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The major issues in the automotive industry are business deployment to emerging countries that have fast-growing markets and response to the energy and environmental issues toward sustainable vehicle society. These two major trends have drastically changed the framework of the competition in the automotive industry.
The automotive group in NRI deploys consultants in Japan, U.S., Europe, China, India, and ASEAN areas in order to constantly analyze the situation of the local markets and support clients based on the principle of genchi-genbutsu (Go, see & study). Making the best use of being a think-tank, we build a network with the government, universities, and research institutions of each country to follow-up the latest policies and technology trends. Further, taking advantage of an abundance of consultants with science background, we regularly bring future perspective in the automotive industry based on a deep knowledge of technologies. Based on such accumulated knowledge, we provide a total support from the upstream to downstream of the automotive industry, and from formulation to the implementation of plans using the cross-sectional cooperative structure. Our support covers business and engineering strategies, rule-making strategies that exert influence on policies, marketing, development outsourcing, local procurement, dealer management, and after-business strategies, to name a few.

Consulting Areas

Business strategy in the automotive industry and the auto parts industry

Until now, the automotive industry has pursued a business model that seeks needs in the consumer market and launched new vehicles whenever a new market emerged. More recently, however, each area of the world has strong points in different areas of technology. For example, development of peripheral industries (materials, parts, production equipment, IT engineering) in China, India, and ASEAN, the IT with automotive technology in the U.S., and advanced safety technologies in Europe. Therefore, it will become necessary to seek the resources of vehicle production across the world.
It becomes increasingly important for the automotive and auto-parts industries to manufacture competitive automotives by deploying functions appropriately on a global scale while utilizing resources out of Japan.
NRI does not just provide marketing research and support. We support the entire business strategies for automotive and auto-parts manufacturers to gain competitiveness in the global market, ranging from establishment of supply chains and business collaboration to role allocation between headquarters and overseas offices.

Technology strategies including next-generation automotives, self-driving and materials

In order to realize sustainable automotive society, the automotive industry focuses on the development of environmental and safety technologies represented by electric powertrains and self-driving. These technologies requiring advanced control technologies will further accelerate computerization and motorization of automotives. At the same time, emergence of new players, for example from the electrical industry, will bring about the "logic of the electronics industry" to the automotive industry such as shorter development cycles and horizontal division of labor (meaning dispersing work tasks to different types of specialists). This will have a great impact on the structure of the industry.
NRI values the attitude of understanding technologies before speaking about the business. For example, for the electric powertrain field, we established the system where we can discuss, review and make proposal in the entire value chain including systems, batteries, components and materials in order to regularly study and analyze the future perspective of powertrain on a global scale, supporting the establishment of clients' visions as well as the formulation of business strategies with the principle of genchi-genbutsu (Go, see & study).

Dealer management reform in markets of emerging countries

Rapid motorization has continued for over ten years in the markets of emerging countries, particularly China. The market structure is shifting from the demand for the first vehicles to the demand for substitute vehicles. Accordingly, automotive manufacturers also need to operate with the dealers that emphasize the retention of existing customers. It is important for them to enhance the satisfaction of existing customers by providing various services. However, as many dealers were established quickly to catch up with the rapid growth of the market, the lack of service capabilities and poor insight of the industry have become serious problems.
NRI conducts a project in China for reforming dealer services in cooperation with several manufacturers of passenger vehicles. In addition to the development of service programs in emerging countries and providing customer service training, we promote deployment of the "Japanese style dealer services" in which results are thoroughly visualized and managed.

Planning and promotion of group strategies for automotive and parts businesses

The mission of automotive manufacturers is that they continue to support the sustainable development of human society and the global environment through the development of attractive automotives and appealing communities. In that sense, the needs for environmental friendliness, safety, comfort, and convenience will increase. On the other hand, it is important to note that there are declining trends towards lower prices as a result of the rise of emerging markets. Accordingly, technology development of automotives will become so bloated and complex that the management resources of complete vehicles and parts manufacturers are not only tightened but also forced to run businesses beyond their capabilities.
While facing the reality of difficult problems such as pursuit of the ideal future of the Group company, the ideal form of competitiveness enhancement, and the accompanying Group restructuring and designing of organizations and systems, NRI proposes group strategies that work beyond the boundaries of department based on total optimization and provides customers with steadfast support to reach a consensus of each company.

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Representative Department: Consulting Division