10 reasons why more cultural intelligence is needed in the automotive industry

Why is cultural intelligence a skill needed in the automotive industry?

Any industry working globally needs to take cultural intelligence seriously. The automotive industry is a case in point, as in most cases, a company’s reach is often global. Parts are sourced globally, which requires relationship building with overseas suppliers. Vehicles are sold worldwide, which means being culturally aware when creating sales and marketing campaigns and strategies.Sales teams have to work together across cultures. Employee bases, from the factory floor to sales forces and dealerships are multicultural, which requires cross-cultural understanding. What’s more, the automotive industry is in a state of change, with increased competition to car ownership from companies like Uber and Lyft, as well as car-sharing schemes and the prospect of driverless vehicles. The ability to recognise trends and respond quickly in different markets is essential.

10 reasons why cultural intelligence is vital to the automotive industry

  1. Cultural intelligence helps develop an in-depth understanding of working styles in other cultures. A culturally intelligent workforce will demonstrate better tolerance, trust and understanding of global colleagues. Cultural differences become strengths in problem solving, rather than obstacles, while improved collaboration drives the ability to respond quicker to market changes.
  2. Developing a strategy across the whole company of improving cultural intelligence can encourage closer integration across offices worldwide. A culturally aware workforce is able to work effectively in virtual teams when everybody, metaphorically speaking, understands the same language. Creating a common language and understanding is both effective in business and unifying for employees. It also encourages the sharing across the company of best practices.
  3. Being culturally aware helps individuals to recognise areas of their own communication that could be improved, to make their daily interaction with international colleagues more effective, and more enjoyable. How emails and memos are worded, for example, and whether and why, with some cultures, face-to-face brainstorming is preferable to a WhatsApp group.
  4. Culturally sensitive leaders make better managers. They are able to better understand the dynamics of multicultural group at a meeting, for example. They are better at negotiating with other cultures, and at conflict resolution between cultures.
  5. Cross-cultural training is essential for business travellers, global assignees and expats; it will reduce culture shock and make the individual more effective and better poised to integrate with their new workplace.
  6. Individuals with cultural sensitivity make better collaborators – essential when working in development teams across cultures. Sharing successes and failures is essential for driving innovation.
  7. Understanding the behaviour of local markets is essential for the automotive industry; how they research and buy, how they perceive the brand, their use of digital and social media, how they expect to be treated in their local dealership, how they might negotiate, their expectations of aftercare and so on.
  8. Multicultural marketing is an important element of automotive sales. Understanding the individual consumer and meeting their needs is all part of cultural intelligence, whether dealing with customers who are LGBT, Hispanic, Asian, mature or millennial. The customer’s buying experience is more important than ever and automotive dealers need to be able to adapt to the needs of different buyers.
  9. Attracting top talent is essential in a competitive marketplace. Companies that celebrate diversity, inclusivity and cultural sensitivity are likely to be more appealing than businesses that are perceived as inflexible and old-fashioned in their outlook. The diversity of a company’s workplace should reflect the diversity of its market – or consumers may not take that company seriously.
  10. Better cultural understanding helps individuals come across as more authentic. Playing lip service to cross-cultural working, marketing and sales is not enough. A genuine appreciation of other cultures is essential, for example, understanding what car ownership means to individuals in these cultures, whether as a means of transport or a status symbol. Authenticity and curiosity will win over consumers and co-workers.

Country Navigator is an online and mobile platform that prepares global managers, executives and assignees on how to work and adapt to working across over 100 cultures. It combines assessments, country content and a range of e-learning modules.

Significantly increase your company’s global effectiveness

As a comparison instrument it allows users and corporate account owners to compare culture profiles and tendencies with countries, teams and colleagues and receive instant guidance on how to collaborate more effectively. Country Navigator supports clients in building cultural intelligence; from induction through to executive and high potential development. Country Navigator ensures all global leaders are well prepared and effective when managing diverse teams. The system follows a well-proven methodology which focuses on operational realities and practical application, enabling learners to transfer new skills and knowledge to their workplace.

Country Navigator on Tablet

Benefits for your organization

  • You will achieve greater levels of collaboration, cohesion, and integration across teams and functions.
  • Country Navigator allows you to utilize existing technology and devices for inquisitive, mobile, and increasingly virtual workforces.
  • Realize significant cost savings over traditional training methods.
  • Enhance live, in-person classroom training and coaching programs with self-paced online learning modules.
  • You will be able to educate and inform employees at all levels and locations throughout the organization.
  • You can be more responsive in pursuing growth opportunities and managing risk.

Country Navigator is multi-lingual and multi-use

The cultural assessment tool and feedback information is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.

In addition to its assessment capabilities the Country Navigator tool offers e-learning paths and online country briefings for global leaders. Users access structured country learning paths. Information includes local cultural tendencies, profile comparisons and key strategies on how to manage cultural differences. Country Navigator on Phone

  • Country guides: Access in-depth information and expert advice for all key international business destinations, with insider tips to build relationships and secure deals around the globe.
  • Country briefings: Learners go through a six-step structured overview of a country. A video quickly gets them up to speed on the local working styles. A gap analysis between the learner and the target country focuses the learner onto the key strategies that they need adopt to manage any cultural differences.
  • Blended learning: Access structured learning to guide and develop increased cultural awareness to build more fruitful international relationships.
  • Learning on-demand: Access a wide range of integrated learning tools, resources and courses from within the Country Navigator tool, on your desktop, online or via your mobile device.
  • Validated profiles: Culture assessments are based on insights and data compiled by over 250 culture experts covering 126 countries worldwide. A dynamic dashboard reacts to the learner’s usage and guides them to the relevant information. After the learner has completed the cultural profile assessment, the system will generate the learner’s cultural tendencies and provide them with clear guidance on recognizing differences in others and adapting for success. Learners can compare themselves to country profiles and receive detailed guidance on how best deal with any differences. They can also compare their own profile with their colleagues or counterparts and receive instant feedback on how to work better together.

The latest release of Country Navigator provides:

  • Essential tips and in-depth online guidance on how to do business in over 100 countries
  • Personal Assessment – identify your dominant cultural orientations and how they impact your global working style
  • Comparison Tools – compare your profile with colleagues and receive personalized feedback
  • Flight Packs – a downloadable collection of country resources and information

You can try Country Navigator for free right now with our 14 day trial. Click here to sign up.

About the Author

Sue Bryant

Sue Bryant is an award-winning writer and editor specialising in global business culture and travel.

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