Learn more about how software platforms are disrupting the automotive industry, especially Tier 1 suppliers, and how this affects the automotive value chain.
Automotive & Commercial Vehicles
Triple Transformation - a holistic framework for mastering automotive disruption
Decision-makers in the automotive industry are facing unprecedented challenges. Trends such as Mobility, Autonomous driving, Digitalization and Electrification (MADE) are causing fundamental shifts in both technology and business models. Moreover, destabilizing developments in recent years such as "deglobalization", caused by geopolitical tensions, and accelerating climate change are forcing the car industry to reconfigure complex global supply chains and speed up the shift from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to electric powertrains for new cars.
The automotive industry clearly needs to transform. In fact, manufacturers of motor vehicles – especially legacy players – must manage three transformations at the same time. To help automotive executives navigate these unchartered waters, we have created what we call our Automotive Triple Transformation framework, consisting of three Ps:
Position – Rethink the future: In the wake of geopolitical tensions, MADE challenges, new competition, climate change, and changing customer expectations, what will the future fields of play (markets, segments), value propositions, business portfolio and business models be?
Perform – Realign the now: How can you optimize your current business performance to enable (and finance) your transformation to a new industry value proposition, business portfolio and business model?
Progress – Renew the corporation: How can you future-proof your company by delivering on ambitious sustainability and DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) targets, while winning the war for talent in the automobile industry?
Position: Rethink the future
The four MADE trends continue to drive disruption in the automotive industry. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, new shared mobility services were growing rapidly, threatening individual passenger vehicle ownership and hence new car sales volumes. For cars designated for shared mobility, even industry-leading OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) saw themselves downgraded to mere device manufacturers. Understandably, the start of the coronavirus pandemic caused a pause in this development, but the trend is now starting to regain momentum in the industry.
Autonomous driving – self-driving cars – especially at level 4+, threatens to further exacerbate the shared mobility trend with the promise of drastically reduced costs per mile. Digitalization and software have become the new battleground for differentiation in the automotive industry and has carmakers losing ground to tech companies and digital players. Electrification has also dramatically accelerated over the last year, with cities, states or entire countries announcing sweeping bans on ICE-powered motor vehicles just one or two vehicle generations away, triggering ambitious electrification commitments by almost all legacy automakers. At the same time, new pure-play electric car OEMs and startups have seen staggering increases in their valuation, far surpassing many legacy players in the industry.
The disruption doesn't stop at the motor vehicle manufacturer level, either. Powertrain suppliers also need to identify their future role and shift their business portfolio towards new high-quality automotive sector technologies. And major legacy Tier-1 electronics manufacturers supplying automotive technology to those engaged in vehicle manufacturing have to fend off new tech companies and digital players, while at the same adapting their business models to react to the impact of hardware and software disintegration.
Companies engaged in manufacturing vehicles, from Honda and Subaru to Volvo, and the industry suppliers that provide them with motors, brakes, tires, drive systems, electronic parts, infotainment systems and so on, face an urgent need to rethink their future value proposition, business portfolio, business model, partnerships and investments based on realistic future scenarios for the motor industry.
Quantum technology: The next big disruption?
Quantum technology has the potential to transform the economy and civil society.
Transferring the open source approach from tech to automotive
Learn more about the MIH Alliance and their plan to build an open source platform for electric vehicles and how smaller automobile manufacturers might benefit.
Meet the automotive disrupters: How to build electric supercars
In this interview, Mate Rimac talks about their transformation from startup to large enterprise and how they are planning to expand in the coming years.
Perform: Realign the now
The automotive industry recovered surprisingly fast from the initial downturn in vehicle sales caused by COVID-19 – only to hit the next crisis in form of the chip shortage, threatening revenues and profits in the second half of 2021.
The dramatic acceleration in the electrification of motor vehicles is putting pressure on the cashflow needed to fund this transformation of the industry. In the foreseeable future, the margins on electric vehicles (EVs) will not achieve the same levels as those on ICE vehicles. Consumers expect fresh, unique experiences. The ever-increasing role of digitalization and software requires new approaches, new organizational setups and new investments in innovation and capabilities from automobile manufacturers. At the same time, complex global supply chains are vulnerable to trends such as deglobalization and increasingly frequent natural disasters, ultimately threatening car production. Vehicle manufacturers, whether in Germany, Japan, China or elsewhere in the world, must reconfigure themselves in line with climate change in order to increase their robustness.
Step changes in customer experience, improved efficiency, reduced complexity, lower costs and supply chain robustness are needed in order to boost car sales. In parallel, players in the auto industry must establish new hands-on capabilities and develop new technologies centered on the connected car and on-demand, real-time services. The industry faces a truly Herculean task.
Crisis recovery – How automotive suppliers can get back on the road to success
Covid-19 pandemic intensifies the downward spiral of automotive suppliers. What measures must now be taken?
The crisis and its impact on automotive retail in Europe
The car retail industry is hardly affected by the pandemic. Read now how car dealerships and manufacturers can rethink their joint strategies and sales model.
Tired of endless performance initiatives?
Get to the root causes of the problem – with the Roland Berger RADICAL approach
How automotive companies can secure short-term survival and prepare for a post-coronavirus future
European vehicle sales will be severely affected by the coronavirus crisis. Automotive executives need to rethink priorities and radically adapt their business model to a new reality.
Covid-19 highlights automotive industry's structural deficits
Covid-19 has hit all the automotive sector on all sides. The pandemic is like a magnifying glass, making structural deficits stand out.
Automotive aftermarket: difficult terrain for tyre wholesalers
Der Reifengroßhandel befindet sich in einer unbequemen "Sandwichposition": Während der Reifenabsatz stagniert, steigt die Preissensitivität der Kunden. Gleichzeitig drängen die Hersteller in den Direktvertrieb und B2B-Online-Plattformen werden immer mächtiger. Im vierten Teil unserer Serie zum Kfz-Aftermarket zeigen wir, welche strategischen Optionen Großhändler haben.
New customer groups set the automotive aftermarket in motion
New customer groups such as intermediaries are shaking up the independent aftermarket. Players will need to adapt their sales approaches and consider an omnichannel strategy.
Consolidation in the European automotive aftermarket
Mergers and acquisitions are on the rise in the highly fragmented market for automotive spare parts: the big players are getting bigger, but more and more financial investors are getting in on the action. Companies that position themselves before it's too late can benefit from the disruption.
Opportunities for the automotive aftermarket
Umbrüche im europäischen Kfz-Aftermarket bieten Chancen für Unternehmen, die proaktiv Veränderungen durch Digitalisierung in ihre Geschäftsmodelle integrieren.
Rethinking motor fleet insurance
Motor fleet insurance has historically been unprofitable. New mobility consumption increases its relevance.
Progress: Renew the corporation
To stay relevant for customers, employees and investors, it is not sufficient anymore for players in the automotive industry to focus on product innovations, revenues and profits. A radical rethink is required, from the assembly line to the dealership, from automaker to automotive technician.
The obvious signs of climate change, growing demands for social justice and rapidly changing expectations regarding work-life balance require a dedicated effort to renew the corporation. Consumers are increasingly weighing up auto manufacturers' commitments to sustainability and ethical standards when making their vehicle purchase decisions. Large institutional investors have started to ban investments in companies in the industry that don't meet stringent ESG standards. And new talent, which is critical to attract to enable the transformation, increasingly factor sustainability, climate action, DEI, purpose and the flexibility of work environment into their long-term employment decisions.
Sustainarama – How sustainability will change the world in 2050
Sustainability is changing the world as we know it. What will our lives look like in 2050 – and what can companies do to ensure a livable future?
Sustainability Award in Automotive 2021
Find out more about the award for holistic sustainability in the automotive industry and which evaluation standards can be used to show the sector new perspectives.
Sustainability – here to stay
Corporate sustainability is becoming increasingly important in all industries. Roland Berger is convinced that a well thought-out ESG approach leads to higher value creation, but it is important to act efficiently to remain competitive.
Operations: The heart of sustainability | Webinar
Sustainability is a broad field that covers much more than just greenhouse gas emissions. The Roland Berger Operations Team invites you to rethink sustainability in operations and to discuss inspiring company examples.
Can economic growth coexist with sustainability?
Leading economic minds Kate Raworth, Vaclav Smil and Diane Coyle are urging us to slow down. Think:Act Magazine explores their theories for a balanced future.
The bank that turned social innovation into profit
Equity's James Mwangi took a pay cut when he took over the Kenyan bank. Think:Act reports on the profitability of his commitment to social innovation.
Greenpeace’s Jennifer Morgan talks climate change
Greenpeace International’s Jennifer Morgan speaks with Think:Act Magazine about responsibility, climate change and risks of not adopting new global policies.
Lifelong learning is important in changing times
Think:Act explores how the key to successful leadership and empowering training lies in reflecting, observing and unlearning what you know.
Frederic Laloux on what lies ahead for business
Reinventing Organizations author Frederic Laloux speaks with Think:Act about resilience and his vision for a new mindset that rethinks management.
Alex Osterwalder on the building blocks of organizational reinvention
Acclaimed business theorist Alex Osterwalder believes that companies need the capability to constantly reinvent themselves now more than ever. The smartest way of developing it is dividing their world into two parts: Explore and Exploit