Innovation always seems to be on the minds of companies that want growth. If you were to look inside these companies, typically you would see innovation permeating nearly every department, division and business unit. Those of us who are on the outside of these types of companies often think, “how does innovation start, and where do they get their ideas?” I am not an innovation expert. However, I do see a trend that labels certain industries as the innovative ones. The ones that usually rise to the top-of-mind on the innovation scale are normally Internet, technology, large electronic OEMs, retail and media. These industries have historically been on the forefront of innovation and also have big budgets to continue to raise the innovation bar. Let’s look in another direction.

The Type Of Car You Drive Just Might Be A Clue

Let me add one other industry to the mix I listed above; one that you may not have thought of as innovative. The automotive industry spends tons of money in R&D, manufacturing and advertising. Did you know that in 2014, out of the top 30 Most Innovative Companies, there are 8 automobile manufacturers on the coveted list?


26.6% of global companies that are considered to be the most innovative in 2014                                                           are in the automotive industry.


Car Innovation

Look At The Innovators

Lots of books have been published on innovation, and from what I see, they are focusing on how to think different, imagine, mobilizing and inspiring your company to take risks and launch new products and services. This is all good and I support that 100%. But don’t you think those of us in other industries should take a good, hard look at all the most innovative automobile companies and see what they are doing? We might capture a glimpse of something that can be used for our own company.

  • Tesla Motors (7)
  • Toyota Motor (8)
  • BMW (18)
  • Ford Motor (19)
  • Volkswagen (21)
  • Daimler (25)
  • General Motors (26)
  • Audi (28)

 Perhaps Tesla’s more disruptive, breakthrough entrance

has raised the innovation bar for automakers—and thus

changed respondents’ perceptions of what

constitutes innovation in the automotive space.

                                                     – Gijs van Wulfen


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Scott MacFarland                                                                                                                                                                                      Web:                                                                                                                                                         Linkedin:                                                                                                                     Twitter: @scmacfarland                                                                                                                                                                          Huffington Post:                                                                                                Email:


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