Background And Analysis Of Autombile Industry Marketing Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Albert Einstein once said, "the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion" and he was not wrong when we look back at the Automobile industry, big changes have happened in last decades even tough the roots the car can be track since 1672, when Ferdinand Verbiest described in the book Astronomia Europaea a "small wooden dolly with 4 wheels" which was powered by steam (Xiping, Ding and Ye 2006). Since then a series of innovations have change the automobile industry.

The gasoline automobile as we know today can be attributed to Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach and Karl Benz, who presented patens for motor vehicles powered by gasoline engines by the end of the 19th century (Eckermann 2001). However, before the gasoline engine the Electric vehicles proved their viability, in 1882 William Ayrton and John Perry presented and electrically power tricycle which used lead/acid batteries and had a range speed of between 16 and 40 km (Westbrook 2005). In 1900 the vehicles were offered with gasoline-powered internal combustion engines (IC), electric vehicles (EV) or steam-powered; the marketplace was divided and which technology will succeed among the others was undefined (Anderson and Anderson 2010).

It was the advances in the oil industry that supported the gasoline/diesel motor vehicles and finally established the internal combustion engines as common denominator in the industry in the 20th century. Nonetheless the oil crisis in 1973 and 2008 have been factors that push the automobile makers to look forward to new energy sources for the vehicles.

The technological advances in the automobile industry are not only in the powertrain field, the world economy, consumer tendencies, the electronics and microchip have influence the development of the car since its inception as transportation medium. The automobile of the future is unknown, but automakers must be able to foresight the technologies and tendencies in order to prevail in the future.

Figure 1‑1 Columbia Automobile Company advertisement.


This report focuses on reviewing and identifying technologies, that impact directly and indirectly the automobile industry and pertain from the concept to create sustainable vehicles. The studied technologies are grouped in the following fields:

Hybrid, electric, alternative and conventional fuelled vehicles.

Software, Safety and Telematics.

SCM and Manufacturing processes.

The report presents how accurate pass and existing roadmaps have foresighted the technology in the mentioned fields, which are forethought technologies or are expected to decline and what tendencies will drive the automobile industry.


Two methods were used in the research and formulation of the study. A Desk - Internet research was used to assess the existing technology roadmaps, statistical data, books, industry reports, news and magazine articles and other significant sources of information. The scenario-based methodology was used to evaluate the uncertainties and limitation of the resources, also to propose an adapted technology roadmap from studied technologies and analysis of the students contributing in the creation of this report.

PESTEL Analysis

Multinational enterprises continuously monitor and analyse the business environment in order to determinate the opportunities and threats challenged. PESTEL is a framework to depict the environment in which an enterprise maneuvers; the acronym stands for Political factors, these refers to government policies, political institutions and risks. Economic factors discuss economic growth, inflation, taxation schemes etc. Social factors raise topics as values, culture and social change among others. Technological factors refer to technological advances, new processes and products. Environmental factors discuss topics such as climate change, sustainability, etc. and Legal factors refer to regulations and directives (Mellahi, Frynas and Finlay 2005).

The presented PESTEL analysis evaluates the macro environment forces that impact the automobile industry however, such analysis is high complex due to the vast number of manufacturers, consumers and markets. In this context, the analysis is delimited to countries with a high representative number brands or position as manufacturing center.

Figure 2‑3 Motor vehicle manufacturing groups volume 2009 cluster by country of ownership (OICA, 2011).

Figure 2 -3 2 -4 present the countries with more brand ownership; Japan, the USA and Germany allocate more than 50% of the automobile groups. As an example Toyota Motor Corporation, with its brands Daihatsu, Hino, Lexus, Scion and Toyota produce 11% of the global manufactured volume. Although Toyota's main markets are outside Japan, the Design and R&D centers reside in this country (Toyota Motor Corporation 2010, OICA 2010)

As mention, Japan leads in brand ownership however, companies like Toyota Motor Corporation or Volkswagen Group AG have large manufacturing centers in China (Toyota Motor Corporation 2010, Volkswagen Group AG 2009), a country with very low brand ownership representation but leader in manufacturing volume as show in . Hence other countries like Brazil, India and Mexico are relevant to the analysis due to the manufacturing participation.

Figure 2‑5 Top motor vehicle manufacturing companies by volume 2009 (OICA, 2011).

Political Factors HUGO

Germany has been always known for the automobile industry, which industry is the largest industry by turnover, its R&D spending accounts more than a third of total domestic. The government promote the investment in this industry by cash grants; those incentives facilitate the purchase or production costs of facilities, machinery and even intangible assets. Moreover the packages subsidy operating cost in R&D projects (Invest in Germany GmbH 2008). In addition, Germany is ranked 22 out of 183 economies in the Easy Doing Business 2011 index (The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation 2010). Along other factors, those are significant elements that make Germany attractive to the automobile industry.

China's social capitalism model has capture the attention in last years, while industries with strategic importance remain state-owned, large number of manufacturing firms are totally privet or private-state join ventures (Encyclopædia Britannica 2010). The Government of the People's Republic in China encourage not only the manufacturing but also the innovation. One key project is the Shanghai International Automobile City; it comprises a Kernel zone, which includes an R&D area, the car-making and supply parts zone which congregates several manufactories like Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. The Shanghai International Circuit zone host since 2004 the Formula One Chinese Gran Prix and an Educational zone with University facilities and laboratories (Shanghai International Automobile City 2011).

In 2008 after the financial crisis caused but the supreme mortgages, the USA Congress allow a $25 billion bailout to GM, Ford and Chrysler to overcome their financial crisis (Newman 2008). This active contribution of the government procuring the industry and specifically its investors is acknowledge in the Easy Doing Business 2011 index, ranking the USA in the 5th position (The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation 2010). At the same time, the automobile industry is allowed to participate in the decision-making of policies supporting parties and elections. Stoffer (1997) reported that carmakers spent more than $100 millions a year employing lobbyists and expenditures to influence decision makers in Washington.

As mention Policies issue by the Governments can encourage the investment, facilitates the use of resources and provide bases for business.

Economical Factors ELENA

The auto industry is a main industrial and economic force worldwide. It makes 60 million cars a year, and they are responsible for almost half the world's consumption of oil. The industry employs 4 million people directly, and more indirectly.

Taxation, oil prices

In the European market taxes have made gas expensive and carmakers have become expert producers of small displacement gasoline engines and diesel engines. On the other side low gas prices in America have encouraged increasing in vehicle size and engine displacement however, Technology has improved and now allows more power from a smaller engine, Now American carmakers are substituting smaller engines with equivalent power; those cars use new technologies to increase torque and horse power. These design characteristics can be seen also in other companies such as Daimler AG(DAI), Toyota Motor(TM), Nissan Motor(NSANY), and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) that derive a huge portion of their revenue from U.S. sales. Other Japanese companies such as Subaru (owned by Fuji Heavy Industries) and Honda Motor Company (HMC) have continued to exclusively build more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Figure 2‑7 Average oil price in dollars per barrel (U.S. Energy Information Administration n.d.)

Push by the oil price and concerns about the CO2 the European countries and Japan are moving to a CO2-based vehicle taxation regime in order to achieve a low-carbon automotive industry in the future. Additionally, vehicle manufacturers need to comply with the EU CO2 norms of average fleet emissions at lesser than 130g/km by 2015, making the years up to 2015 critical for them.

Emerging economies

The growth of carmakers and auto consumer in the world's emerging economies presents an interesting twist of the quality issues and productivity. All major car companies, excepting perhaps Daimler and BMW, are struggling to straddle the difference between the quality and features wanted by the developed world and the low prices necessary to access the quickly expanding third world auto market. Automakers have taken the step of directly marketing vehicles under the brand of the mother company. For example, Ford markets the Volvo and Ford brands in China, but some Ford cars are produced by a local company called Changan motors, who also use technologies licensed or purchased directly from Ford in their own designs. The same with GM and Volkswagen operate joint ventures with Shanghai Auto. VW has another joint venture called FAW VW, which is the number two chines car manufacturer. Chrysler has similar agreements with Chery Auto or Fiat and Nanjing Automobile.

Even new automakers adopting fast to technological know-how in the developing world, these companies couldn't capture the growing demand in emerging markets in the same way as more established automakers. For example, sales of chines cars like Geely and Chery stayed the same, but sales of Volkswagen, GM, Ford and others foreign companies grew up. This is because they are considered a much better value when performance, reliability, and extra features even though they are more expensive.

Material, labor cost

The prices of all major raw materials used in the manufacturing of automobiles have increased over the past several years. These materials include rubber, plastic, copper, steel and aluminium. Higher raw material costs shrinks the profit margins of automakers and as most have increased simultaneously, it has become useless for automakers to substitute one material for another - for example use more aluminium instead of steel.

One of the factors affecting the cost and the quality of automobile production are the manufacturing techniques employed by automobile companies. For example, Volkswagen pays its workers in Germany $50/hour to work a 28 hour week, whereas its factory in Slovakia pays workers $6/hour for a 40 hour week. Those companies, which are able to move theirs production, have a big advantage. Therefore an economy as a whole has a big influence to the industry. There are international and national aspects, involved in this regard. National economic conditions are decided to greater extent by the fiscal/monetary policies followed by the state; availability of car financing, leasing; PDA (personal disposable income). International economic factors are decided by the global trends of competition and technological advancement. Among the several of such economic factors, there will be both positive and negative factors for an auto industry. So auto industry should study the factors systematically and plan accordingly so that the maximum positive economic influences suitable for the automotive industry are explored and utilized.

Social Factors NIINA HUGO

The Invention of the car has undoubtedly changed societies and people's lives in many ways. The car has notably increased personal mobility; it is a door-to-door vehicle, giving attainment to work and life necessaries, and providing enjoyment and social status. Although people are well aware of problems and disadvantages of using automobiles, there is no a substitutive option which could give the same convenience as the cars (Vergragt and Brown 2007).

In early days of automobiles, the cars were only for rich people (usually men), and owing a car clearly showed in which social class you belong to (Gartman 2004). Today the status of car seems to decrease. For example, in Japan the trend among young generation shows that owing a car is troublesome because of high parking fees and gas costs, and not worth to have. Young people buy personal computers, mobile phones and services rather than cars (Kageyama 2006). The same phenomenon is seen in Germany; the status symbol of car has dropped. Instead of having freedom and easy mobility, the young prefer their personal communication tools. The youth of today sit behind the screen, not behind the wheel. The car manufacturers are, of course, worried about that tendency towards so-called car-free world (Wasserrab 2011).

Obesity has been recognized as major public health problem; the common health consequences are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even some cancers (EUFIC 1998). Mexico and the USA lead in obese population, in both countries this population represent more than 30%, this number becomes more dramatic when the overweight population is added; combined, 69.5% of the population in Mexico has a body mass index (BMI) above the average (OECD 2010). The BMI is a standard measure of overweight and obesity in OECD countries. In this context, companies must be aware of the implications and impact in productivity, insurance cost and other related health expanses when dealing in these countries.

Technological Factors FELIPE

Research and development of new and better technologies applied to the automotive field are often a crucial factor in the survival of a company. In the automotive field, adopted technologies are continuously changing in order to offer better and more competitive products. During the last years, the automotive industry has shown a growing interest in technology as the best way for improving traditional manufacturing practices and provide more suitable products to the customer.

Nowadays, the car industry is incrementally adopting R&D methodologies that provide a way for continuously improving their products by developing new technologies for specific purposes. They think that investing in R&D is necessary due to: (1) continuous technology change, (2) competitors strategies and changing customer preferences. On the basis of proper R&D practices, companies normally refer to future-oriented and long-term activities in technology field. Technology can reduce costs, improve quality and lead to innovation. These developments can benefit consumers as well as the companies providing better products.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, R&D (Research and Development) refers to "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications" (OECD 2010). Expenditure on research and development (R&D) is a key indicator of government and private sector efforts to obtain competitive advantage in science and technology.

The main aggregate used for international comparisons is the gross domestic expenditure on R&D. This consists of the total expenditure on R&D by all resident companies, research institutes, university and government laboratories, etc. According to statistics, from 1998 to 2008, countries like USA and Germany have invested more than 2,5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in research and development. Italy has just invested a little more than 1,0% during those years, and has kept almost a steady investment level close to that percentage without presenting major changes. Even if the investment level of Spain in R&D was less than 1,5% by 2008, it has shown better and more growing investment levels than Italy in the mentioned periods (see Fig. 2-3).

Figure 2‑9 Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (OECD 2010).

Since 2000, R&D expenditure relative to GDP has increased significantly in Japan. In China, R&D intensity increased from 0.9% in 2000 to 1.4% in 2007 (OECD 2010).

On the basis of the R&D expenditure in motor vehicle industry of countries like Germany, Italy, Spain and USA (see Fig. 2-4), it is possible to see that according to international statistics, USA has invested more money between 1999 and 2000, after that the expenditure level decreased during a couple of years and a steady behaviour near to 16.000 million Euros/year is visible from 2003. Between 1999 and 2006, the German expenditure level was 10 times higher than in countries like Italy and Spain. Germany has kept high levels especially in early years (2003-2006). Even when the Spanish expenditure level was lower than the Italian in the mentioned periods, it has shown a growing investment interest in the motor vehicle industry. Instead the Italian expenditure behaviour focused on keeping an almost steady state that had minor changes from 1999 to 2006 (OECD 2010).

Figure 2‑11 R&D expenditure in motor vehicle industry.

Finally, it is important to see that countries that make considerable investments in R&D, have shown more interest and better results in developing new technologies. Most of these technologies have been widely adopted or even improved by many companies because they are considered as reliable solutions in order to offer better products. These products are mainly related to functionalities that improve the driving comfort quality. The previous figures show that there is a huge difference related to the R&D expenditure between some countries, specially between the ones that have high quality tradition level like Germany, and other ones that produce medium quality level cars like Spain or Italy. In conclusion, high R&D investments represent high quality products and safer driving.

Environmental Factors NIINA

The Environmental issues are getting higher weights all the time, moreover environmental regulations and urban planning will drive the future design and engineering of the vehicles. Contrary to the last decades when the vehicles have affected the designing and building of cities, now the vehicles are adjusting to the environment. Some big cities are limiting the driving in the centre for example in London, or like in Germany, they have formed "environmental zones" (KPMG International 2011).

Due to finite non-renewable energy resources, limited CO2 emissions and willingness to be less dependent on energy from politically unsteady countries, it has become essential for several economies to reduce use of non-renewable energies (Peters, et al. 2008). One of the best ways is to increase the energy efficiency of the vehicles as an example; Japan has announced several taxation plans for supporting the purchasing of low-emissions and fuel-efficient vehicles such as hybrid, electric and fuel cells. From year 2006 the Japanese government compensates for the purchase of environmental friendly vehicle by tax reductions up to 50% or cash grants, which can reach 300,000 JPY (International Energy Agency n.d.).

Carbon dioxide is a harmful greenhouse gas, and transportation is one of the most significant sources of CO2. Manufacturing, using and recycling of the cars cause greenhouse gases but the biggest amount of CO2 comes from using the vehicles. CO2 emissions are directly comparable to the amount of fuel used. (Autoalan Tietotuskeskus n.d.)Non-renewable resources are organic substances such as coal, crude oil, oil shale and natural gas. Renewable resources are based on solar energy, wind power and bioenergy (World Energy Council 2010). Based on the fact above future car designing and manufacturing is going to be increasingly driven by renewable energy resources.

Figure 2‑13 Renewables energies as percentage of the total energy supply (OECD 2010).

Legal Factors

Fuel efficiency is one of the top priorities demanded by consumers and regulators in order to cut down the operational costs of vehicles and reduce the impacts on environment (KPMG International 2011). The European Commission has concerned about the huge amount of waste from end of life vehicles. In 2000 the Commission set the End of Life (ELV) Directive 2000/53/EC in order to improve vehicle disassembling and recycling more environmentally friendly. Also exact measurable targets for reuse; recycling and recovery of vehicles and their components were framed. That has driven manufacturers to produce new vehicles, which are easier to recycle (European Commission n.d.). From year 2006, "all automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and component manufacturers operating within the EU must comply with the ELVD". The main target is to raise recyclability up to 85% by January 2015 (Smith and Crotty 2008).

Hybrid, electric, alternative and conventional fuelled vehicles. NIINA HUGO

In spite of the development of electric vehicles has lasted over one hundred years; they have not catched on the public. When hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) have increased their popularity during the last years, electric vehicles have never been mass manufactured. However, governments over the world are greening their policies due to various energy and environmental issues, and especially alternative fuel vehicles such as electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles are increasing their market share (Situ 2009).

Electric vehicles were invented about 150 years ago, after discovery of electric motor. There can be identified three different categories in the development of electric vehicles: Early years, Midterm and Modern. (Situ 2009)

Figure 3‑15 Electric vehicle time line (Situ 2009)

The electric vehicle was perceived as a first automobile and it was ahead of combustion motor. Electric vehicles were much more popular than gasoline vehicles in the end of 1920s to 1930s. Until 1930, gasoline engines superseded the electric vehicles, and up to these days electric vehicles have not been able to bring back their leadership. There are some reasons for that, for example the maturity of gasoline vehicles and their feasibility to mass production at a fair price. A rapid development of manufacturing processes and mass production of Ford T Model made it possible also to the general people to buy an automobile. Also availability of cheap petrol boosted the favouring of the gasoline vehicles. Performance and cost of gasoline vehicles were soon much better than electric vehicles. Weaknesses of electric vehicles were their limited travelling distance, lack of charging infrastructure and reliability of electric transfer (Situ 2009).

Development and production of electric vehicles paused during Midterm (from 1930s to 1980s) as the combustion motors broke through in 1935. However, due to instability on the oil market and political sensibility with OPEC, the interest in fuel efficiency and the electric vehicles increased. This interest did not last long time because of low performance of electric cars, lack of government's support and poor infrastructure (Situ 2009).

In 1990s the modern development of electric vehicles was led by General Motor's EV1 followed by Ford, Toyota and Honda. The first modern electric vehicles sustained among others many safety problems and they did not end up to the commercial production. At the turn of the century the first hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) were released by Toyota, Honda and Ford, and HEV technology started to show its potential and increased its sales. Recent years the technology and fuel efficiency of HEV have also improved (Situ 2009). Tämä kappale suppea!!

In the future, it has been predicted that electric vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles will gain popularity due to changes of oil price and environmental and social responsibility issues. The development of electric vehicle will be more successful than earlier by following reasons; the demand of the electric vehicles will be more and more created by the market and customers that will produce competitive and attractive products with lower costs and better performance. Also, more information and knowledge about the fuel-efficient vehicles and their advantages will be shared so that in the future public will be more approving towards EV. The developments and improvements of the infrastructure, electric transferring and storage, and government supports enable the future growth. (Situ 2009)

However, there a several safety issues with generating and storing energy like fuel cells, flywheels or hydraulic accumulators. For example the easiest way to store hydrogen fuel is a liquid form in a pressure tank. The problem is that the tank should be four times bigger than a gasoline tank in order to accomplish the same use. Therefore the hydrogen vehicles are more liable to be damaged in a hard crash causing a risk of fire and explosion. Batteries are problematic to recycle because of material used. Some materials are safe to handle but some are dangerous and hard to recycle by reason of containing toxic substance (Westbrook 2005).

The future developments of electric motors are supposed to base on the existing motor technologies but by lower costs, lighter weight, smaller volume and higher efficiency. Westbrook predicts that any crucial breakthrough won't happen in the next 20 years, now in ten years, so that a new type of motor for electric vehicles would be invented (Westbrook 2005).

Consumers are more aware of the harmful consequences of their lifestyle. The motivation to be more environmental friendly and switch to cleaner technologies can come from intrinsic incentive such as an individual feeling of responsibility or extrinsic incentive, for example financial support. Environmental policies should pay attention to these motivations when introducing clean technologies (Coad, de Haan and Woersdorfer 2008).

Software, Safety and Telematics. FELIPE

Software, sensors, electronics and telematics technology development, lead to improved vehicle performance, control, adaptability, intelligence, mobility and security. In 2002, matters related to software, safe and telematics technologies started to provide increasing vehicle functionalities. Some years later, other functionalities were proposed like passive driving warnings and useful services (road conditions, interest point, etc).

During the last 4 years, the main technological contributions in the automobile field were based on development of: (1) sensors and software for control vehicles and condition monitoring, (2) communications infrastructure and (3) evolving architectures and standards. One example of software and telematics implementation is the implementation of digital gauges for measurements like temperature, gasoline and in newer models battery life.

Figure 4‑17 Ford Focus 2010 full digital gauges display.

In 2001, European Commission presented the European Transport Policy for 2010 (European Commission - White paper), in which it specifies the main policies for improving the accident prevention. It is important mentioning that technologies developed in the last 10 years, have been mainly focused on facing road safety problems by adopting reliable platforms.

In the next 10 years the main technological contributions will be related to: (1) Active support to driver, (2) fusion of technology and information, (3) centralized and onboard diagnostics, (4) modular, interchangeable, reconfigurable and reusable systems and (5) active delegated system-level control. These contributions are based on: (1) perceiving the traffic situation surrounding the vehicle and also (2) warning drivers in case they are eventually involved in dangerous situations (L. Andreone and M. Provera).

In other words, the future technologies look for enabling the possibility to have in real time a picture of the current vehicle situation in order to improve road safe and reduce the accidents effects. According to literature, actual technologies can be extended to offer cooperation between vehicles in order to: (1) cover all possible dangerous situations, and (2) extend the time available for the driver to take proper decisions in case of a potential danger.

European initiatives in research are promoting the specification of an European Industrial car-to-car communication, supporting the allocation of a dedicated frequency band to offer active safety applications. Fusion between these technology trend and information systems: (1) enables the interaction between vehicles and service centers and (2) introduces innovative driving support systems.

Information and Warning Functions

Vehicles transmit a warning message while a dangerous situation (e.g., vehicle breakdown, high traffic density, dangerous road surface conditions, etc) is detected.

Communication based Longitudinal Control

Vehicles can anticipate braking manoeuvres when an invisible vehicle beyond the direct predecessor in front is braking.

Cooperative Driving Manoeuvres

By exchanging information up to simple trajectory plans, critical situations can be foreseen and solved by the vehicles themselves.

Table ‎4‑18 Future evolution of vehicle technologies applied to road safety scenarios.

Authors in (S. Fuchs et al.) have pointed out the value of co-operation among vehicles in order to make easier and safer driving. The present and future trends propose driving assistance systems as one of the most promising key points to provide novel functionalities in the car industry. Future trends have shown growing interest in reliable software platforms capabilities based on system co-operation and information exchange to collectively perceive and analyse the driving context. Some interesting software solutions have been proposed during the last years by companies like Volvo with a project called "Pedestrian Car Safety", FIAT with a project called "OpenGate" and so on. These solutions are mainly focused on improving the driving conditions considering internal (e.g., car state) and external (e.g., pedestrians, obstacles, weather) factors.

According to some authors, the value of collaboration must not be underestimated and the need for making decisions dependent on the driving and vehicle conditions, have to be considered as important elements when thinking about where the software for vehicle on-board platforms is going to. Nowadays, some driving assistance systems already have adopted particular mechanisms of collaboration between vehicles, but it is still a long way to fulfil full-featured systems as a standard platforms.

Improvements in terms of safety, transport efficiency and comfort of driving assistance systems support drivers. There are various applications, which work on different levels of assistance and perform different types of assistance. Such levels are based on access to a suitable situation description and may assess a situation more precisely and reliably at an early stage.

Future applications will increase safety and efficiency on road because they are based on the cooperation concept between driver assistance systems that allow the exchange of information on the current situation and enhance the quality of the situation description in order to provide safer driving.

In other work (Röckl, et al. 2006) authors give an overview on Situation Aware Driver Assistance systems and the concept of Cooperative Situation Awareness. Situation Aware Driver Assistance Systems look for keeping the driver in safety conditions. According to them, driving assistance is a complex task because a lot of information has to be analysed and situations have to be predicted correctly in a specific period of time.

The mentioned systems use a set of information to describe their situation. This information is provided by sensors, already integrated in a majority of vehicles that enable functionalities for predicting situations in the future and thereby detecting dangerous situations at an early stage.

Nowadays, the main and most relevant functionalities related to technological contribution in the vehicle industry are based on providing intelligent, responsive, adaptable, safe and secure high performance vehicles, operating within an integrated an optimized road transport system.

The goal of Car-to-Car Communication Consortium is establishing an open European industry standard for inter-vehicle communication systems and including communication between vehicles and road infrastructures. The added value of this standard for future activities is the combination of information from vehicles and infrastructure in order to infer higher levels of data abstraction.

At this point the question is why support for car to car communication and from infrastructure is needed? This kind of platform provides earlier and more precise information to manager driving situations related to adverse weather conditions, reduced visibility, bad road conditions, not visible obstacles (i.e., behind narrow curves) and road user detection.

Future trends are focused on technologies for detection of poor visibility, road conditions, and as well as the use of all available dynamic vehicle data to infer driving conditions, and thereby acting progressively to avoid critical situations in real time. The key point of these new technologies is optimizing the intervention of vehicle controls and support drivers preventively in possible dangerous situations.

Finally, the car industry is characterize by the continuous and rapid evolution of new technologies in order to improve driving conditions. Considering past, present and future evolution of these technologies, in each period it is possible recognizing disruptive technologies that have change the driving concept in a more supportive way.

In car industry field, the most relevant disruptive technologies are characterized by the next evolution: (1) from analogical to digital mechanisms that improve the precision in measuring the car state and (2) from sensors that measure internal car state (e.g., oil and gas level, etc) to more specialized sensors to measure external factors (e.g., car distance to objects, parking assistance, etc). With the evolution of more specialized sensors, some technologies were born and replaced by other disruptive ones that have shown the next evolution: (1) sharing static information (e.g., road and driving information, warnings) about risky situations between cars, (2) communication between car-infrastructure/infrastructure-car and (3) dynamic cooperative driving. It is important considering that some of these technologies are going to be implemented in future car models.

SCM and Manufacturing processes. ELENA