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Karaoke Demands Challenge Out-Of-Tune BMW

Western auto manufacturers like BMW are losing out in the lucrative Chinese market because they haven’t been as fast to integrate digital ecosystems into their vehicles as Chinese brands have.

With China placed as the world’s biggest auto market, their demands that sing-along apps such as Changba work in new cars means manufacturers who don’t listen are being left behind.

Chinese auto companies like XPeng, Nio and BYD, meanwhile, are only too ready to pick up the slack.

But Chinese drivers aren’t only keen to sing in their cars, they want social media connectivity and features like in-car payment.

“We’ve identified this as a challenge,” says BMW’s digital car chief Christoph Grote. “Chinese consumers are the most demanding when it comes to digital technology in the car.”

China accounts for 36 per cent of BMW sales, so they clearly need to adapt, with more than two-thirds of Chinese consumers regarding local navigation apps as a necessity.

These services are dominated by local players in China, while multinationals don’t necessarily have the collaborative partners to jump on board yet.

BMW have integrated a function to pay parking fees, but don’t offer in-car karaoke – yet…
“You need a technology road map for China and you need local capabilities,” says Grote.

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