Can the Europe-centric consultancy lead the race to remake the automotive industry?
In recent years, as nearly every IT services vendor and consultancy has attached itself to an automotive sector client and touted their industry expertise, TBR has followed the routes those vendors have taken and which aspects of the car industry they have focused on. In broad strokes, consultancies and IT services vendors help their automotive clients in one or more of three areas: 1) AI and autonomous vehicles; 2) customization, customer mobility and brand; and/or 3) Manufacturing 4.0. For example, last fall, TBR spoke at length with Accenture about the company’s new efforts in Stuttgart, Germany, which mostly fell into the second category. Cutting across all three areas, trends in car ownership, transportation, ride sharing, car sharing, and privacy and data sharing have sustained opportunities for consulting, with anticipated large-scale implementations and managed services to follow.
In a recent discussion with BearingPoint, TBR learned the automotive sector would be a priority over the next few years, as the firm has recognized changes that affect the industry, such as climate change, air pollution, buyer needs and behaviors, mobility services, parking “as a Service,” and car rental “as a Service,” to name a few, were forcing changes in the business models for every supplier, maker, advertiser and buyer involved. With established relationships with all the major car manufacturers in Europe, as well as a legacy working with manufacturers across the continent, BearingPoint will do what almost no other consultancy or IT services vendor has done: organically build an automotive practice that tackles all three areas — AI and autonomous vehicles, customer experience and brand, and Manufacturing 4.0 — and place that business group among the firm’s highest priorities.
TBR will watch BearingPoint’s progress closely, in part as a component of our ongoing management consulting research, which includes a detailed profile on BearingPoint. Secondly, we want to see if a consultancy or IT services firm can balance serving the three elements of the automotive sector we have outlined. Many vendors have developed strengths in one or two areas, but no one vendor has applied consistent, sustained and leadership-supported investments in all three. It is a tough road. Let’s see if BearingPoint can navigate it.