You could build your own car

Build your own car

Hamburg / Geneva. In the future, everyone will be able to build their own dream car - on a PC. To do this, the customer accesses the virtual shelf of a manufacturer of his choice and puts the trolley together from prefabricated parts.

Let's say he wants an off-road vehicle, but doesn't want to do without folding the top back in spring and also needs a lot of space for the family. No problem - the customer selects the components that he likes from the kit. The SUV convertible with combination luggage space and seven seats is created on the computer screen. Now the color has to be selected, one last mouse click to send the order to the manufacturer - and a little later the good piece rolls out of the factory. What sounds like science fiction could become reality in a few years, if the development progresses as rapidly as before.

A car according to your own preferences
"In less than ten years, cars are being built according to the customers' individual ideas," says Peter Fuß from Ernst & Young. As a vision, he even considers this to be imperative, adds the automotive expert and partner to the management consultancy. He assumes that this will increase competition between manufacturers. In the end, the car manufacturers who already use modular construction kits would win. Because further customization is extremely time-consuming. "The German manufacturers are leading at the moment because they have understood what is required to drive costs down massively and at the same time to occupy niches. It's about the battle for market shares in every segment," says Fuß.

The manufacturers are currently driving each other on. Because everyone wants to be one step ahead, development times are getting shorter and shorter. New drive technologies are coming onto the market, and more and more entertainment electronics are being built into vehicles. In the not too distant future, the computer will take control while the driver reads the newspaper or checks e-mails. At the same time, parts are standardized in order to reduce costs in automobile production. In Europe, all car manufacturers are now using uniform platforms for their models. VW even uses the same parts across several of the Group's brands. "Customers will demand that we act faster and more flexibly in order to offer exactly the right car with the right technology at the right time," said CEO Martin Winterkorn at the Geneva Motor Show.