SAE Keynote: Five Forces Impacting the Future of the Global Auto Industry

Orlando, Fla. – Calling the brake segment a microcosm of the overall industry, Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Markit, opened the 37th Annual SAE Brake Colloquium & Exhibition with a keynote address detailing the “Five Forces Impacting the Future of the Global Auto Industry.”

The five areas Robinet outlined during his keynote address to the more than 700 SAE conference attendees are:

  • Growing influence of China as it moves to 40 percent of the world’s auto market
  • Global propulsion design islands to meet regional regulations, standards and market influences
  • Evolution of automation – autonomous vehicles and their unique braking needs
  • New company vs. old company as new players enter the field to solve new challenges
  • Secular forces significantly impacting the vehicle/supplier ecosystem as vehicle platforms evolve (from traditional to multi-energy propulsion to all-electric propulsion)

Regional influences provide the framework for all of the forces through both regulations and market pressures. This has resulted in China steering towards a BEV (full-electric, battery-electric vehicle) local industry while Europe goes plug-in hybrid on its way to BEV and North America mild-hybrid designs with internal-combustion (ICE) powerplants still dominant (and primary electric propulsion much further in the distance than the other regions).

These realities will mean North America will no longer be the technology leader as regions in which external forces are mandating engineering changes, technology will evolve to meet these challenges.

New companies with new thinking will enter the fray providing

All of these factors will impact the braking sub industry as each propulsion design brings with it changes to how the overall vehicle and its sub systems are designed, engineered and manufactured. Present systems are primarily modifications on the traditional ICE-based vehicles while designs are now being formulated for ground-up electrified vehicles. These designs change criteria in area like weight, NVH and thermodynamics which put different demands on sub systems like brakes.

Michael Robinet, IHS Markit
Michael Robinet, managing director – automotive advisory, IHS Markit

In summary, Robinet said:

Plateauing Markets & New Disruptors Increase Risk:

  • Portfolio consolidation, ongoing trade tensions, moderating market fundamentals and strengthening competition
  • Slipping Financials – Detroit Three, China and other Western OEMs raise the stakes – optimizing mix and opportunity targeting are critical
  • Funding of current and future raises risk dynamics
  • Supplier journey from ICE/Level 0 to BEV/Level 3+ ushers significant change and challenge to talent, fixed assets, utilization and the traditional ecosystem
  • Key period over the next 24 months: Opportunities will arise as weaker players miss the mark
Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.