An empirical study of future changes in the European car industry
The automotive supplier industry and the relationship between car manufacturers and suppliers has been confronted with major changes resulting from OEMs' strategy of stronger product integration and the building of so-called systems, sub-systems and components and segmentation of the supplier industry. Former valid work processes, division of work, organisational structures and also, the general manufacturer-supplier relationship has been subject to intensive evaluation and appropriate adaptation to the changed circumstances. This research project aims to investigate these changes in the European car industry in greater detail, particularly: The OEMs' system-building strategy What requirements OEMs must meet at the individual supplier levels (system, sub-system, component) and The main factors involved in the development of a more efficient relationship between OEMs and suppliers. To achieve this object, various activities were undertaken including the collecting of information from previous studies, preparing standardised questionnaires and performing investigations within the European car industry and also at a major automotive supplier. The work is based on empirical investigations and personal interviews conducted with key persons in automobile companies and automotive suppliers with the aim of painting a picture of the future situation and developing a proposal based on the information compiled. Finding answers to the above-mentioned issues may be very important and useful in determining internal organisational structure and resource allocation and in making strategic decisions in respect of alliances and collaborations when preparing one's own business for the even fiercer competition that will face automobile suppliers in the future.