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Asia: The Future of Global Consumption


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“Economic growth and shifting consumer values are transforming the opportunities in Asia for players in the automotive industry“–McKinsey’s Center for Future Mobility 

Now is the time to refresh intelligence on Asia’s consumer markets and redraw the map of growth, as this is the Asian Century” — Paul Ebeling

Asia is the world’s consumption growth engine. Miss Asia, Miss 50% of a $10-T consumption growth opportunity over the next 10yrs. Globally, 1 of every 2 households with at least an upper-middle income is expected to be in Asia, and 1 of every 2 USDs of global consumption growth is likely to occur in the region.

New research from MGI (McKinsey Global Institute) identifies the large potential for consumption growth in Asia and patterns of growth affecting companies serving Asian consumers.

As incomes rise across Asia, more consumers will reach the highest tiers of the income pyramid. Consumption growth will likely be driven more by movement within the consuming class; those who spend more than $11 a day in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms than movement into it.

As a result, mobility value pools across Asia are expected to grow while new patterns of consumption will transform the nature of opportunities in the region.

Consumers may adopt new behaviors such as considering new forms of ownership, increasing eco-consciousness, and changing brand preferences.

Players in the automotive sector have opportunities to capitalize on these trends to create more value for consumers.

These opportunities may include increased accessibility through shared mobility, improved environmental quality, more choice of vehicles with different ecological footprints as EVs become mainstream, fewer traffic incidents and congestion, and reduced time spent commuting as the mobility mix changes.

The shifts in value are likely to be driven by new consumer behaviors over the next 10yrs.

The Asian consumer landscape is being reshaped. Rising incomes, new sources of growth, and a new consumption paradigm require companies to prepare for the next decade of competition. MGI’s research identifies 3 Key actions companies need to consider if they want to compete and thrive in the next decade of serving Asian consumers:

  1. Redraw your growth map. Each company has a map of growth, but this can all too easily become outdated unless management makes a concerted effort to understand and track dynamically changing markets. Companies may need to rethink how demand for their products and services is likely to evolve and to look carefully at which of the growth angles are relevant to their businesses. In the automotive sector, players may capitalize on the big convergence by investing in connectivity services, in-car entertainment, and interfaces with local ecosystems and super apps. NIO of China is just one example of a company tapping into multiple new growth angles. It is catering to digital natives’ expectations by developing virtual assistants and BEVs and by optimizing their channel mix through the creation of direct-to-consumer approaches and virtual showrooms, as discussed previously.
  2. Increase your agility. With a refreshed growth map, companies may consider adopting a more agile operating model; increasing the speed of innovation in order to get to market more quickly; empowering local decision makers, given that centralized decision making and execution are unlikely to be sufficient to capture the nuances of local markets; and ensuring that the company board is digitally savvy. Resource reallocation may be particularly crucial, as automotive players may need to reallocate substantial capital to areas of growth and opportunity, such as electrification and connected vehicles.
  3. Open up. Companies must not only be agile but also take an open, networked approach. In increasingly diverse and dynamic markets, companies will likely find it hard to be all things to all consumers. For many, a promising way forward may involve partnerships and ecosystems. Companies need to decide whether to lead their own ecosystem or participate in an existing one, depending on which role they can fulfill most effectively. OEMs will need a clear view of strategic positioning across the mobility ecosystem and level of the technology stack depending on desired strategy and capabilities. Doing this while maintaining an innovative customer experience will be crucial.

Asia’s mobility market is changing as the region’s consumers diversify and as preferences and behavior shift.

Considerable value no longer depends as much as it once did on consumers being at a particular income level, and new consumption curves are emerging in some categories.

Significant opportunities lie ahead for all players who track and understand these shifting patterns of consumption.

So, now is the time to refresh intelligence on Asia’s consumer markets and redraw the map of growth.

Have a prosperous day, Keep the Faith!

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Paul A. Ebeling, a polymath, excels, in diverse fields of knowledge Including Pattern Recognition Analysis in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange, and he is the author of "The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a highly regarded, weekly financial market commentary. He is a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to over a million cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognize Ebeling as an expert.