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Carmakers’ innovations in EV & hybrid vehicles recognised in annual survey

Conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, the survey has been running since 2005 and captures executives’ views of their own innovation plans, as well as their opinions of other companies’ innovation track records and reveals the top 50 companies that executives rank as the most innovative.

In line with previous years, technology companies dominate the list, with Apple again taking the top spot, followed by Samsung in second place (up from third place last year) while Google dropped a place to the third position and Microsoft remained in fourth place.

However, carmakers also featured heavily in the top 10, with Toyota in fifth place (up six places from last year) and Ford in eight place (up four spots). BMW came in ninth place (up five spots from last year).

Further down the league table, GM came in 13th (up 16 places), VW was 14th (up an impressive 31 places) and Hyundai was 17th (up 7 places). Honda was 18th, marking its return to the list, Audi was 19th (up 6) and Daimler was back on the list in 20th position. Fiat also returned to the list and was placed 43rd.

However, the list also saw some companies downgraded, with Kia placed 36 (down 23 places), Nissan in 38 (down 16) and Renault down 14 spots to 48.

Boston Consulting Group said that the increasing acknowledgment of innovation in the auto industry continues a prominent trend from last year and is down to factors including the race to meet fuel efficiency standards in the US, EU and China and the increased development of electric and hybrid vehicles and their efforts to improve the mileage of mass-market models through such advancements as more efficient power trains and lighter car bodies.

It added that vehicle safety standards also continue to rise, and automakers are pursuing advanced safety innovations such as self-braking systems and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, driven in part by increased mobile communication expectations from consumers.

The company also said that companies in the automotive and technology sectors lead those in other industries in how important they perceive innovation and investment to be. Almost 85% of respondents in both sectors rated innovation as a top priority. One-quarter of respondents at auto companies rated their companies as strong innovators, compared with an average of one-fifth overall. And approximately 70% of respondents from auto and tech companies said they plan to increase investment in innovation in the coming year.

The full survey and findings are on the Boston Consulting Group website.

Natalie Middleton

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