By Wolfgang Philipp

Published in February 2024

1-Minute Automotive Product Strategy

Fake At First Sight: Why Have Cars Become So Plastic?

Fake At First Sight: Why Have Cars Become So Plastic?
© Photo by Dawid Zawiła / Unsplash

Related to

PRODUCT QUALITY
PRODUCT STRATEGY
DESIGN STRATEGY

Plastic has changed our world – and the automobile. Throughout all segments from budget to ultra-luxury, plastic is ubiquitous.

The light, flexible, and easily malleable material has revolutionized automotive design, production, and safety. We have become so accustomed to its omnipresence that we only realize it when we get into a vintage car – and experience a lost authenticity.

In countless applications, plastic is the best option to make a car better.
It speeds up the development of parts, it facilitates their production, and it is abundant.

However, often it is only the cheaper substitute for higher quality materials.
Plastic has predominantly become the artificial ingredient that enhances the flavor while reducing costs.

But even chrome surfaces, wooden veneers, and leather can’t mask away the reality fractions of a millimeter below them.

The illusion of luxury comes at a price: it is created by a mindset that favors instant gratification over quality.

This mindset turned the car from a professional tool into a consumer product with limited lifetime.

Wear-and-tear repairs of major parts are not intended or economically unviable. This contributes to the low residual value of BEVs – and the poor pricing power of most volume brands.

The ubiquity of plastic is not the problem; it’s only one symptom of a limited view on short-term goals.

A plastic panel covered grille says: If you want to have the real thing, buy our V8-powered sportscar.

The root cause are different short-term incentives for the individual OEM departments.

X% increase in quarterly sales, Y% additional margin, and Z% decrease in defect rates are compromising each other.


Quality is a long-term mindset. It requires a holistic strategy – a common strategic ground that unites all departments and specialists across brand, product, and communication to one collaborative power team.

The same long-term perspective enables everyone to fully focus on their specific expertise while moving in the same direction.

Thank you for reading 1-Minute Automotive Product Strategy!

If you want to learn more on this topic, read our article Holistic Marketing – How A Company Can Benefit from the Marshmallow Experiment In Real Life.

For specific questions, contact us here.

Don’t miss any 1-Minute Automotive Brand Strategy and follow us on
LinkedIn
!

PHANTASIA is a creative consultancy for the automotive and motorcycle industry. We are strategic partners for product managers, designers, and advertising agencies to thrive in their domain.

Our holistic strategies provide direct applicability from the beginning: The segment specialists can fully focus on their expertise while collaborating through the same strategic platform, which increases quality, pricing power, and ultimately brand equity.

Discover
More

The Untapped Superpower of Automotive Brands
© Photo by Simone Pellegrini / Unsplash

The Untapped Superpower of Traditional OEMs

Electric mobility reshuffles the cards in the automotive industry. Suddenly, newcomer brands drive innovation. But traditional OEMs have an untapped superpower.

In this 1-Minute Automotive Brand Strategy, we explore how traditional OEMs can differentiate their brands in the new era.

MARKETING    BRAND     PRODUCT     COMMUNICATION

What Happened to Automotive Advertising?
© Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Digitization has disrupted advertising in the same way electric mobility has disrupted the automotive industry.

Enjoy this commercial break in our 1-Minute Automotive Communication Strategy!

MARKETING    BRAND     PRODUCT     COMMUNICATION

lancia, flaminia
© Photo by Free-Photos / pixabay.com

Lancia is the sleeping beauty in Stellantis’ extensive brand portfolio. A brand that shaped the automobile – with inventions like the self-supporting body and design icons such as the Aurelia B20 GT, the Aurelia B24 Spider, and the Stratos – is being awakened by a kiss in a new era of mobility.

In this article, we take a closer look at the fame and glory of Lancia and why its best days are possibly yet to come.

MARKETING    BRAND     PRODUCT     COMMUNICATION

Do you like our articles? Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest strategic insights.