Study on development processes in the automotive industry

Study on development processes in the automotive industry

INDUS promotes the future viability of its investments: Study on development processes in the automotive industry at KSG


  • Independent study of the Center of Automotive Management in cooperation with goetzpartners
  • Commissioned by INDUS Holding AG, accompanied by Kieback-Schäfer-Group (KSG)


The INDUS Holding AG supports its associated companies in an advisory and financial capacity through targeted programmes in developing innovative products, optimising processes and positioning themselves for the future. This also includes the continuous analysis of industry developments and the derivation of scenarios for the strategic orientation of the company. Against this background, INDUS has commissioned the current study “The future of the development process in the automotive industry” (Bratzel/Russo, 2019). The Center of Automotive Management and the management consultancy goetzpartners conducted the independent study on the basis of expert interviews. The Kieback-Schäfer-Group (KSG), which has been part of the INDUS portfolio since 1998 and specializes in automotive engineering, steered the focus of the study. The study is freely available at

The automotive industry is in a state of flux: electric mobility, car sharing and driving services as well as the market entry of players from outside the industry in the development of autonomous vehicles present the established brand manufacturers and their suppliers with new challenges. Changes in usage patterns have an impact on demand, but also on development processes and production. Whereas models and series (“hardware layers”) have been the focus of attention up to now, value creation is increasingly shifting in the direction of IT (on-board computers) and software. The study predicts that series and development processes will run simultaneously, accelerated by digitization. In the future, customers will no longer opt for the car brand as a private vehicle, but for a mobility platform in the course of autonomous driving offers. As a result, model diversity will decline. The added value is no longer determined by driving characteristics, but by the functions provided by software and service packages.

KSG sees the current study as a confirmation of the Group’s orientation: As a provider for the entire process chain from design to the production of prototype and series parts, the Group has been concentrating for some time on digital technologies and virtual reality in model development. “We work very closely with our customers in the development phase and use the latest CAD and VR technologies to implement innovative solutions,” explains Jörg Kieback, Managing Director of KSG. “The eBus cluster is an example of the efficiency of the group, for which we developed concept and design proposals as a partner and mapped them completely in our VR system. In the eBus cluster, research institutions such as the Fraunhofer Institut and industrial partners such as KSG combine their expertise in the fields of information and communication technology, vehicle technology and energy management to develop the electric bus of the future. The first customer orders for KSG’s VR technology have already been generated.

“At INDUS, we see our task above all in creating the necessary entrepreneurial freedom for our investments that will enable them to further expand their position in international competition. This also includes the promotion of development projects, which we have systematised by establishing the INDUS development bank model,” explains Dr. Jörn Großmann, member of the Management Board of INDUS. Selected research & development projects of the portfolio companies for the development of new technologies and markets are supported by INDUS with 50 to 80 percent of the project volume. Currently, the total funding volume available is around three percent of the Group’s annual EBIT.