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Overall, a far-reaching shift should be expected with newly requi-
red production competencies and technologies, as described abo-
ve. The result will be a reorganization of the value-creation chain
and, accordingly, a new alignment of participating companies re-
lative to their strategy, competences, technologies and resources.
This applies to existing suppliers and OEMs, but also particularly
to new companies in the supplier industry, right up to plant engi-
neering companies.
The extent to which a serious shift of the value creation chain bet-
ween OEM and supplier can be assumed will certainly be highly
dependent on the strategic alignment of the companies. Currently,
the OEMs exhibit a very varied image with respect to the compo-
nents that define their core competences; this can be illustrated
using the example of the electric motor. In this case VW provides
its own manufacturing, while Daimler has founded a joint venture
with Bosch, and Ford relies completely on suppliers [Roland Ber-
ger (2011b)]. However, the practical implementation of a variety of
cooperation agreements within a company must first be proven.
In addition to founding the companies Li-Tec and Dt. Accumotive,
Daimler has also announced collaborations in recent years (only
in the battery cell and battery system sector) with the following
companies: Continental, JohnsonControl Saft, Hitachi, Cobasys
and BYD. Volkswagen is also involved in this type of complexity,
through cooperation with Sanyo, Toshiba, BYD, Varta Microbatte-
ries, as well as Bosch (likewise only battery).
A possible strategy for strong and independent positioning of an
OEM, as well as cooperation with partner companies and supplies
could be:
• Short-term: Setting up a joint venture with an established part-
ner (also outside of the automobile industry) that has years of
experience and a high level of know-how of the required core
components, and that can also offer production capacity
• Medium-term: Build-up of the firm’s own „in-house“ compe-
tence, to remain independent from external companies, and
build-up of the firm’s own production lines in order to produce
high quantities, autonomously and in a manner that is cost-op-
timized and that offers effective capacity utilization.
• Long-term: Outsourcing the components or sub-components
that have become commodities and no longer enable differen-
tiation from the competition, to reduce the firm’s own costs and
to take advantage of the competition between supplying com-
»Established suppliers to the automobile industry are pursu-
ing diversification strategies and forming joint ventures for
production of mechanical, as well as electrical propulsion
components, to minimize risks and to participate in all market
segments uniformly.«
Martin Kreuter, Corporate Development, New Business – Industry In-
novation, Bayer MaterialScience
Chapter 2