1. New product architectures: electrification, digitalization and beyond

Theme N°: 

In product architectures the dominant design based on global modular platforms controlled by OEMs does not seem to have been challenged so far by the digitalization of R&D and products. However, the combination of electric drivetrains, shared mobility, and digital manufacturing opens up the possibility of open-modular network-based product architectures. The fundamental question is whether viable business models and coherent productive models can be built around such architectures.
We welcome papers that theoretically and empirically explore these avenues, as well as contributions that illustrate how OEMs’ product designs and global platforms are adapting to these potential radical changes.
What are the implications for existing productive models? Do we see new business models emerging exploring new sources of profits linked to the provision of mobility, data management and energy consumption? How are activities organized to cope with these challenges at the research, development and industrialization phases? How are the roles of economies of scale and standardization changing as digital activities become more important in value creation? Do we see new product architectures emerging through these processes? Are there particular types of vehicles (mini-cars, low-speed vehicles, ultra low cost cars) where the dominant design has already been challenged? What are the implications of these changes in product architecture for the evolution and/or transformation of value chains and ecosystem architectures?


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