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Automotive 4.0 – Threat or opportunity for incumbents?

April 27, 2015

The automotive industry is undergoing profound change. The rise of Uber will not just impact taxi players, but car rentals, car sharing, leasing players, OEMs, and suppliers. Thomas Wendt, Roland Berger Partner in the US, foresees that the coming industry disruption has major implications for incumbent players. 'Automotive 4.0' is the next evolutionary step-change for the industry. Advancements in automated driving, vehicle connectivity and shared mobility will change the face of personal mobility.

A self-driving Google car will soon commence testing on public roads, and Apple is rumored to be working on an electric car. We will see the convergence of the automotive and technology industries. Consumers today would rather trust a self-driving car made by technology giants over those made by auto makers.

New business models must evolve as OEM purchasing decisions increasingly bypass the supplier role as integrator. Incumbents need to become more agile to better compete with shorter development cycles and light asset footprints. Finally, automotive companies must quickly fill talent, technology and competency gaps. Strategic tools such as corporate venturing will be crucial.

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Automotive 4.0 – threat or opportunity for incumbents?


Disruptive trends are converging, significantly reshaping the automotive landscape and traditional value chains.

Published April 2015. Available in