Barriers to Entry in Automotive Production and Opportunities with Emerging Additive Manufacturing Techniques
Conventional car manufacturing is extremely capital and energy-intensive. Due to these limitations, major auto manufacturers produce very similar, if not virtually identical, vehicles at very large volumes. This limits potential customization for different users and acts as a barrier to entry for new companies or production techniques. Better understanding of the barriers for low volume production and possible solutions with innovative production techniques is crucial for making low volume vehicles viable and accelerating the adoption of new production techniques and lightweight materials into the competitive marketplace. Additive manufacturing can enable innovative design with minimal capital investment in tooling and hence should be ideal for low and perhaps high volume parts. For this reason, it was desired to evaluate potential opportunities in manufacturing automotive parts with additive techniques.