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New business strategies to retain competitiveness

Automotive economy


Despite stagnating figures, the sector is gearing up for the next technological revolution with an expected growth of 30% between now and 2030

Paolo Castiglia

Old and new are walking hand in hand in an automotive sector that appears to be experiencing a rather dynamic economic phase as far as developments and intensity, not always easy to manage at all levels. Hence, if on the one hand Unrae (Association of foreign car makers operating in Italy) announces – as expected - the positive sales figures recorded by heavy commercial vehicles, it seems that the entire sector is about to be hit - in innovative terms – by an epoch-making revolution: manufacturers as well as suppliers would do well to prepare for one of the deepest and most widespread transformations the industry has ever been through.

This warning was launched by the latest study signed by Oliver Wyman and entitled "Future Automotive Industry Structure - FAST 2030". According to surveys by analysts of the American management consulting firm, between now and the year 2030, the industry’s current scenario will be shaken by at least 7 phenomena: connected vehicles, self-driving cars, e-mobility, digital industry, new pay-per-use distribution channels, a structural customer transformation and human-machine interfaces.

This paints a picture of converging and non-converging trends.

"The automotive industry is facing the perfect storm: a great technological transformation will usher in significant changes in customer habits, - explains Joern Buss, partner of Oliver Wyman and author of the report -. Stormy times are ahead and these will affect not only vehicle manufactures but suppliers too, many of which will be force to review their business strategies in order to retain competitiveness in the future".

Meanwhile, Unrae’s study and statistics centre, based on registration data provided by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, estimated the market trend for the month of May 2018.

The data reported an increase of 2.1% in new registrations of vehicles with a GVM exceeding 3.5t compared to the same month in 2017 (2.120 units against 2.076) but lower than April 2018.

"These estimates - said Franco Fenoglio, president of Unrae’s Industrial Vehicles Division - clearly indicate that, following the end of government incentives, new vehicle registrations decreased in May compared to the previous month of April. However, it is a common feeling that, despite the confirmation of such incentives for the current year, the market is now starting to feel the pinch from the rather unstable political climate. We are now awaiting the publication in the Official Gazette of the ministerial decree that establishes how the 2018 investment resources will be allocated, so that transport companies might start submitting their applications".

Fenoglio, on the other hand, seems to be enjoying sweet dreams: from mega-trends to changes in geopolitical balance, the upcoming revolution will widen the competitive arena raising the level of the global challenge. In fact, the third edition of the above mentioned report, which has a five-year frequency and is carried out in collaboration with the Verbandder Automobil industrie - the German association that represents the different automotive industries - predicts that the overall value of the global automotive industry will soar by 30% by 2030.

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