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Redefining automotive manufacturing with digital technologies


The Internet of Things, 3D printing, robotics, and cognitive automation—and the premise of vehicle ownership—are reinventing the industry.

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Automotive markets have evolved from a state of organizational centricity, in which manufacturers and service providers largely define what types of vehicles to produce and market to customers, into entirely new forms focused on experience.

Consumers, clients, and colleagues are becoming active participants rather than passive recipients. A paradigm in which consumers define their identities by the types of cars they drive is rapidly ceding to one in which the underlying objective of vehicle ownership is being questioned. Making mobility choices based on lifestyle preferences is becoming the new norm for today’s consumers.

This emerging environment can be defined within what we call the everyone-to-everyone (E2E) economy. The E2E economy has four distinct elements:

• It is orchestrated, based on business ecosystems that are both collaborative and seamless.

• It is contextual, in that customer and partner experiences are calibrated and relevant to their specific actions, and needs.

• It is symbiotic, in that everyone and everything, including customers and businesses, are interdependent.

• And it is cognitive, characterized by data-enabled self-supported learning and predictive capabilities.

The automotive industry is finding itself on the frontlines of the E2E transformation. Digital technologies, such as 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), adaptive robotics, and cognitive automation, continue to redefine traditional automotive manufacturing processes.

With fewer people wishing to own cars, demand for cars is set to decline. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that can define new business and operating models will be positioned for success. Rather than fight the trend, they can actively encourage, support, and enable it.

Automotive organizations need to embark upon a process we call Digital Reinvention®—one which requires them to establish new focus, new expertise, and new ways of working. This paper outlines how automotive organizations can successfully navigate this transition.

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Realizing the future today Digital Reinvention® in consumer products


Meet the authors:

Duncan James

Connect with author:


, Automotive Industry Leader, North America;
Sachin Lulla; Ben Stanley, Automotive Research Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value; Anthony Marshall, Senior Research Director, IBM Institute for Business Value

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