Brand Innovators 2023 Outlook: Automotive

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‍In the sixth installment of our 2023 Outlook Series, Brand Innovators talks to automotive CMOs for insights into what to expect next year, and how the category will innovate.

As automotive marketers prepare for 2023, car companies are balancing advances in product innovation with continued global supply shortages and a looming recession.

Passenger car sales in 2023 are predicted to be 85 million vehicles, down from 90 million pre-pandemic in 2019, according to LMC Automotive. Cautious consumers and challenges sourcing parts are issues challenging the industry. Despite these circumstances, car manufacturers are optimistic about innovations in electric vehicles and digital enhancements to shopping for cars.

“This is one of the most revolutionary times in the car industry. Automobile manufacturing is seeing innovation at a scale never before seen,” said Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer, Hyundai Motor America. “I see 2023 as a continued focus on technology, range and performance. Technology for electrified vehicles is equally as good as those with internal combustible engines and you’ll see more products, choices and enhanced technology for consumers in 2023.”

Melissa Grady, chief marketing officer at Cadillac, is also excited about electric car adoption and the evolution of the consumer experience in 2023. “Next year, as the trajectory of EV penetration continues to rise and inventory constraints continue to lift, the consumer experience will be more important than ever,” says Grady. “We as brands will need to meet consumers where they are in the shopping, buying, or ownership experience and exceed their expectations each step of the way.”

Allyson Witherspoon, vice president and U.S. chief marketing officer at Nissan, says that during these uncertain times, the company has been reliant on building strong brands and will continue to do so next year. 

“Over the last two years with COVID and supply chain shortages, we have maintained a steady focus on building brand equity and as we return to more stable inventory levels in 2023, this investment will demonstrate its value,” says Witherspoon.  

Nissan will also continue its focus on offering consumers digital shopping options to make it easier to browse cars digitally. “From our very fresh and competitive product lineup, to the expansion of Nissan@Home online retailing, to our committed dealer network, and the brand narrative alive in our creative content, we are able to clearly communicate what Nissan is offering today’s consumers,” adds Witherspoon. “Looking ahead, we anticipate the continued transition to an electric, autonomous and connected future. With more technology enhancement comes the need for immersive digital experiences to allow customers to learn about our products and technologies; in the New Year we’ll continue to explore metaversa experiences for consumers to learn and play on their terms.”  

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