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Automobile Trend Report

Suppliers and OEMs Dread Climate Policy and Diesel Crisis

| Editor: Alexander Stark

A study conducted by the consulting firm PwC asked OEMs and suppliers which topics they consider to be most challenging. However, they place a great deal of hope on e-mobility — almost 40 % of the respondents consider electric mobility as a sales driver in the next five years.

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What lies ahead? For many OEMs and suppliers, the question arises as to whether climate policies and the diesel crisis will have a negative impact on future developments.
( Bild: Pixabay / CC0 )

After a decade of unrestrained upswing, 2018 could be a structural turning point for the automotive industry. For instance, managers of automobile manufacturers see climate policy regulation (78 %) and the consequences of the diesel crisis (76 %) as potential risks for the current year. More than half (59 %), consider trade restrictions and protectionist tendencies as a danger, followed by the effects of the Brexit (51 %). The supply industry expects that the consequences of the diesel crisis (61 %) and trade restrictions (54 %) will be the biggest challenges in 2018.

Electromobility as a Catalyst

During the next five years, 54 % estimate that an economic downturn is likely. 44 % believe that smoldering regional conflicts such as those on the Korean peninsula or in the Middle East could affect their own business in the medium term. Electromobility, on the other hand, provides a glimmer of hope and is considered by 29 % as the number one sales driver in 2018 — in the course of the next five years even 39 % expect electric mobility to become the most important sales driver.

In the opinion of the insiders, future topics such as autonomous driving and driver assistance systems are also gaining momentum and are seen as a sales catalyst by almost a quarter (23 %) over the next five years. These are the key findings of a survey conducted by PwC Strategy& among 200 executives (39 % OEMs, 61 % suppliers) in the automotive industry.

"The impending ban on diesel-powered vehicles in some German cities illustrates the current development towards a transport transformation. If it is to succeed, the market penetration of electromobility is certainly an important building block, even if the managers are not yet ready to recognize it as the leading technology. The growing sales figures for electric cars and hybrid vehicles last year are already signs for a turnaround," says Felix Kuhnert, Partner and Global Automotive Leader at PwC.

Start-Ups and Tech Competitors Offer Opportunities Rather than Risks

In terms of future viability, the industry is also adapting to new players. Start-ups and competitors from the technology sector are regarded as an opportunity rather than a risk by more than half of the respondents (56 %). Exactly half of the companies are already collaborating more closely with start-ups or other technology companies, and an additional 23 % are planning to launch first joint projects within the next five years.

However, some OEMs and suppliers are also developing new technologies, above all in the field of electromobility, which is on the agenda of 66 % of the managers for the next few years. 34 % plan big data projects to market customer and driver data. As many as 29 % of those asked identified car sharing models as a significant source of revenue in the future. According to industry decision-makers, these changes resulting from new business models and the digitalization of the industry are having above all an impact on production (51 %), Research & Development (48 %) and IT (40 %).

This article was first published by Automobil Industrie.

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