Automobiles

While many countries produce domestic brands, automobile imports remain strong in economies that seek certain qualities, such as fuel efficiency and safety features. Among the top importers of automobiles:

The United States – Of the top brands sold in the US in the last year, many names bring to mind manufacturers from other lands: the Toyota Camry and Corolla, the Nissan Altima, and the Honda Civic and Accord.

Germany – While German brands dominated domestic sales in 2011, there is enough of a demand for foreign models to make Germany an important importer. Ford, Skoda (based in the Czech Republic), and Hyundai are popular names.

United Kingdom – Luxury is often synonymous with the British automotive industry. Aston Martin, Bentley, and Rolls Royce are three makes manufactured here, though Ford, Volkswagen, and the French Peugeot are seen more often on the roads.

Italy – Italy is known for the Fiat and Ferrari, but foreign makes like the Ford Fiesta, the French Citroen C3, and the Volkswagen Golf are also in demand.

France – The French appear greatly committed to domestic brands, particularly Renault and Peugeot, but foreign models from Ford, Volkswagen and the Romanian Dacia are gaining ground in the last year.

The Aftermarket

Equally important to the automotive industry is the manufacture and sale of auto parts and accessories, commonly known as the aftermarket. Sub-industries relevant to automobile sales may include products like tires and paint, stereo and GPS, engines and chemicals needed for operation, leather and vinyl for seating and safety features. According to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), the aftermarket in the US alone totals over $250 billion.

Though faltering economies and natural disasters have given the international automotive industry a number of challenges, one can conclude sales are destined to remain strong so long as the need for personal transportation remains. How and where people will by their cars may change over time as considerations for eco-friendly features grow in demand, but so long as people continue to buy automobiles the global industry will continue to gain speed.

5 Automotive Industry Trends Which Will Put Pedal to Metal

A new technological decade has unfolded, and businesses are gearing up to keep pace with the emerging trends and evolving user requisites of this era. Industry giants are claiming to have their strategies in place, in order to mitigate any risks which the year 2013 may pose. But are all industries indeed ready?

As of March 2013, the US automotive industry has recorded a sale of 3,689,089, but will the pace be maintained throughout? Are mobility firms prepared for the next decade? In order to determine this, automakers will need to keep an eye in the emerging trends of the industry and adopt them into their business models. Here are 5 key trends which every mobility firm must be mindful about as it strategizes for the upcoming financial year.

Governments will regulate the need for safer and cleaner transportation. As far as secure individual mobility is concerned, governments are currently focusing on three core areas- environmental compatibility, preservation of resources and safety. This will prompt original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to render a diversified range of safer and cleaner vehicles, especially zero-emission transportation. While, consumers will weigh their vehicle-buying decisions based on penalties and incentives at their disposal.

New players will set foot in the automotive sector. The evolving consumer needs, introduction of Automotive IT solutions and advancing technology have paved way for new entrants to set foot in the mobility market. Even non-automotive firms are rendering services like mobility integration, car-sharing and ‘black box insurance’ based on usage, which decides the premium limit based on electric vehicle integration, real-time evaluation of driving performance and advanced car entertainment systems. The evolution of these new business models will allow the new players to become an integrated part of the traditional automotive value chain.

Automotive marketing will get an edge with social media initiatives. The marketing trends in the automotive industry have witnessed a major shift. From showcasing a gleaming car in a 30-second slot, the means of marketing have become more social. Lately, consumers have been doing a thorough research before deciding upon which vehicle to invest in. Social media platforms have facilitated the access to a plethora of information, including perceptions and opinions of other consumers. Buyers are resting their decisions on reviews which they acquire from influential blogs and websites, other consumers and news features- sources on which the mobility firms can’t exercise any control. At the same time, OEMs are harnessing social platforms to develop closer bonds with consumers. They are adapting to the paradigm shift and utilizing it to market their products to a wider audience base.

OEMs will look forward to rationalizing their portfolios. Post surviving the recession blues, most OEMs will shift their focus from volume to sustainability and profits. Emerging OEMs will look forward to climbing up the scale as soon as possible, by either acquiring in their home market or eyeing the developed nations, in order to build a global presence.

Globalization of the sector will result into emergence of new risks. Globalization is paving way for new risks and OEMs are continuously devising radical operational strategies in order to mitigate these risks. Whether it’s the volatile prices of raw materials and misalignment of demand and supply, or it’s the shortage of qualified workers and changing regulatory prices, automotive firms are facing a reality check pertaining to their globalization efforts. In the wake of these challenges, industry must gear up to implement mitigation strategies in order to simplify the adaption of the value chain. And implementation of automotive software solutions is being viewed as one of the prime solutions to these challenges.

Planning is the key to success in the times to come. The automotive industry needs to study the evolving trends circumspectly and prepare their business strategies accordingly.

Why It Is Important To Buy A Home Cover

Nature’s fury or riotous incidences don’t come knocking at your doorstep. Within couple of minutes it can turn down your dream like a pack of cards. It will not only affect your emotions but also impact your finances. At times, a mere earthquake or tsunami leaves millions of people across the world penniless and with no homes. Therefore, the best way to protect your home and its valuable belongings from getting damaged is to own a suitable Home insurance policy.

A home insurance is a form of property insurance designed to cover an individual’s home from damages to the house itself, or to possession in the home. It will also cover your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage, you or members of your family cause to other people.

Despite of knowing the benefits and best of the coverage to secure their house from any uncertainty and unexpected problems still majority of home owners try to avoid buying home insurance in India because of its expensive costs. Especially in economic slowdowns people start to contemplate whether or not carrying an insurance policy on their home is really necessary. They begin to think that the money being spent on the policy could be better spent elsewhere. This can be a dangerous way to think.

Home insurance, which covers the house and its contents from fire, theft, burglary and other security concerns, is still a segment that has not seen enough takers

Home insurers also provide cover for household appliances including television, washing machine, refrigerator and jewelry or valuables that are kept in the house. In some cases, even pets in the house, at the time of an accident or robbery and are injured in the incident gets a cover. Terrorism and catastrophic incidents are also covered under some products.
Home insurance is something that everybody that owns a home must deal with. If you are considering switching insurance companies, the process can be a little confusing. While looking for insurance cover the first thing that you need to do is find the company that you are going to switch over to. You will want to shop around and make sure that you are getting the best rate available.

You can do this in a number of different ways. Check out some independent review sites and see who is rated as the best company for insurance. Get a few rate quotes online and then visit an agent. They will be able to tell you what everything costs and give you an idea if you are better off than you were. Choose the best company that fits your needs and is within your budget. Once you decide on a company, you will have to do the necessary paperwork to get a Home insurance. You can usually do this in a few minutes while you’re sitting in the office of the agent that you chose to work with. They will have a few forms to fill out and you will be ready to go. They will ask you some basic questions about the property including the value of the property and if you have any special items to be insured. You will have to decide on the coverage limits and the features that you want.

Different Premium Payment Modes Available In Life Insurance

Affordable premiums are definitely one of the most important features of an insurance plan, however it should also have a balanced share of benefits to offer as well. Here in this article we discuss the basic types of premiums and some of the common modes of payments available with the life insurance plans in market.

Types of life insurance premiums:

There are basically two types of premium payments namely single premium and regular premiums. At the time of opting for the plan, every policyholder would be explained in brief by the insurance agent or company about these two terms in particular. These two types of premiums are determined by the quantum of payment and the frequency decided by the person insured. Single premiums require a lump sum payment to be made by the insured at the time of entry while in regular premiums, he/she will be required to makes payments on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly basis. Both single premium and regular premium plans have their own benefits, yet the former proves to be more efficient when considering the total cost involved. The below example illustrates the basic difference between the two types of premiums.

A 32 year old woman pays a yearly premium of Rs.13,000 for 10 years on her life insurance policy, that offers survival benefits of Rs.2,00,000 on maturity. Going by this mode of payment, she will pay a total amount of Rs.1,30,000 by the end of the term period. However, the same plan comes with an option for single premium whereby a person is required to pay a lump sum amount of Rs.90,000 at the time of enrollment. In the second instance, the person insured can save up to Rs.40,000 on premiums. Taking into account the time value of money and rate of inflation, lump sum payments can often supersede the benefits of regular premiums. But again, making payments in one go may not be feasible for many customers and it is finally on their part to choose the type of payment after evaluating budgetary requirements. Therefore, make sure that you opt for the single premium mode only if you can afford the same without straining your finances.

Premium paying frequency:

Under regular premium mode, policyholders are required to pay premiums throughout the term period, while for some policies, the premium term is less than the policy term. For example, if your purchase a policy that offers life insurance coverage for 10 years, you can either choose to pay the premium for the entire length of the plan or choose a reduced payment term of 7 or 8 years. As a general rule of thumb, the number of installments is directly proportional to the sum insured, ie.,higher the sum insured more the number of installments. Once you have chosen the regular payment option, you then need to decide the frequency of premium payments which is either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Your premium payment term is also linked to the surrender value of the policy. Generally, a life insurance plan acquires surrender value after completion of 2 premium years. So in case you surrender your policy after the first year, you will not be eligible for the same.

Different method of paying your insurance premiums:

Gone are the days when one had to wait in long queues at the branch counters to deposit life insurance premiums. Going in line with the digital advancements of today, even insurance companies have launched apps and web platforms to offer a comprehensive range of services online. Given below are some of the most common methods of insurance premium payments:

Insurance agents – An insurance agent visiting your home to collect premiums was a common scene in early days, when private companies had only started to secure a foothold in the Indian insurance industry. Even with the changed times and latest digital enhancements, you can always get in touch with a collection agent of your insurer to come and collect your payments.

Mobile wallets – Post demonetization, the importance of mobile payments have increased so rapidly that a number of e-wallet companies have entered the market within a short span. The e-wallets offer a lot of facilities ranging from booking a ticket to paying off your monthly bills. Some of the mobile wallets have linked up with the insurance companies to facilitate fast and convenient premium payments for policyholders.

Online payments – As already mentioned, you can simply login to the insurer’s website and pay your premiums through internet banking, credit cards, or debit cards

Standing instruction on credit card – You can give a standing instruction to your insurance company to deduct the premium amount on your behalf. You just have to submit an application for the same along with the details of your credit card.

Electronic Clearing System – It’s an automated system of payment where the premium amount gets deducted from the bank account of the customer on due date. You can register for this service by filling out the ECS mandate form and submitting it along with other relevant details to the concerned branch of your insurance company.