UK among five countries best placed to survive automotive disruption

18 May 2017 4 min. read
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Despite an industrial legacy stretching over 130 years, the automotive production sector faces a period of change that even by its own historic standards is revolutionary, according to a new report from Roland Berger. 

The study explores four global mega trends that the firm believes is set to transform the industry over the coming ten to fifteen years. The mega trends are: Mobility, Automated driving, Digital experience, Electrification. The pace of development is likely to cause disruption to the industry and private vehicle transportation models more widely in the coming ten to fifteen years, with sharing and automation affecting ownership models, while electrification and digital challenge OEMs.

The reasons for, and the transformation from, these mega trends differ. The digital experience, for instance, results from technological advance and changing customer expectations around offerings, while electrification is driven by technology advance, regulatory implications and efficiency. The further trends of automation and mobility reflect high level technology change as well as increased focus on sustainability and cost-sharing.

To better understand technological trends and how they are being realised in ten of the world’s most advanced economies, Roland Berger developed a radar that analysed progress on 25 indicators across five dimensions: Customer interest, regulation, technology, infrastructure, industry activity. The nations judged best placed to deal with the oncoming upheaval were based in Asia and Europe, with the UK, ranking in the top five.

Netherlands #1


According to the firm’s analysis the Netherlands takes first place. The country is a leader in Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and punches above its weight in areas such as autonomous vehicle preference, EV/PHEV sales, restrictions on ICE and the type approval process. In addition the country performs within the average of countries monitored in almost all categories covered, aside from test roads for autonomous vehicles, automotive association activities, mobility behaviour and EV preference.


Singapore takes the number two spot, boosted by its peoples’ interest in mobility. The number of shared vehicles, stands well above average, as does mobility concept preference and mobility behaviour. The country also scores relatively well in terms of restrictions for ICE powertrain types.

Singapore nr2

The country profile is relatively weaker than the global average in a number of indicators, including digital sales channel – OEM and EV/PHEV sales, and somewhat weak in test roads for autonomous vehicles and customer curiosity in electrification.


Taking the number three spot, China performs relatively close to the average in terms of key indicators for infrastructure and development, although the national focus on mobility outperforms the average in the number of shared vehicles and mobility concept preferences.

China nr3

In addition the preference for EV vehicles outperforms the average, at 60% of consumers considering at an option, while restrictions for ICE too are noted as above the average, in part to reduce smog in its major cities. Areas in which the country performs below average include customer curiosity (far below average), automotive association activities, the type approval process and autonomous vehicle preference.


The picture in Germany too is relatively closely aligned with the global average, however the country does outperform the average in a number of areas, including its EV/PHEV charging infrastructure, customer curiosity, digital sales channel – OEM, and mobility concept preference.

Germany nr4

The country does lag behind the global average in a number of categories however, including EV/PHEV sales, the number of shared vehicles, automotive association activity and the type approval process.

United Kingdom

The UK follows Germany closely. Also sticking close to the global average in most categories, the UK runs higher in terms of customer curiosity and its EV/PHEV charging infrastructure, and substantially higher in terms of digital sales channel – OEM. However with the number of shared vehicles falling below average along with mobility concept preferences, preferences for EV and mobility behaviour, the UK stands a long way from the top spot.

UK nr5

Remarking on the report, Marcus Berret, head of Roland Berger's global automotive competence centre, said, "The automotive industry faces numerous disruptive trends that it needs to manage all at once and this radical transformation will have significant consequences throughout the entire sector. Complete value chains will disappear, new business models will emerge – incumbent OEMs and suppliers need to face up to the changed competitive landscape."