Starting this quarter, we have segregated the top five themes as “market forces” and “company responses” to separate change drivers from strategic initiatives. A market force is a trigger event or a driver of change that includes political, economic, competitive, social, technological, legal and environmental factors. A company response is a company action or strategy in response to a market force(s) that can help achieve the next level of growth and mitigate risks.
Themes that stood out include the following:
- Demand patterns is the top market force this quarter. The US is showing signs of demand rebound as consumer trends remain strong and vaccination rollouts continue; China is witnessing strong demand recovery due to the effective pandemic containment, while Europe is expected to witness growth in 2H21 following widespread vaccinations. E-commerce continues to drive demand for logistics and CV companies; automotive customers are also adopting digital sales channels both for vehicle and parts sales.
- Product design and innovation is the top company response this quarter. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in the mobility industry; companies have fast-tracked digitization of products, processes and shop floors to remain viable. Driven by the tightening emission regulations across markets and consumer demand for green mobility, automakers have set up steep targets for portfolio electrification and continue to invest in green mobility manufacturing and deployment.
The top five market forces and company responses emerging from the 1Q21 earning calls are listed in the charts below. Themes are segregated as market forces and company responses, delving down deeper identifying the sub-themes for each. We have also added the prevailing sentiments and evolution of themes every quarter over the past year.