Automotive supply chain digitalization: lessons and perspectives


  • Fabbe-Costes Nathalie
  • Lechaptois Lucie


  • Supply chain digitalization
  • Automotive industry
  • Car manufacturer
  • Digital technologies
  • Digitalization process

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Supply chain (SC) digitalization in the automotive industry is an old story but one that raises many contemporary strategic issues. The objective of this chapter is to better understand the complexity of SC digitalization and gain greater insights into its dynamics. We combine a historical overview of the evolving process of SC digitalization in the industry with the analysis of a speci!c case: one car manufacturer’s ongoing SC digitalization journey. The evolution of automotive SCs and their digitalization falls into !ve main historical eras. Digitalization has an impact on all SC management processes from the design of cars to their end-of-life. It is a complex, multifactor, multilayer, and multiactor coevolving process. Digital technologies are a major factor of change but are also combining with other macro trends in the sector. Today’s automotive sector has become a complex ecosystem with new players and stakeholders. External factors interact with SC digitalization strategies, resulting in multiple projects involving heterogeneous stakeholders. We highlight the complexity of the decision-making processes on whether to adopt speci!c technologies, and the strategic, organizational, and operational challenges they bring. We note the changes affecting the future of mobility solutions, which in turn will affect SC digitalization in the sector.

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