A Preliminary Study on the Changes in the Italian Automotive Supply Chain for the Introduction of Electric Vehicles
Russo Spena P
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Purpose: A survey has been carried out among Italian car makers, suppliers, and customers to identify the potential changes that the traditional Italian automotive supply chain would need for the introduction of electric vehicles. In addition, this study investigates the degree of importance that enterprises attribute to the electric vehicle market and their perceptions about the development of this market, also evaluating which types of electric vehicles and body styles are receiving the most relevant investment. Design/methodology/approach: An empirical investigation has been carried out to examine the above-mentioned aspects. Data have been collected through an on-line survey and analysed by a descriptive statistical analysis, confirmatory factors analysis, and cluster analyses. Findings: Market penetration of electric vehicles is mainly influenced by technological choices of car makers and battery manufacturers and by the ability to organize and manage the integrated actions of stakeholders, also including component suppliers, and manufacturers of vehicle management systems. Stakeholders have to exploit economies of scale, to make use and expand long-time competencies in electric engineering with automotive know-how, and to build up cooperation with experts in the new value chain to facilitate the required transfer of know-how. Alliances and joint ventures can provide manufacturers access to the know-how, technology, and production capacity of battery suppliers. Outsourcing, especially as regards research and development, will occur even more frequently in the near future. An agile supply chain should be adopted to manage a fluctuating market demand. Originality/value: This preliminary study contributes to provide an outlook of some of the most important changes that traditional Italian automotive supply chain would need to promote the introduction of electric vehicles and their critical components with an emphasis on production aspects.
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