Production as a Source of Competitive Advantage in the Value Chain of Electrified Heavy Vehicles Manufacturing Companies

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för industriell ekonomi

Abstract: Global goals to reduce the greenhouse gases and CO2 emission has challenged many industries to innovate new technologies or shift to different products. Electrification of transportation has been considered a major improvement in this respect, which affects the entire transportation value chain including the manufacturing of heavy-duty vehicles. The importance and degree of changes that shifting toward electrification imposes on the truck manufactures value chain is subject to the study with a focus on the production stage of the value chain. The research also creates some insights to understand the sources of competitive advantage in the production of BEV.    Based on the authors’ knowledge and investigations, the contribution of this study in the research field is that the concept of the value chain together with Delphi method is implemented for the first time in the BEV industry to identify the impact of technology transformation on the production activities and competitive advantage. Furthermore, it contributes to highlight the unclarities in the BEV value chain activities that need more researches in order to create a more clear technology transformation path for the heavy-duty vehicle industry. The research findings imply that electrification has a big impact on the production value chain activities. The number of employees will be reduced that in turn creates a source of cost advantage for the company by reducing the cost per vehicle production. The assembly time is also shorter that makes it easier to respond to the market dynamic faster and reduces the cost of products storage. However, the risk for production stops is considered higher in BEV compare to ICE vehicles. Another finding is that the outsourcing of the components has a negative effect on the competitive advantage of the company and production efficiency. There is no difference between the impact of production activities on the company value chain in both BEV and ICE manufacturing. There is also a consensus on the more opportunities in BEV manufacturing to increase the production efficiency and lowering the cost. 

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