Axel Schmidt

Axel Schmidt

Managing Director, Global Lead Automotive Industry

Quo Vadis OEM: When the Driver becomes the Passenger

The automotive industry is being disrupted by three mega trends: autonomous driving, electric vehicles and shared mobility. These trends offer significant growth potential for OEMs, but they also create an opportunity for new players to gain market share.

For instance, mobility service providers, who easily win customers through mobility apps and service brands, now have the potential to turn OEMs into hardware providers. When it comes to the customer experience in an autonomous car, market leaders may be defined by non-traditional incumbents. Not even core competencies, such as R&D and engineering, are spared from being disrupted. New startups can capitalize on the lower complexity of electric drivetrains and enter the automotive market with their own products.

Traditional market entry barriers become ineffective in the age of autonomous, electric and shared mobility. Sticking to the standard business model of selling vehicles is no longer a guarantee for success. OEMs need to tap into new business streams and create new competencies to remain competitive in this new era.


Axel Schmidt leads as Managing Director the Global Automotive practice at Accenture. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Stuttgart, as well as in Paris and Melbourne, and graduated in 1991. Mr. Schmidt has over 25 years of experience as a strategic management consultant to leading Automotive manufacturers and suppliers. He frequently advises, writes and talks about the implication of technology on the automotive industry and how businesses can leverage new technologies. He has led multiple large and complex projects, and worked extensively in Europe, US, South America, Japan and China.