Lesson 6: The automotive value chain in 2025: four plausible scenarios

In this lesson, we will explore the potential future scenarios for the automotive value chain in the year 2025, driven by various factors and uncertainties.


  • The automotive value chain in 2025 will be shaped by a multitude of influential factors and drivers.
  • The uncertainty surrounding these developments makes scenario-based thinking crucial for informed decision-making.

Key Drivers Shaping the Automotive Future

  • The future of the automotive industry is influenced by drivers categorized into five areas:
    • Social change
    • Technology advancement
    • Economic shifts
    • Environmental trends
    • Political developments
  • These drivers have varying degrees of uncertainty and impact on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) activities.

Example: 3D Printing

  • 3D printing is a high-impact but uncertain driver with potential effects on the supply chain, manufacturing, and logistics.
  • It offers advantages such as reduced prototype development time and in-house production but faces challenges like high production costs.
  • Some drivers, like “customers’ and regulators’ safety awareness,” are more certain with significant impacts.

Identifying Critical Uncertainties

  • Critical uncertainties are drivers with high uncertainty and significant impact.
  • Examples include “alternative powertrains” and the “connectedness of cars.”
  • These uncertainties are crucial for shaping distinct and meaningful scenarios.

Scenario 1: “Data and Mobility Manager”

  • In this scenario, connectivity is a differentiator.
  • OEMs set industry standards and dominate the automotive sector.
  • Innovative outsiders must adhere to OEM rules, and premium brands hold sway.
  • OEMs provide an attractive talent pool.

Scenario 2: “Stagnant Car Maker”

  • In this scenario, OEM lobbying prevents new high-tech players from entering.
  • However, this strategy hinders technical development and innovation rollout.
  • Safety concerns lead to a loss of consumer trust.

Scenario 3: “The Fallen Giant”

  • This scenario envisions the car as a mere means of transportation.
  • Technology hype wanes, reducing profit margins.
  • Industry outsiders like Uber enter the market, focusing on affordable mass mobility.
  • Private car ownership declines, and fleet management becomes vital.

Scenario 4: “Hardware Platform Provider”

  • IT players disrupt the automotive value chain.
  • OEMs mainly supply white-label cars to internet giants.
  • OEMs thrive by offering superior infotainment and mobility platforms or maintaining a strong brand image.
  • Revenue potential per vehicle decreases.

Implications for OEMs

  • OEMs’ core businesses will undergo significant changes by 2025.
  • New mobility concepts and competition threaten market shares and profits.
  • Four potential futures for OEMs include becoming technology leaders, achieving stability through collaboration, survival through efficiency improvements, and setting up strategic partnerships with IT giants.
  • Strategic decisions will be crucial for OEMs to navigate the evolving automotive landscape.


  • The future of the automotive value chain in 2025 is uncertain, driven by various factors.
  • Scenario planning helps decision-makers anticipate and adapt to potential developments.
  • OEMs face significant challenges and opportunities in shaping the automotive industry’s future.

In this lesson, you’ve explored four plausible scenarios for the automotive value chain in 2025, driven by a range of factors and uncertainties. Understanding these scenarios is essential for industry stakeholders to make informed decisions and adapt to the evolving automotive landscape.

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