How technology is changing the way we build, acquire, drive and manage after sales’ car. Here is a mapping of startups disrupting the automotive industry value chain.
Following the CB Insight report1 on Automotive industry Axeleo mapped over 120 startups disrupting the automotive industry value chain, with a focus on the French market. Beyond Electric vehicles, renowned as the first challenge by 50% of executives in the automotive industry 2, Axeleo focused on the other four components of the value chain: supply & manufacture, distribution & finance, operations, and maintenance & services.
Automotive industry trends
Supply and manufacture
Even though 3D printing is still mainly used in the prototyping progress, it is progressively taking importance in the manufacturing supply chain. According to the 2017 3D Printing State by Sculpteo, between 2017 and 2022, 3D printing use in product development will decrease whereas its use for more flexibility in the production will increase. Today, early auto application focus on parts as testify the example of PSA Group using 3D printing for car chassis. However, the example of Divergent 3D, which just raised $65 million in 2017, is definitely changing the way we consider tomorrow’s car makers. In the end, numerical fabrication and technological progress aim at shortening product’s time-to-market, answer the need of customized cars and fill in the lack of internal human resources.
Distribution and finance
Startups see in the distribution and finance processes gaps to fill in as consumers’ pain points increase: waiting time, lack of customized offers, etc. Some startups are competitors to historical dealers and financing incumbents, others stand as partners by providing their services. “Traditional retailers and car dealers have lost ground and mobility service providers are moving up (20%) – if pure asset-based retailers don’t watch out now, they will simply be replaced by new mobility solution providers in no time.” 2. Physical retail outlets will inevitably be reduced as customers can increasingly buy their car online and new mobility solutions gain in importance. The partnership between Cox Automotive and Holman Enterprises leading to the birth of Flexdrive in 2014 is an example of how old actors can reinvent themselves. Flexdrive provides a solution enabling any fleet owner to offer all-inclusive car subscriptions to drivers (insurance, maintenance, roadside).
Once the car is owned the way we operate it is also being disrupted. Connectivity is allowing the rise of hyper-connected cars and new services. The famous shift towards a data-driven business model exposed in the report Monetizing car data is leading actors to the same path: more and more connectivity in the car! Three trends: connected cars enabling in-car services for safety issues, for instance, autonomous vehicles and Maas (Mobility as a service). Autonomous vehicles are driving 76% of the total amount invested in auto tech startups in 20173.
Maintenance and services
Following the logic according to which data monetization will spread the benefit all along the vehicle lifecycle, new services are emerging. It is the famous “(…)shift from a one-off transaction towards TCO-driven recurring transactions throughout the entire customer lifecycle.” 2 Those services will have a tendency in the future to be centralized an in all-in-one car subscription offers as seen in the “Distribution and finance” part. Today, they feature offers close to customer needs, with strong personalization enabled by car data such as pay-as-you-drive insurance and predictive maintenance.
Automotive industry funding and acquisitions
In terms of funding, CB Insights identified 149 deals only in 2017, for nearly $4B invested, compared to $1.5B in 2016 and $1B in 2015.
The major acquisitions in the automotive sector remain on technology enabling autonomous vehicles, such as Cruise Automation, the self-driving car company that develops an autopilot system for existing cars ($1.2B acquired by General Motors in 2016) or nuTonomy, who developed a software for self-driving vehicles and autonomous mobile robots acquired by Delphi Automotive last October for $450M.
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- 1 State of Auto Tech 2018 by CB Insights
- 2 The Global automotive Executive survey by KGMG
- 3 Autonomy Is Driving A Surge Of Auto Tech Investment by CB Insights