Study: Battle for the future of the car is coming to a head

February 25, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Study: Battle for the future of the car is coming to a head
The automotive industry is facing massive disruptions: Classic carmakers are increasingly competing with technology companies such as Apple, Alphabet, Baidu or Uber. This realization was not just established in the industry yesterday. The consulting and tech investment company GP Bullhound, however, is now giving precise figures based on a study of M&A activities in the automotive and technology sectors.

The report focuses on four key areas that, according to market observers at GP Bullhound, will significantly change the automotive sector over the next ten to fifteen years: Autonomous driving, e-mobility, shared mobility and connected cars. One result of the evaluation: Europe plays only a subordinate role with only 7 percent of the global M&A transaction volume - however, companies from Europe are responsible for more than a third (39 percent) of all worldwide transactions in the Autotech sector. In Europe, transactions are thus significantly smaller than on other continents.

It is also clear that M&A activities in Europe, Asia and North America have risen steadily in recent years and reached a record level in 2018 with 166 transactions - compared with 144 in the previous year. Although Europe is the world's most active market for Autotech M&A transactions, the Asia-Pacific region and North America continue to lead the transaction volume with 72 percent and 21 percent respectively. The total value of global fundraising activities in the automotive tech sector rose by 293 percent over the last five years to 27 billion euros.

"The European autotech sector has grown stronger in recent years and the figures in our report show significant innovation and investment across the continent. The next challenge for European companies in the automotive technology sector is to continue to scale in order to remain competitive with major suppliers," comments Sven Raeymaekers, Partner at GP Bullhound. This is made more difficult by the fact that European companies do not have as easy access to financing on the same scale as their competitors from APAC and North America.

The new report also shows how technology giants - including Google, Intel, Tesla and Uber - are increasingly challenging established automotive companies to innovate in autonomous driving, connected cars, electric vehicles and shared mobility solutions. In the USA, Tesla is well on the way to overtaking the two German flagship carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz in terms of sales figures.

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