New cars will have to be launched at a greater rate and with greater innovation than ever before – with updates available via downloads – if the industry is to thrive in future, according to VW Group boss Martin Winterkorn.
Speaking on the eve of the Geneva motor show, Winterkorn highlighted the Group's relationship with Google as an example of how car makers will have to be "faster, more agile and more open to new ideas than at any time since the advent of the car".
In particular, Winterkorn claimed that car makers would have to reduce model cycles well below the current rates – typically seven years – be more willing to introduce all-new models and variants of existing models and offer customers a high-tech ownership experience.
"People's expectations are changing and the digital revolution is realigning how we all live," he said. "The auto industry must not close its eyes to these developments. We must embark on new actions.
"For instance, we must consider the consumer expectations. Model cycles must be much shorter. We must react faster to trends and be more flexible in what we offer. At least part of a facelift, for instance, might be downloadable while the customer is in their garage.