The world's automakers face a rate of change unlike that of any other time in the industry's history. Digitalization, connectivity, evolving powertrain technologies, tougher regulations, and shifts in consumer attitudes have created unprecedented challenges as well as opportunities. In pursuit of sales growth, global automakers have invested heavily in emerging markets, but slower demand, especially in China, has highlighted the risks of these investments. Accurately assessing economic conditions in specific markets has become more important than ever for automakers.
The global auto industry is dominated by a small number of US, Western European, and Japanese companies. In the pursuit of sales and market share growth, the major companies have expanded aggressively into emerging markets by setting up local subsidiaries or joint ventures. Domestic manufacturers in emerging markets often enjoy tax benefits or other policies that give them an advantage over foreign competitors. Manufacturers in emerging markets also have global expansion ambitions and are increasingly exporting their products to both established and other developing markets.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products are cars and light trucks. The light truck segment, which includes SUVs, has a higher average price.
Cars and trucks are produced on assembly lines, an invention of the auto manufacturing industry of the early 1900s. Many refinements have made the assembly line more efficient. Robotics and other advances in automation have reduced the number of workers on a line.