Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management

ICT-Platform to Transform Car Dealerships to Regional Providers of Sustainable Mobility Services

Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management

ICT-Platform to Transform Car Dealerships to Regional Providers of Sustainable Mobility Services

Article excerpt


Companies, politics and the public nowadays realize that resources are limited and various problems in the economic, social and environmental dimension are resulting from our economic activities as well as consumer behavior (Belz & Peattie, 2009).

In the context of energy consumption and CO2 emissions, the transportation sector plays a central role and is one of the most relevant fields of sustainable consumption (Deutscher Bundestag, 1998). 26% of global CO2 emissions are produced by the combustion of fossil fuels in transport. 35% of the total energy demand in the EU is consumed by transportation, 71% by road transport (EEA, 2011). Considering the transport mix (modal split) we recognize that a large amount of our mobility is still carried out by light duty vehicles (LDV). While LDV cause the most negative effects in terms of emission, 83% of the mobility in Europe 28 in 2012 was carried out by LDV (Eurostat, 2015), coincidently 60% of CO2 emissions were caused by LDV (EEA, 2013). Until 2050 a worldwide increase of CO2 emissions by 50% caused by LDV is expected, resulting in an urgent national and international need for action (International Transport Forum, 2010).

In the case of the mobility of people, the creation of sustainable offers as a substitute or supplement for mobility based on their own car is a promising way to reduce negative effects of mobility in a significant way (Black, 2010). In this context, besides other innovations in products and production processes, the ecologically, sustainably and economically efficient design of services plays a central role (Mont, 2002). Assuming an increasing consumption of individuals, with contemporary doubling of the world population, the resource consumption of industrial companies needs to be decreased by 90% in the next 50 years (Ceschin, 2010). This forecast inevitably leads to a rethinking of possession-oriented consumer practices. The so-called product service systems (PSS) are based on the concept of functional use, which implies the satisfaction of needs through the use of products and not through possession (Hinterberger, Burger, Jasch, Kaltenegger, & Hammerl, 2008). One of the best known examples of PSS systems is car sharing. Car sharing increases the sustainability of mobility due to several advantages:

* In general, cars used for car sharing services are small, new and eco-efficient.

* Car sharing is very suitable to be combined with electric mobility (Firnkorn & Muller, 2015).

* Car sharing can motivate intermodal travelling in combination with public transport.

The car sharing market is growing worldwide (e.g. in South Africa Locomute is successfully operating in different cities). The automotive industry, especially manufacturers, entered this market many years ago. Two major German automobile manufacturers--not least due to the changed consumer habits--already successfully operate in the market with their own car sharing services (car2go/Daimler, Drive Now/BMW) (Lenz & Fraedrich, 2016). These new offers are strongly connected to a general process of digital transformation of the automobile manufacturers (Hanelt, Piccinini, Gregory, Hildebrandt, & Kolbe, 2015). However, this transformation process does not apply to automotive retailers. At the same time, they are in a serious economic struggle because of decreasing sales volumes and margins (Albuquerque & Bronnenberg, 2011).

A transformation to a mobility service provider (MSP) possibly offers opportunities for car dealerships to ensure the long-term existence and simultaneously contribute to a more sustainable mobility (Bellini, Dell'Era, Frattini, & Verganti, 2016; Canzler & Knie, 2009). New offers can be set up for car sharing but also e.g. for innovative fleet management. At the same time, a combination of these new services with the existing service portfolio holds an interesting synergy potential for the retailers (Mehl & Kuhnert, 2013). …

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