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Let’s talk business: Experts discuss connectivity and data as a form of currency

11 Jun 2021

Frankfurt am Main, 14 June 2021. A web talk on the topic of ‘Connectivity, data-based business models and the legal framework’ held by the organisers of Automechanika was the third instalment in the ‘Let’s talk business’ series. Representatives from various sectors of the automotive industry got together to discuss the latest developments in this area.

Forecasters expect one of every two cars in Europe to be connected by as early as 2025. As the number of connected cars increases, so too does the volume of data collected. These can include location data, information on the condition of the vehicle, and safety-related traffic data. But who can access these data, and who owns them? Will these data change existing business models? And: is there a need for European market regulations to ensure that everyone enjoys equal access to the data and to promote new data-based business models?

These are some of the questions concerning connectivity that the panel’s guests discussed on 2 June 2021. “With our ‘Let’s talk business’ series, we want to do more than simply offer key stakeholders the chance to engage in dialogue – we want to tackle key issues for the broad audience served by our international Automechanika and Hypermotion platforms,” said Sarah Lindsey, Director Business Development Automotive, Transport and Logistics at Messe Frankfurt, who moderated the talk.

The panel included Gerd Preuss, Product Manager at ADAC; Norbert Dohmen, Managing Director of Caruso Dataplace; Frank Schlehuber, Senior Consultant Market Affairs at CLEPA – European Association of Automotive Suppliers; Dr. Tibor Pataki, Head of Motor Insurance / Motor Vehicle Technology at the German Insurance Association (GDV); and Ronan McDonagh, Technical Director of Figiefa – The European Federation of Automotive Aftermarket Distributors.

Every industry segment represented here was in agreement that connectivity would bring far-reaching changes for future business models throughout the automotive industry. Norbert Dohmen, Managing Director of Caruso Dataplace, put it like this: “I think that connectivity has a high disruptive potential and can change the entire value chain in different industries. This opens up entirely new opportunities for us. As a result, I think that future business will be far more dependent on data access than ever before.” According to Gerd Preuss, Product Manager at ADAC, connectivity will also play a key role in roadside assistance: “This will change our business from top to bottom. That is because connectivity and the data that is evaluated in advance allow us to know beforehand which kind of breakdown we are dealing with, so we can offer much better services.”

From the parts distributor’s point of view, knowing in advance exactly which vehicle part needs to be replaced also has its advantages. “After all,” said Ronan McDonagh, Technical Director of Figiefa, “the logistics of the spare parts business are quite challenging. With new technologies such as data-based ‘predictive maintenance’, it is even possible to anticipate spare parts requirements and ensure that the right part arrives at the workshop at the right time. This would reduce or optimise the number of deliveries and help facilitate efficient and green logistics.”

You will find the entire talk in English on our website at


The World’s Leading Trade Fair for the Automotive Service Industry

Automechanika Digital Plus is taking place from 14 to 16 September 2021 both in person on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds and digitally.

In 2022, Automechanika Frankfurt will be held from 13 to 17 September.

[1] The 2020 Digital Auto Report from Strategy&, PwC.

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*Preliminary figures for 2020