Mueller, Daniel Wilhelm
From conventional to alternative forms of propulsion
How new technologies may change the nature, structure and management of supply chains in the German automotive sector.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Electro mobility is a current topic and will certainly change the appearance of vehicles in the future. However, how such a change in the propulsion technology may change the nature, structure and management of the ASCs in Germany within the next 15 years had not yet been discussed in the academic literature. The author therefore conducted an online Delphi survey to investigate this topic.
Germany’s OEMs currently start producing all propulsion technologies. However, the next 15 years, hybrid vehicles will dominate the alternative propulsion technology market. In order to produce these new technologies, new competences are needed which OEMs do not have. Thus, several new players will enter the market and deliver components next to the traditional suppliers. This will result in a shift of value-added activities towards suppliers and a change of the power balance. To counteract this, OEMs currently build up these competences, often with strategic alliances and relationships with suppliers. As a result, the automotive supply chain will become larger and more complex in its structure.
Additionally, the nature of the automotive supply chain will be affected. New and mainly electrical and chemical parts and components will be required, and their share will increase considerably. Customer focus will become a key aspect in this period. Customers need to be informed, convinced, consulted and supported in the purchase and use of these new technologies. In order to offer the appropriate propulsion technology for the individual needs of the customer, a stringent build-to-order philosophy will be needed.
The management of the supply chain, i.e. the crossovers between all new and old supply chain members, will become an even more challenging task and re-quire a sense of tact by all parties involved. Furthermore, a culture that enables and supports knowledge transfer and the ability to quickly react to changes in the market will be necessary. For this purpose, highly skilled and flexible workers and managers are required. In addition, strategies to decrease the product variety to customise the final product based on the customers’ expectations will gain importance.
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