Special Report

July 28, 2015

Big Data’s Impact on Auto Consumers

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Written by: Suhail Nasir
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In June 10th 2015, in the sub forum Consumer Insight: The Role of Big Data of the 6th Global Automotive Forum, Yu Chenglong, Vice Minister of the Changan Automotive Product Planning Department, Han Song, Vice President of Autohome, Dr. Marco Hecker, Partner of Strategy & Operations, China Automotive Consulting Lead in Deloitte China, along with Liu Xiaoyong, Chief Editor of magazine “Automotive Observer”, jointly discussed what impacts the era of big data has had on automobile consumers.

Yu Chenglong: Big data has brought omnidirectional change to Changan


The use of big data should hold the user at its core. The concept of “Internet +” is surrounded by confusion and controversy, but it will be an important topic to consider and an inevitable part of the future. The value, products and services created by the traditional car itself cannot be replaced. But the Internet will serve OEMs and offer benefits to users as well. Generally speaking, the Internet has brought reform of thinking, business and management to Changan.

How does Internet big data affect the automotive industry? From the perspective of the automobile manufacturers, big data will impact product development, manufacturing, marketing services, and organizational communication. But big data will also have an impact on consumers. Internet big data will enable consumers to accurately predict future changes in the market to determine user behavior. This technology has created a completely new dynamic for Changan.

Han Song: Big data stimulate the revolution of auto industry     “The barbarians outside the door” is the title given to the Internet enterprise by automobile enterprises. Nonetheless “autohome” and automobile engine factories and distributors, which have accumulated massive amounts of industrial energy usage, are cooperating with these enterprises to increase future outlook.

How can big data help automobile enterprises? Big data’s biggest impact will allow the auto industry to connect more intimately with consumers. The internet has given 4S stores the ability to view consumers’ purchase behavior before they even step into the store. 4S stores have access to a large amount of consumer behavior and consumption habits via big data. In the past, Internet companies tended to provide more monitoring software, various index and platforms that allowed OEMs to study data conversion of product marketing process;  however at present, the Internet company’s positioning is not merely simple data analysis, but should use data from R & D, production, logistics and distribution to the middle brand, product, marketing communication that contains the channel management, sales to the after-sales service, and the entire context to be used for effective collection and analysis. In sum, 99% of the big data should help the automotive companies to select 1% of useful information.

Simply speaking, the role of big data is to monitor, discover and foresee. But it is up to automobile enterprises to fully integrate this technological potential. Auto enterprises should build strong and trustworthy relationships with Internet enterprises geared toward setting up a platform to exchange and share helpful information.

Dr. Marco Hecker: Big data makes consumers more transparent

The changes that big data brings will affect the formulation of solutions in the automobile industry. For example, there are around 300 million young people in China who have plans to purchase cars. But what is the best way to evaluate their purchasing power and transfer such potential consumers into real buyers?

Abroad, only 40% of consumers are interested in the experience created by dealers, while this data in China may reach 60%. Big data will be used in different roles to analyze unique aspects of the Chinese consumer. Integrating important data and exploring all useful information is the unique value proposition brought about by big data.

The so-called digital marketing era analyzes user consumption habits to create tailored solutions based on their unique browsing behaviors. Thus, the goal of big data usage is to better understand the behavior of consumers. These personalized data services should be the central mechanism for consumers’ to make a decision before buying a car. In this way, a consumer can figure out which car to purchase before entering the dealership. Really grasping big data involves attracting the consumer and effectively utilizing data analysis to identify the consumer’s thought process.

At the end of the forum, the moderator Liu Xiaoyong concluded: why we did not satisfy consumer demand in the past? One reason is that the seller’s market was not worried about sales. The other reason was that our ability and technical means were not capable enough to understand how diverse and constantly changing our consumers were. Now, the big data provides us with an advanced technical tool and opens a window to really connect with consumers, but the application of big data is an entirely new concept. To obtain full value from the big data, users must be placed at the forefront. We cannot make our goal only to earn more money from the consumers, but to devote ourselves to providing greater value to them. This is the bottom line of business ethics and the best way to integrate the Internet into our society.

-Published on pages# 30-31 July-2015 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine

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