During the past 130 years, the automotive industry has gone through several significant changes. The current regulator-led initiatives towards electric mobility and new business models are an example of this: at the very beginning of the 20th century, electric cars played a major role in cities like New York, Paris or Berlin. Back then, just like now, it was difficult to predict how the world of mobility would look like in the future. Then, in a very short time between 1904 and 1914, the automotive industry changed completely. Electric cars disappeared, being replaced by cars driven by internal combustion engines, networks of gasoline stations and an expanding network of roads and highways. Companies like Ford and GM took over the reign of the industry by introducing new manufacturing methodologies like mass production and new management principles like planned obsolescence. What lessons can we learn by looking back to the early 20th century? What are the implications for the automotive value chain and its many constituents? Are we looking at “Back to the future”?
In this year’s 33rd edition of our annual meeting of the automotive industry, IESE AUTO, we hope to shed some light on these questions while also addressing the issues related to the Spanish, European and global markets. We will continue our tradition of providing a premier platform for senior executives from the automotive industry, industry experts and leading academics to exchange ideas about the future of the “industry of industries”.