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21st Century Car Distribution in Europe

2013

Trends such as changing mobility behavior, stricter environmental legislation, new market players and new technologies are reshaping the automotive ecosphere. Europe's distribution setup in particular is in need of innovative models. That is why, in collaboration with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and AUTOMANAGER, the IESE Business School in Barcelona conducted a project to develop modern, sustainable distribution models for the European car industry.

"21st Century Car Distribution in Europe" concerned itself above all with questions relating to new technologies, the competitive and financial capabilities of traditional captive dealers, environmental protection issues and mobility. Different strategies in response to these trends were presented: One described a car sharing model based on innovative interaction between customers and car dealers. Another involved made-to-measure service solutions delivered via social media. Still another postulated new types of offerings for large regional dealers in an attempt to cut costs.

"Car distribution faces a wide range of challenges," explains Ralf Landmann, Senior Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "The need to be present across all channels, the sheer variety of products and more specific customer demands are putting the industry under more pressure to innovate. At the same time, these trends also open up attractive ways for OEMs to set themselves apart from their competitors."

It was this understanding that led the IESE Business School, in collaboration with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and AUTOMANAGER, to initialize the "21st Century Car Distribution in Europe" project. 66 master's degree students from more than 45 countries joined forces in nine teams to flesh out ideas and strategies for modern, sustainable distribution models for the European automobile industry.

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