Automotive Logistics 2021

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A comprehensive view of the past, present and future of the automotive logistics sector.

The automotive sector is in profound crisis, both cyclical and secular. The market has contracted as Covid-19 has decimated manufacturers’ ability to produce cars and squeezed consumer spending power with the world entering its deepest recession in generations. All sectors of the market – inbound/ production logistics, finished vehicles and the aftermarket – have been profoundly affected with contractions in each regional market. Ti predicts the market will grow at a CAGR of just -0.08% through to 2023.

Ti’s latest report, Automotive Supply Chain and Logistics 2021 breaks down the issues the market is facing whilst also examining key drivers of change such as the shift to EV technologies and a Circular Economy. The report also contains extensive analysis of automotive logistics spend, market sizing and post-Covid recovery prospects.

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This report contains

  • Analysis of the key issues affecting the automotive market, and their impact on the market
  • Automotive logistics market sizing split by region and country and post-Covid forecasts through to 2023
  • Supply chain and logistics strategies and profiles of 12 vehicle manufacturers, including the top 10 by production
  • Global, regional and country-level figures
  • Segmentation by inbound, finished vehicle logistics and spare parts logistics

This report contains

  • Analysis of the key issues affecting the automotive market, and their impact on the market
  • Automotive logistics market sizing split by region and country and post-Covid forecasts through to 2023
  • Supply chain and logistics strategies and profiles of 12 vehicle manufacturers, including the top 10 by production
  • Global, regional and country-level figures
  • Segmentation by inbound, finished vehicle logistics and spare parts logistics

Key Questions The Report Answers:

  • What are the major factors affecting the automotive industry in 2021 and beyond?
  • How has Covid-19 impacted an already struggling industry?
  • Who will be the winners and losers of the new technology vehicle supply chain?
  • Will the EV automotive sector change its approach to air freight and adopt that seen in the electronics sector?
  • How will key trends impact various automotive logistics segments?
  • How has Covid-19 impacted automotive market logistics market size? And how has each region been impacted during the course of 2020?
  • What impact will a shift to a Circular Economy have on global trade?
  • What strategies and technologies are the top automotive manufacturers adopting in response to the challenges faced within the industry?

Key Findings:

  • The automotive logistics market is estimated to have contracted by 20.4% in 2020, with all sectors of the market being profoundly affected
  • Covid supply chain disruption is set to continue as many OEMs & tier suppliers reduce capacity at plants, if not close them entirely
  • Developed markets are suffering - poor sales in the US, UK & Germany have been exacerbated by the pandemic
  • Brexit regulations will impact automotive production processes – potentially doubling costs
  • The shift to a Circular Economy will benefit domestically-focused, road freight-based or value adding logistics companies, but there will be negative consequences for international transport companies and freight forwarders
  • In order to serve the needs of the EV sector, logistics service providers will have to develop information management capabilities that compliment the sector

1.0 The Changing Automotive Industry 5

1.1 A Market in Profound Crisis

1.2 Implications for Logistics

1.3 Covid-19 Impact

1.4 Brexit

1.5 Supply Chain Complexity

1.6 Risk

1.7 Supply Chain Geography

1.8 Emerging Markets

1.9 Logistics Costs

2.0 Production Concepts and their Impact on Automotive Logistics 13

2.1 Why Logistics is Important

2.2 Production Concepts

2.3 Impact of New Production Trends on Transport Demand

2.4 Dealerships, Retail and Logistics

2.4.1 Build to Order

3.0 Finished Vehicle Logistics 17

3.1 Trucks

3.2 Rail

3.3 Shipping

4.0 Component Suppliers Manufacturing and Logistics Operations 18

4.1 Trends in Supplier Logistics

4.2 Supplier Manufacturing and Supply Chain Profile

4.3 Logistics of the Inbound Supply Chain

4.3.1 Information Dynamics

4.3.2 Robert Bosch

4.3.3 Tyres

5.0 Spare Parts: The Automotive Aftermarket 22

5.1 The Structure of Logistics in the Aftermarket

5.2 Types of Logistics Service Bought

5.3 Approaches to Aftermarket Logistics by VMs

6.0 The Technology 27

6.1 Automating the Automotive Industry

6.2 Electric Propulsion, Materials and Electronic Guidance Systems: Impact on Logistics

6.2.1 Materials

6.2.2 Powertrain

6.2.3 Electronics

6.2.4 Plug in Assembly

6.2.5 Platforms and supply chain in electric vehicles

Case Study: Internal Combustion Engine Platforms at Volkswagen Group

7.0 Transport for Electric & Digital Vehicle Production 36

7.1 Supply Chain Geography

7.2 Supply Chain Process

7.3 Supply Chain Process and Inventory Management

7.4 Process Architecture Transport Process

7.5 Kanban


7.6 Packaging Return

7.7 Information Rich Transport Planning

7.8 A Word About Batteries

7.9 Open Market for Transport

7.10 Winners and Losers

8.0 Green Strategies in Automotive 41

8.1 What Does a Circular Economy Mean?

8.2 Impact on Trade

8.3 Economic Impact

8.4 High-tech

8.5 Batteries and Vehicles

8.6 Consequences for Logistics

8.7 Conclusion

9.0 Logistics Spend and Market Sizing 48

9.1 Regions

9.1.1 Asia Pacific

9.1.2 Europe

9.1.3 North America


4 Automotive Logistics Report 2021 by Ti Research © Transport Intelligence

9.2 Countries

9.2.1 US

9.2.2 Canada

9.2.3 Brazil

9.2.4 Mexico

9.2.5 South Africa

9.2.6 South Korea

9.2.7 China

9.2.8 Japan

9.2.9 France

9.2.10 Germany

9.2.11 Italy

9.2.12 Spain

9.2.13 UK

10.0 Case Studies 71

10.1 BMW

10.2 Daimler

10.3 Ford

10.4 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

10.5 General Motors

10.6 Honda

10.7 Hyundai Kia

10.8 PSA Peugeot-Citroen

10.9 Jaguar Land Rover

10.10 Renault Nissan

10.11 Toyota

10.12 Volkswagen

Figures 97




Thomas Cullen is a widely respected writer and has been analyzing the global logistics market for over 15 years. He has edited a number of international publications and written for most of the leading trade publications in Europe. He has written several in-depth reports on a variety of subjects including Automotive and Chemical logistics. Thomas has been vital in adding value to Ti’s Logistics Briefing service for the last 10 years and works on many global consultancy projects.

Julia Swales is Content Curator at Ti. She has over 15 years of experience in business book publishing and was formerly Head of Publishing at Kogan Page, London, specialising in commissioning logistics books for academic and corporate markets. She researched hot topics in the field of supply chain and sourced authors for over 100 books. Julia has brought this knowledge and experience to Ti where she curates content for publication in the form of whitepapers and reports supported by surveys, is a ‘Thought Leader’ for the Sustainability stream within the Foundation and is involved in developing webinars and virtual events.

Gunjan Thukral is a Research Project Manager at Ti. She leads research projects and works closely with the team of analysts to decide research technique & methodology. She brings a wealth of logistics research and project management experience having spent more than a decade in the industry previously.

Nick Bailey is Head of Research and is responsible for all of Ti’s research products, including logistics market and vertical sector reports, as well as Ti’s flagship Global Supply Chain Intelligence (GSCi) market intelligence portal. Nick is actively involved in research for these product ranges, as well as in the development of new and existing research capabilities at Ti. Nick also coordinates the efforts of Ti’s team of researchers and analysts, and supports Ti’s consultancy offering for a global client base. Prior to joining Ti in 2013, he spent several successful years working in international trade and foreign direct investment, and has since developed specialisms in e-commerce, the road freight market and emerging market logistics working in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Increasing uncertainty in Automotive Logistics sector, new Ti report reveals

11th February 2021, Bath, UK –  Automotive Supply Chain & Logistics 2021 offers a comprehensive view of the past, present and future of the automotive logistics sector.

With the introduction of electric vehicles and autonomous systems, the impact on both supply chain management and logistics is profound. There are many other significant issues affecting the industry, such as Covid-19, all of which are dealt with in Automotive Supply Chain and Logistics 2021.

What are the major factors affecting the global automotive industry in 2021 and beyond?

  • Due to Covid-19, car manufacturers have been experiencing serious supply chain disruptions, and this is set to continue with many OEMs and tier suppliers reducing capacity at plants, if not closing them entirely for the foreseeable future on a now global basis.
  • Powertrains are evolving rapidly. For the first time in a century there are serious alternatives to the internal combustion engine. BMW, Honda and Toyota are already marketing several electric powered vehicles, whilst IC-hybrids are commonplace and by 2030 all petrol and diesel cars will be phased out in the UK.
  • The use of steel is declining, as vehicle manufacturers look to reduce the weight of cars. Jaguar, AUDI and Ford are already using aluminium extensively in their vehicles, whilst BMW has introduced carbon fibre chassis technology. 
  • Guidance is becoming automated, with 'active cruise control' and 'collision avoidance' systems being used as the basis for wider capabilities in semi-autonomous vehicles.
  • Continued change in emerging markets. If measured by numbers of cars sold, China is now the largest market, but car sales have fallen for three consecutive years.
  • Decline in developed markets. The US, the UK and Germany are all struggling and suffering from slumps in sales. Many developed markets are only now compensating for the loss of sales experienced between 2007-2012 and in 2020 have been hit by Covid-19.
  • Automation is increasingly used at assembly plants. Line feed is increasingly using automated guided vehicles, whilst consolidation operations are utilising automated racking and retrieval systems.

In addition to these fundamental issues, Automotive Supply Chain and Logistics 2021 provides in-depth profiles of the supply chain and logistics strategies of 12 major vehicle manufacturers, as well as market sizing and forecasting for regions and countries.

This report is perfect for

  • Global manufacturers
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Supply chain managers and directors
  • Logistics procurement managers
  • Marketing managers
  • Knowledge managers
  • Investors
  • All C-level executives


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