The Automotive Industry is international. That’s no secret. It crosses continents in its industry shows and its proud place in furious pop-culture films. More practically, many companies that operate within the industry have stakes in both domestic and foreign soil. This comes into play when considering the supply chain and FCPA compliance as well. Most recently, the international flavor of the industry has come into play when considering how companies can protect themselves from being harmed by imports. One tool to do so is filing a Section 337 proceeding at the International Trade Commission (ITC).
The cars we drive to work every day run primarily on computers that collect thousands of data points. Same goes for the factory that manufactured them and the company that designed and sold them. This evolution makes cybersecurity vital at every step in the supply chain. We know manufacturing is one of the most hacked industries. We know hackers target individual cars. We’ve seen cybersecurity best practices from Auto-ISAC and NHTSA. With that, we wanted to provide companies with a list of concrete steps to consider to help minimize the risk of, and prepare for, cyber-intrusions.
Below is our list of 17 measures every company should consider to reduce the risk of cyber-intrusions.
Multiple developments recently demonstrate that self-driving vehicles continue their steady march to potential world domination. First, there was Apple meeting the application requirements for autonomous vehicle testing in California. As reported in USA Today, this gave Apple “the green light to test self-driving cars in Calif.” Among the more interesting nuggets in this story is that there are now 30 – thirty! – companies who have obtained Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits in California. The list is precisely the mix of automotive, technology and supporting companies one would expect.
As we stand here in early 2017, we are further away from the all-time high in valuations and deal activity that we witnessed in 2015; but despite signs that the extended expansion cycle for the industry may be plateauing, automotive appears poised to remain a leading sector for M&A activity through 2017. Prognostics for macroeconomic factors are mixed. We have now seen two interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, which all else being equal reduces the amount of debt financing for potential buyers in a particular deal. However, so long as the generally positive outlook for global economic growth is realized (driven in part by a strengthening U.S. economy and renewed optimism), we hope to see that any downturn in deal activity for 2017 to be modest at worst. Opportunities in hot sectors such as connected and autonomous driving electric vehicle and lightweight material technologies, and generally throughout the component supplier market, should continue to entice buyers to remain active in the market so as not to be left standing on the fences. However, the days of a continuing upward trajectory of deal multiples across the entire industry appear to be over, at least for the near term.
While fans of electrifying rides got a boost from the box office this week, fans of electrified rides are living in exciting times as well.