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Product Management In Automobile Industry: Roles & Responsibilities

How Product Management works in Automobile Industry 

Product Management revolves around the overall supervision of a product. It is a functionality to structure all the phases of a product life cycle. A product manager’s role is to manage the growth of a product from the initial stage until the time it reaches the customers. In the case of the automotive industry, there are conventional processes that are still prevalent.

This industry mainly consists of aging employees and faces several problems due to internal and external factors. The emergence of electric vehicles, constant rise in global warming, and globalization are some of the significant challenges faced in the automotive industry. Despite all the challenges faced, the automotive industry is continually evolving and embracing the latest innovations to make an impact in the market.

Product Managers in the automotive industry have to monitor the technical progress of a product besides the traditional role. It is a bit cumbersome to adapt to new tools and frameworks as most of the people in this industry are aging.

However, this is an exciting time to be a part of the automotive industry with disruptive innovations in electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and other mobility solutions. In this article, we will read about the changing role of product managers with the disruptions being caused.

Keep reading to know more about product management in the automotive industry. 

Read: A complete guide on product manager career growth

Processes involved

In the automobile companies, there is less freedom for innovation given to product managers. Usually, a top-down hierarchical approach is adopted for decision making and other processes.

Competition Faced

The competition faced in the automobile industry is quite fierce. Product Managers here need to strengthen the relationship with customers to increase the customer satisfaction level, thus solidifying the market shares. With the latest technologies and disruptions in the automotive industry, product managers ensure that the entire team is ready to adopt smart product features as a result of innovation. This enables the company to thrive in the fast-growing and evolving automotive market.

Monitoring End-Users

There are various tiers involved in the automotive industry. OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) belong to the tier-1 supplier. OEMs are the big brands that sell a product directly to the end-user. Any product in the automotive industry needs to be of top-notch to sell in this competitive market.

The tier 1 manufacturers are responsible for supplying automobile parts to the OEMs. Similarly, tier 2 provides components to the tier 1 manufacturers. Gradually things are changing, more tier 1 supplier is carrying on business with the end-users. 

There has not been much correlation between retention of users and engagement policies. However, this is changing now. Product Managers are working closely with data processing teams to derive maximum information. The essential insights extracted, help the organization move a step ahead in the product value chain. This is why monitoring the end-users is an essential step as a part of product management in the automotive industry.

Read: Product Management is Banking Industry

Disruptive Innovations in the Automotive Industry

There have been constant changes in the automotive industry. With emerging technologies, high-end research is going on in the field of electric vehicles, constructing autonomous vehicles, and there is the development of other innovative solutions. As people from the automotive industry like to stick to conventional ways, there has to be someone explaining the need for a transition to new innovative ways to survive in this immensely competitive world.

A product manager is fit for this role. PMs keep themselves updated with the latest trends in the market. They study about the new tools or frameworks that cause disruptions. Product managers need to ensure that all the teams are on the same page. This can be achieved only if there is good communication among the teams. A product manager has a close look at other companies.

He monitors the challenges faced by other companies and the ways they used to combat the difficulties. The day is not far when we see fully automatic vehicles used as a popular means of transport. A huge credit for this will go to the product managers who act as mini CEOs for making this possible.

Integrating the latest Software and Hardware

With advancements in technology, there has been cutting edge technologies emerging in the market. The latest software needs advanced hardware to function smoothly. Thus, the integration of advanced software and hardware is an important part of product management in the automotive industry.

According to a recent survey, more than 80% of innovations of products in the automotive industry are a result of new software features. Numerous Original Equipment Manufacturers have transformed to be a part of the Agile Enterprise. Accenture’s AutoScrum is one such Agile enterprise gaining popularity these days.

Accenture’s AutoScrum provides a platform for the integration of software and hardware development. The only challenge is to synchronize the long development cycle of hardware with Agile’s fast development cycle.

Read: Average Product Manager Salary

Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.

Wrapping Up

With emerging new technology, there have been massive changes in the automotive industry. The role of a product manager is constantly updating to adopt the latest tools and technologies. This enables the best product to be designed and developed.

Thus, a product manager needs to be strategic and proactive to look for easier ways to eradicate existing problems continuously. New feature roll-outs to current products need to be ensured. The new features ensure that the products do not become obsolete in today’s world and remain in use. 

The Product Management Role is thus considered one of the most crucial positions regarding the organization’s growth and development. High paid PMs in the automotive industry lead the sophistication of day-to-day life by using technological tools.

If you are willing to learn more about Product Management, check out upGrad and Duke Corporate Education’s Product Management Certification Program. In this course, you will gain vast knowledge on how to build a product roadmap through user research, prototyping, and product analysis. This course offers 200+ hours of learning, certification from Duke CE, 15+ case studies and assignments, one-on-one mentorship from product experts. 

Q1. Is product management a good career path?

A career in product management can be supremely rewarding and attractive for those who have a creative bent of mind and are interested in playing a vital part in the development of products. Products can be anything from regular consumer goods to business software, automobiles, or anything else that is used by people. Product management roles are highly dynamic and encompass an extensive range of tasks from handling clients, holding meetings with the executive leaders to testing products. They are the ones who set a vision about a specific product, manage a portfolio comprising different areas of expertise, ensure smooth development of products, and handle the entire product lifecycle.

Q2. How is a product manager different from a brand manager?

A product is a service or commodity that people use for their benefit, while a brand is an abstract metric that decides how the public perceives an organization. A brand can influence whether people will choose its product or not. A product manager is responsible for the features, design, and delivery of the full product. Their work is often technical and logistical. On the other hand, a brand manager is responsible for maintaining a particular brand and its goodwill. Brand managers are engaged in more strategic functions with the intention of augmenting and generating more interest in the brand through effective marketing techniques.

Q3. Is it automobile or automotive?

Automobile and automotive are words that are associated with the vehicle manufacturing sector. Both of these words are often used interchangeably to refer to any motor vehicle, although automotive is a broader umbrella term that denotes anything linked to motor vehicles. Automotive is (an adjective) used to describe anything that is related to motor vehicles. At the same time, the automobile is a (noun) word that typically denotes a four-wheeled car or motor vehicle that is used for transportation. So automobiles, which are typically passenger vehicles, are essentially a subset or part of the automotive industry.

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