Innovations are the fuel of the automotive industry. They serve to differentiate brands, adapt cars to changing customer preferences, provide answers to global challenges and so ensure the continued success of the industry. In the face of ever stricter emissions limits and increasingly scarce commodities, the entire concept of individual mobility is at risk. It will take innovative and affordable technologies, especially with regard to drive systems and materials, to realize the full growth potential of 100 million motor vehicles by the year 2020.

In 2001, Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) published a comprehensive study titled “Automotive Technology 2010.” Since then, this study has become the basis for many strategy discussions in the industry and inspired many of our automotive consulting projects. Six years later, the new study, “Car Innovation 2015,” continues this trend-setting work and expands the technological perspective to all aspects of innovations, not just the technological ones.

Topics of the study


Worldwide megatrends show the needs of tomorrow and should define the focus of an innovation strategy.


A continuous evaluation of the potentials of new technologies can improve the resource deployment in R&D significantly.


Knowing the customer's understanding and acceptance of new technologies helps automotive companies to better plan innovations.


To keep cars affordable cost innovations will have to be encouraged on all levels.

Strategy and Organization

The Oliver Wyman “Innovation Strategy Framework” helps to create stringent innovation strategies.

Study Design

For more than nine months, over 30 experts at Oliver Wyman have contributed to “Car Innovation 2015.” The study comprises:

  • Analysis of more than 300 of the most significant innovations
  • Interviews and discussions about success factors of innovations with more than 50 executives of leading automotive corporations all over the globe
  • A representative customer poll of more than 550 car buyers in North America and Germany
  • More than 50 interviews with car salespeople
  • Expert interviews with module specialists
  • Thorough analysis of existing studies, reports, and books
  • Data bank with financial data on 500 suppliers and 15 car manufacturers

Based on the extensive findings of this study, Oliver Wyman’s automotive experts developed a range of recommended actions to improve the innovation management process of all automotive manufacturers and suppliers. These recommendations deal with how automotive companies should design and structure their innovation management programs.