New technologies and business models such as shared mobility are profoundly changing not only the automotive product but also its production. If shared mobility concepts prevail to the extent predicted, analysts expect a polarization between simple, standardized “cars to go”, and in contrast high-quality, highly individualized vehicles in private ownership.
According to forecasts, the former will account for about one third of all private vehicles by 2030. Production according to the established just-in-sequence principle is not efficient. Market shifts of this magnitude will not remain without consequences: How, where and by whom will vehicles be produced in the future? In addition, the installed capacity of automobile manufacturers and many of their suppliers is leading to a massive challenge in covering fixed costs as sales change. They are designed for special model series, engine variants or assembly volumes and therefore cannot be used flexibly when capacity utilization changes. If production is to remain as efficient as possible, action must be taken now.