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Disruptions in Customer Services of the Automotive Aftermarket

  • Where new players undermine long-established successful organizations, so-called “incumbents”, the power of disruptive innovations becomes visible. As disruptions affect each industry at a point in time, a phase of transition and restructuring threatens car manufacturers to lose shares of their after-sales business. This bachelor thesis aims to recommend a strategic direction for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and to address the following research questions: (1) how can disruptive innovations be identified, and to which extend is the automotive aftermarket susceptible for such? And (2) how can incumbents, in particular OEMs in the aftermarket, manage disruptions to remain successful in the long-term? For answering these, a literature analysis was carried out, based on the Theory of Disruptive Innovations and high-quality scientific journals. Moreover, the aftermarket was analyzed primarily based on market studies conducted by consulting firms and its disruptive susceptibility was assessed by applying Klenner et al.’s theoretical framework. Overall, this thesis identified that a balance between stability and disruptiveness is decisive to survive as an incumbent in the long-term. In order to manage disruptive innovations, scoring and analysis models are recommended for identification, whereby a response may include acquisition or cooperation with a disruptor and its technology. Furthermore, the study has revealed that above all adapting the organization, including mindset, culture and processes to the market, supports the creation of disruptions. The findings of the aftermarket analysis and thereof based assessment showed that its susceptibility for disruptive innovations is medium to high, whereby digital platforms have most potential. Furthermore, the market analysis indicated that car manufacturers should use their own advantages and build up an ecosystem while making use of customer and vehicle data.

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Author:Selina Dilger
Advisor:Marc P. Radke
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2019
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Date of final exam:2019/08/31
Release Date:2019/09/02
Tag:Automotive aftermarket; Disruptive innovations; Strategic management
Degree Program:IBW - Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
Functional area:Business Strategy
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt