Emerging new product development methodology for the automobile industry

Thoma, Benjamin
New competitive pressures are unsettling traditional carmakers. These include: new consumer groups in emerging markets; zero emission requirements of existing customers; new competitors from emerging markets; and increasing dependency on suppliers. These pressures require carmakers to react more rapidly while designing new models of automobile. New product development (NPD) is the core process used to develop synergy between customer requirements and the objectives of the carmakers to produce successful automobiles. NPD has served carmakers well during an era of relatively stable competition with easily recognizable technologies and competitors. In a new area, where technologies are changing rapidly and new competition is emerging, there is a need for a new approach to NPD. In this research, the author reviews existing innovation patterns of both traditional and emerging carmakers. This analysis has led to the development of an emerging NPD methodology that consists of concept, design and validation phases highlighting the interfaces to key stakeholders (such as consumers, infrastructure providers, suppliers, etc.). The emerging NPD methodology is informed and validated through a case study based approach focusing on Chinese and German automobile industries that shows how emerging market players disrupt the concept phase, whereas global OEMs adapt the design phase while trying to comply with emerging automotive trends. A cornerstone of the emerging NPD method is the demand for zero emission. This is demonstrated via new business models, whereas overall competitiveness is achieved through stakeholder integration facilitated by social networks. The findings of the research are confirmed by empirical research. The author concludes by giving recommendations based on the emerging NPD methodology and its associated NPD toolbox that allows carmakers to better cope with changing requirements in the automotive sector.
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland