Stellantis has laid out a new software strategy. The company projects car computing advancements will deliver $22.5 billion in annual revenue from software-enabled products and subscriptions by 2030. Stellantis’ projections did not include revenue from its collaboration with Alphabet’s robotaxi business Waymo.
The company’s innovative approach centers on its “STLA Brain,” a technology platform that will pave the way for powerful vehicle software updates by 2024, the date when Stellantis projects new Jeeps and RAM trucks will operate more like smartphones with personalized services and continuous improvement. Stellantis plans to charge for these services and improvements, much like Apple does with its iPhones.
Large auto manufacturers are all following similar paths. In October, General Motors presented a plan to make $80 billion in revenue from software and other new businesses by 2030. Its plan included $50 billion from Cruise, the company’s majority-owned driverless taxi operation.
Auto manufacturers already generate some revenue from in-vehicle services. Stellantis estimated its revenue from selling navigation and live-traffic data at nearly $453 million in 2021. GM reported its OnStar roadside-assistance service brings in the bulk of its $2 billion annual service revenues. Stellantis also announced plans to launch auto insurance program based on real driving data in 2022.
The potential for high-margin recurring software revenue is drawing investors to automotive stocks. In fact, one justification for Tesla’s $1.2 trillion market value and massive stock price increases is its potential for high-margin recurring software revenue.
Stellantis and GM are making moves in the digital space, though the industry has yet to prove the business model. Tesla’s vehicles lead the software-centric trend, but even Tesla doesn’t make much from software. And it’s possible that digital services will grow into another car tech improvement that customers do not pay for.
The projections from Stellantis and GM estimate digital revenues will grow after 2024. But they are making investments in these technologies now. The companies are hiring expensive software engineers from more traditional tech businesses to lead the charge.