www.just-auto.com -- In its first research report published today, just-auto.com examines the extensive changes facing the automotive industry as a direct result of rapidly developing e-commerce and e-business structures. The study -- undertaken in alliance with Auto Business -- concludes that the automotive industry faces a shake-up. The supply chain will be turned on its head and will be increasingly customer, rather than industry, driven.

The feature at www.just-auto.com/features_detail.asp?art=311 quotes a joint Deutsche Bank/Roland Berger report which concludes that total savings along the North American automotive supply chain resulting from B2B initiatives would be $1,188 per vehicle, with vehicle manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers contributing almost 66% of the total savings (80% in Japan and 73% in Europe).

However, the study also indicated that, even in a favourable scenario, around 74% of these savings ($878) would be passed on to consumers (81% or $967 under less favourable assumptions). In Europe and Japan the percentage of savings passed to consumers was estimated at 70%, making the consumer the clear winner in all regions.

The rate of savings retention at different supply chain levels was also estimated, and this also indicates winners and losers in the chain. In North America it was estimated that vehicle manufacturers would be able to retain 20% of their achieved cost-savings -- 5 percentage points lower than in Japan and Europe. Pass-through from the vehicle manufacturer to consumer was viewed to be predicated by industry overcapacity and increasing competition in every vehicle market segment -- suggesting the pass through of cost savings would be higher for volume-biased vehicle manufacturers, and less for specialist or luxury-biased vehicle manufacturers.

just-auto.com Managing Editor, David Leggett, said: "There is a tidal wave of e-commerce and e-business about to hit the auto industry. It's been talked about to death, but there is a general uncertainty about how far the industry's structures will change and over what timescale. This report puts a lot of the hype and a lot of the discussion into a sensible perspective. One thing looks increasingly certain: costs and prices will continue to move down. It's good news for consumers, but many suppliers will be squeezed"

To read the feature go to: www.just-auto.com/features_detail.asp?art=311

just-auto.com is the premier online portal for automotive industry professionals worldwide. Targeted specifically at industry and business professionals the site provides a single point of reference for independent automotive industry information.