41 auto brands have spent an estimated $300M in development of 2,300 apps. The apps are a mix between consumer branded apps to promote cars, apps for car owners to provide services and information including maintenance, dealer apps, distributor apps, training and more which explains the amount of apps. The dealer apps are generally the ones with the lowest quality whereas the car brand apps carry the biggest investments.
Exicon also shares their opinion on the top auto apps. Unfortunately it doesn’t include a single branded app which shows a lack of innovation from the car manufacturers.
What do we think?
We’ve been working with car manufacturers on mobile services for the past 6 years and generally there is a disconnect between marketing teams and product teams within the organizations. Most of the automotive apps are last minute ideas as part of a campaign or a request from a team that has allocated some budget rather than a cohesive strategy and roadmap. This means that out of the 2,300 apps identified 90% shouldn’t be on the appstore at all and out of the remaining 10% most of them also require major improvements.
It’s also worth noting that the $130k average spent per app estimated by Exicon ranges from $1-2k for dealer apps to $1-2m for the top automotive apps. Based on our previous blog on killer apps in automotive we think there is a huge opportunity for the industry to disrupt and drive business through mobile and our ambition is to play a key role in this.
On a side note, Honda is making a play with Android Auto towards developers and this could definitely be a start.