Auto year 2020. Electrification and digitization.

The car year 2020 will be tough. For the first time, the predicted turmoil in the industry will be felt by everyone. A challenge - and one thing is certain, nothing will remain as it was. Everything is subject to change from now on. Digitization, electrification and what's next in Trollhättan? And what will become of an aging Saab stock and the industry in general? An overview in two parts.

2020. The age of mobile digitization and electrification begins
2020. The age of mobile digitization and electrification begins

Climate Protection

Brussels pulls the reins. The measures aimed at protecting the climate are in a condensed form: Since January, new cars in the EU have had the target of a maximum of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Manufacturers who do not comply can face fines in the billions. A requirement that, as always, comes with exceptions to the rule. 2020 is considered a transition year, with subtleties. Manufacturers are allowed to simply delete the “thirstiest” 2% of their vehicles in the CO5 calculation. In addition, the guideline is watered down with a weight component. Producers of traditionally heavy vehicles are allowed to sell less economical cars on average than those of small cars. In plain language, the new Daimler car fleet may emit 2020 grams of CO102 in 2, but only 92 grams from PSA. There are also credits for special extras such as LED lights. They may be deducted with a maximum of 7 grams.

Electric cars are given a special status. Brussels assumes that they are completely climate neutral, even with a high proportion of coal in the German electricity mix. In the form of a “super credit”, every electric car sold in 2020 is included twice in the calculations, in 2021 with a factor of 1,6. Hybrids also play a part in achieving the climate goals. According to the law, they are assigned a high proportion of purely electric trips. This reduces their consumption to values ​​that have little to do with reality.

The climate protection goals have an impact on car dealerships and consumers. Because they have to see how they deal with it in reality.

Trade and Retail

The trade is under increased pressure. In the past, he wasn't spoiled by high yields. The manufacturers tighten the thumbscrews and swear their sales partners on the climate targets. In 2020, retailers will only generate the possible bonuses for a number of brands if they sell enough low-consumption vehicles. In practice, this will mean 3-cylinder instead of 4-cylinder or hybrid drive instead of combustion engine for the customer. Maybe a new electric car if he has the financial means to do so.

In parallel, we will see a strong thinning out of the variety of models in 2020. Small cars and less popular variants are disappearing, and with it the inexpensive option of a new car. In addition, several importers raised their prices in autumn 2019 in anticipation of the upcoming penalties.

For some brands, the margin system has also been rearranged behind the scenes. Less discount for sales partners, which will increase the economic pressure even more. Against the background of an expected decline in new registrations, there is no optimistic outlook for many companies that are unlikely to survive the faults in the medium term. This is accompanied by digitization and with it new sales channels beyond traditional structures.


Everyone is talking about electrification. Digitization is more important. In the future, it should bring completely new earnings, in addition to the hardware business, which will become less important. The “user experience”, the mobility experience, was shaped by software in the 20s. Assistance systems relieve the driver, semi-autonomous sliding becomes standard. The automobile is developing into a rolling smart home that is constantly streaming and online. The customer should use the time saved for improved productivity - in theory. In practice, the majority will stream or play something online while the car is autonomous.

The German providers are frighteningly naive about this development. For them, digitalization appears to be like selling a Golf C in the 80s. Ashtray and Radio Alpha cost extra, rear window wiper is not. Yes, and floor mats are expensive.

Translated into the present day, this means that you want to sell digitization in the smallest of bits. As if you had to pay extra for each font in a word processor and the option to write on more than one screen page. Until recently, BMW tried very seriously to charge subscription fees for the Apple Car Play connection. Of course failed. Nonetheless, the digital small stuff continues. For 5 digital keys, you are expected to collect € 80,00 per year, and otherwise, too ConnectedDrive Store dominated by annoying little things.

It's terrifying for 2020, that's not how software works. One can only hope for a steep learning curve for German industry. Tesla demonstrates how to do it. In the United States, premium services cost $ 9,90 per month. This means that all services and all updates are integrated in one flat rate. The customer is happy.


The average consumer will be far from happy in the 2020 car year. Higher prices and limited choice, not a good start. In the price-sensitive segment in particular, the customer will feel the effects. The dream of a new car is then postponed or perhaps remains a dream forever. How consumers will react is the billion euro question. You face the great unknown in the game. Are you ready for electric mobility?

Nobody has a valid answer.

To make them feel like it, the subject of electric cars is generously subsidized. In China it failed and the subsidies are reduced to zero. How China is the surprise package of the new year.

Tomorrow, in the next part, it's about a surprising China, old cars and their future. And about Trollhättan.

14 thoughts too "Auto year 2020. Electrification and digitization."

  • And the next step is the massive punishment of owners of older vehicles.

    We have known the truck here in Switzerland for years (–reisedokument–strassenabgaben/schwerverkehrsabgaben–lsva-und-psva-/lsva—allgemeines—tarife.html).

    In the Swiss federal administration, "memoranda" have been around for two years to introduce this type of punishment across the board for passenger cars as well.

  • Fuel cell or CO2-neutral fuels are apparently a foreign word for most vehicle manufacturers.
    Hopefully the whole digitization works for a lifetime and hopefully there will be enough software updates for decades to come.
    As long as it is not certain which drive concept will prevail, I will drive classic cars.
    I'm not going to buy a new car for tens of thousands of euros, which may soon be out of date technologically.

  • The punishment will come. First for combustion engines, later for hybrids. And if synthetic fuels are available, the electric car will be hit. Always the same game, diesel drivers have noticed several times how values ​​were destroyed.

  • universal

    Unfortunately, you can hardly write anything about automotive today without also addressing all possible areas of life ...

    Electrification and digitization as well as obsolescence are powerful bridges in every direction and on all possible topics.

    Keyword “digitization” (to take just one):
    It is a favorite topic of the media and politics. From primary school to hospice. There have long been a large number of scientific studies that prove that analog learning is more efficient and that analogue dying is more humane ...

    Brain researchers blame, among other things, the spatial orientation in the analogue and in the print media for the measurable superiority, for example in learning, and for a deeper understanding of texts and contexts ...

    A recent blogger statement fits well into the picture. If you still like to use analog newspapers, you have a clear advantage, you have a better overview ...

  • The buyer will decide which drive technology will prevail. The big hang of digitization annoys me. I want to go by car. I want to be supported at most when driving, but not incapacitated Ultimately, this is only used for limitless monitoring and maximum influence through permanent "sound" of people.
    Simply disgusting.

  • Did you do the math? 95 g CO2 are allowed, over € 100 fine per gram per car.
    So € 1.000 fine for those who sell a car with 105 g CO2.
    For 20 cars with 105 g CO2 sold, a penalty of € 20.000.
    Then sell an electric car with 0 g CO2, which is counted twice.
    And save about € 20.000 penalty.
    Thus, each electric car is not only subsidized by the state purchase premium, but also with an additional € 20.000.
    (Works the same way at 105 g allowed and actually 170 g. 3 selling 170 g cars cost € 19.500 penalty. Then sell a double counted 0 g E car and save the penalty).
    So if VW sells an E-UP for € 20.000 including VAT, they save another € 20.000 (“plus VAT”) on the fines for other cars.
    And Tesla, for example, forms a pool with FiatChrysler, so that every Tesla sold saves FiatChrysler people high penalties.
    A subsidy that is higher than the actual selling price is a brutal market intervention.

  • And the senseless consumption madness just goes on regardless of losses ... , I would also like to congratulate the lobbyists of the German auto industry !!!! Higher emissions for the producers of fuel booze should be recognized. And there is in fact no reason to build small, economical and inexpensive cars. Missing image and margins…. And as the previous speaker aptly remarked, electric car buyers also sponsor the party ...
    The city of Barcelona has also come up with something great for climate protection.
    A license plate detection system was set up that records all vehicles entering the city. All diesel engines built before 2000 and petrol engines built before 2006 are no longer allowed into the city area between 07 a.m. and 20 p.m. on weekdays. Unless the vehicle has been registered on a specially created website. Then it is possible to acquire a special permit on 10 individual days for a fee of 2 euros per day.
    All foreign vehicles must also endure this procedure - takes about 2 weeks - and meet exactly the same conditions. With the difference that the registration for Spanish cars is free. Foreigners can pay 5 euros for this. Does it ring at the reader…. ???
    I am already working on a complaint with my lawyer …….

    Just by the way…. Two-part growth in aircraft movements and cruises is expected in Barcelona in 2020. The first thunder over the city at start and charge. The port could not be more central.

    Greetings to the community.

    I'm going to do a round with one of the environmentally polluted Saabe….

    The Lizi.


    Have we and have ever agreed on the plural of Saab ????

  • Written again too quickly….
    It should read "... a complaint to the EU ..." and "... double-digit growth ..." ...

    The Lizi

  • Thank you, that sums it up pretty much.

  • $$$ - signs in the eyes

    That's what I meant. You can no longer talk about automobility without landing immediately in local politics (Lizi) or national finance (Axel Valentiner = Branth) or even in global trade in CO2 certificates or international agreements on climate protection ...

    All these bids, prohibitions, fees, subsidies, sanctions, speculations and fiscal revenues can be summarized for many years under the category "incentive to consume".

    Is it serious about the environment? Can you consume them healthily?

    Politics and business seem to be convinced that it is exactly the same and not different. Fine dust badges and no-driving zones, scrappage awards etc. all point together in the direction that as many new cars as possible would make a significant contribution to environmental protection. There were also incentives to buy new refrigerators and vacuum cleaners have never been more energy efficient than today ...

    Just stupid that the suction power doesn't matter. A simpleton who thinks about the suction power of an efficient vacuum cleaner. It doesn't matter that you suck twice as long with a reduced output and in the end used a lot of time and 1,5 times more electricity. Bring your good old Nilfisk down. Pack it in the back of the Saab, add the fridge and leave the Saab in the junkyard ...

    Buy everything new tomorrow. A new car, a new vacuum cleaner and a new refrigerator. And if you then also pack your house 40 cm thick in polystyrene, then you have almost saved the world. All that is missing is the new, state-sponsored oil heating system, but its ban has long been discussed alongside the funding…

    Speaking of heating, my (wooden) house is young, energy efficient and the insulation materials are organic. I don't need styrofoam. But I need a little gas. And the heating system easily cost as much as a new car in the upper middle class. Why and for what? ? ?

    A few electric radiators from the hardware store would have done the same. Oh yes, I forgot that electricity 4 to 5 years ago was not considered environmentally friendly and is still expensive ...

    So please let me see my lack of foresight and foresight. After all, politicians have not yet come up with the idea that electricity can also be used for heating and construction costs can be significantly reduced. Cost reduction?

    Yes, cost reduction. Devilry. That's why the electricity has to be on the street. Only there does it need a completely new infrastructure and battery capacity, and only there does it contribute to economic growth. A Beelzebub, who thinks about obvious and simple alternatives ...

    The “environmental protection” of the current character seems to me to be a last rousing of the imagination of unlimited growth. There are endless incentives to buy and consume and more than ever before. And never before have these incentives been linked so closely to the environment and even the survival of mankind. Pure cynicism ...

    Since you can no longer buy a new Saab, every Saab driver is automatically a refusal to consume.
    I think that's a really good answer.

  • The problem with digitization is also the lack of usability. Digital displays, but I still can't put everything together as I would like it to be. I don't see any pioneering advantages. Many functions are hidden somewhere in the menu level; neither fast nor intuitive to use. Instead of simply activating the seat heating with a button, I now have to press three times on a touchpad. And it still takes a long time. While driving, it has become extremely unsafe to operate anything in this way. Voice control is also annoying because you have to know the commands exactly. With 200 of those that you rarely use, you rarely succeed. So search in the menus. If there are buttons left, there are too many and they are tiny. Or there are none at all. Knobs are super practical, but completely out. Just because it's digital and new doesn't make it any better - that's why I prefer to drive my Saab over the modern company car. Functionality and practicability are victims of the digital equipment of the vehicles - and most of these vehicles will never see an H mark, because the electronic frills will probably do the trick until the time comes. Will there still be spare parts?

  • complexity

    Credit for LED, degressive "super credits" and infinitely more. Who can think of a set screw?

    It seems to me that political operations as a whole, i.e. across all departments, party and national borders, have entered into an overbidding competition of complexity.

    And in the midst of these elite super brains, no one dares to speak in the name of simplification. The spot of the entire commission would be certain for him or her.
    No, in this circle you can and may only throw further set screws into the round. The more and smaller the better.

    Vanity rules.

  • "And hopefully there will be enough software updates for decades to come".

    Like Google does now ……
    You may find, as development becomes more expensive, manufacturers discontinue 'updates' making for older vehicles
    un-roadworthy, and with no value …….


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