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Vehicle Manufacturing Sector Scorecard – Thematic Research

2021 was a historic year for the automotive industry, following the unprecedented disruption of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic and more than a decade of responding to CASE megatrends; connected cars, autonomous vehicles, shared mobility, and electrification.

Hopes were high in the first half of the year that production and sales would achieve an impressive recovery from the depths of the pandemic. Consumer spending remained strong and demand for vehicles was robust, but rough seas lay ahead as shortages of semiconductor-based components began to bite. In short order, many automakers found themselves unable to secure parts to power their advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), infotainment systems, and other onboard electronics. This led to lost production as automakers rationed what little chip supplies they still had across their most profitable models.

The vehicle manufacturing sector scorecard provides a top-down, comprehensive outlook for the major players in the automotive industry over the next two years, based on the key themes that are set to transform their market.

Lithium-ion Batteries

Demand for Li-ion batteries has risen sharply, driven by accelerating EV production. Battery producers are launching multi-billion-dollar ‘gigafactories’ to supply cells to automakers. Cathode choice is playing a key role in battery development, with two varieties accounting for most deployments. Most EVs currently use nickel-cobalt chemistries, which offer great energy density and range. However, lithium iron phosphate (LFP) has emerged as an alternative and is widely utilized by Chinese players. It offers slightly less energy density but counters improved cost, safety, and lifecycle performance. LFP also omits cobalt—a financial and ESG concern due to the risk of illicit mines using child labor.

Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

A host of tech and auto companies are racing to deliver autonomous vehicles—capable of making journeys with little or no human input. Many OEMs are introducing semi-autonomous and automated driver assist (ADAS) functions including auto-braking, lane departure, and blind-spot warning. Tesla, Ford, and Cadillac have all deployed Level 2 systems with driver supervision. Honda currently has the only Level 3 (eyes off) system with regulatory approval, which can autonomously manage stop-start traffic without supervision.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The fundamental purpose of the internet of things (IoT) is to connect various computer-controlled devices to enable them to communicate with one another. This enables efficiencies by allowing the analysis of data from these various devices. The past decade has seen radical improvements in the range of phenomena that can be sensed and reported by IoT devices. More importantly, however, design innovations have driven the cost of sensors down, allowing more devices to be brought into the IoT network, enabling further efficiency improvements.

For more insights on the key themes that will impact the automotive industry in 2022, download a free report sample

Market report scope

Key themes Lithium-ion Batteries, Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), and the Internet of Things (IoT)


  • This report is part of our ecosystem of thematic investment research reports, supported by our “thematic engine”.
  • About our Thematic Research Ecosystem: GlobalData has developed a unique thematic methodology for valuing technology, media, and telecom companies based on their relative strength in the big investment themes that are impacting their industry. Whilst most investment research is underpinned by backward-looking company valuation models, GlobalData’s thematic methodology identifies which companies are best placed to succeed in a future filled with multiple disruptive threats. To do this, GlobalData tracks the performance of the top 600 technology, media, and telecom stocks against the 50 most important themes driving their earnings, generating 30,000 thematic scores. The algorithms in GlobalData’s “thematic engine” help to identify the winners and losers within the TMT sector. Our 600 TMT stocks are categorized into 18 sectors. Each sector scorecard has a thematic screen, a risk screen, and a valuation screen. Our thematic research ecosystem has a three-tiered reporting structure: single theme, multi-theme, and sector scorecard. This report is a multi-theme report, covering all stocks, all sectors, and all themes, giving readers a strong sense of how everything fits together and how conflicting themes might interact with one another.

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Sector Scorecard

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Our Thematic Research Methodology

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The key themes that will impact the automotive industry in 2022 are lithium-ion batteries, autonomous vehicles, and the internet of things.


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