Industrialization of hybrid electric vehicle technology - analysis of 40 Swedish potential suppliers
The vehicle manufacturers in Sweden are depending on import to be able to manufacture hybrid- and electric vehicles. Simultaneously, there are several national suppliers of electric motors and power electronics for industrial use. In order for these suppliers to approach the vehicle industry they may need to make adaptations to their products and/or production. This study focuses on small and medium-sized (SMEs) technology-based firms in Sweden (employing between 1 and 500 employees) in Sweden during year 2011. The empirical data (40 firms) contains of a survey (questionnaire) of Swedish firms, who could be potential suppliers to the selling, manufacturing and final assembly of the hybrid vehicle technology in eight industrial branches. We have included 114 variables regarding different systems and resource dimensions in the analysis: Hybrid electric vehicle product units – large systems and support systems (selling, production and final assembly) and forthcoming product units (five years) and Business and R&D networks, Product and market innovation and Localization and environment. 18 sub-hypotheses were tested in the study. Battery systems and BMU/software require much more resources for selling, production and final assemby of hybrid electric vehicle products and the surveyed small and medium-sized firms do not have the technological and business knowledge for producing these bottle-neck products on their own. Our empirical studies show important gaps in hybrid supply processes. One operative way to solve this situation is building strategic partnerships with other firms, strategic alliances are a way for a firm to compete and succeed in today’s networked economy.