Industries Served

Automotive Programs

Components and Materials Oriented | Overall Market Focus | Aftermarket Related | Engine and Turbine Related

Automotive Joseph M. Klenotich, President of Marketplan Consultants, has a diverse experience base within the automotive industry, having conducted strategic market planning assignments for clients for over 25 years.

This base of experience encompasses all major segments of the industry:

Automotive industry in the broadest definition...

  • Passenger car
  • Light and medium duty truck
  • Heavy duty truck and trailer

OEM as well as Aftermarket

  • Tier 1, Tier 2 and others
  • Dealer, independent and other channels.

Vehicle as well as component

  • System, subsystem, discrete parts, materials.

The objectives of the assignments are commonly expressed in strategic terms:

  • Market segment assessment and strategic growth plans
  • Technology evaluation and penetration opportunity
  • Competitive positioning and future actions

As such the programs require an understanding of technology and industry practices and traditions. The following are capsules of past programs and subjects:

Components and Materials Oriented

  • For a major supplier of heavy truck components, evaluated market conditions and adoption curve of safety related options, including radar warning devices for forward and side collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, backup camera products.
  • For a major supplier of heavy truck suspension components, a program examined the potential for heavy truck buyers to adopt an independent front suspension. Interviews were conducted with fleets viewed as innovators plus other competitive suspension suppliers.
  • For a major supplier of heavy truck components, examined the role of telematics and information integration; assessing the possibility among fleets to use data generation from engine management systems, safety devices, brake systems, location/GPS systems and other input for purposes of operational efficiency and driver performance judgments and retention efforts. The objective was to determine how integration efforts would be executed by major fleets and which suppliers would be leaders in this trend.
  • Developed perspectives on weight and technology developments related to steering gearboxes on light, medium, and heavy duty trucks.
  • Developed a competitive analysis of major suppliers in the heavy truck suspension market. The program defined share position in major segments of OEM, truck and trailer; aftermarket, truck dealer, trailer dealer, and independent. The implications and conclusions pointed to segments and specific targets where further share gains can be made.
  • Evaluated the market for heavy truck hydraulic components used in dump truck and dump trailer segments; both OEM and aftermarket. Efforts addressed market size and segmentation, competitive positions, and market outlook. The recommendations focused on options to achieve above average growth in sales and share.
  • Examined the trend and adoption of electric power steering, variable valve timing, and electronic stability control. Information was gathered from technology and engineering managers at major North American passenger car OEMs. A projection of demand and supplier requirements was developed.
  • Evaluated the market for propeller shaft components in North American passenger car OEMs. The effort detailed the usage of 1, 2, and 3 piece shafts plus the alternative of advanced components such as fiber reinforced plastic parts.
  • Analyzed the market for infotainment integration technology in the US automotive market. Contacts with OEM product planners and developers were made to assess how the integration of comfort controls, audio/inputs/outputs, and navigation and communication options with be implemented and packaged in future passenger cars. Of particular interest is whether strategies will be implemented via discrete devices, advanced systems or chip-based componentry.
  • To determine the market potential and possible relationships available in the Brazilian automotive components market for a US Tier 1/2 supplier. The program examined certain engine and brake sub-components defining OEM positions, supplier relationships, possible acquisition or partnership candidates.
  • Evaluated the market trends in the convergence and connectivity issues associated with car media systems in the NA pass car market; examining trends in NAV systems, media players, etc. and advised the client on market entry and Tier partnership candidates.
  • For a supplier of automotive interior products, examined the market potential for a energy-absorbing materials family to be used in passenger car and light truck applications. Assessed reaction to product benefits, likely penetration, and potential strategic partners.
  • A part of a study program examining multiple market segments-studied the impact of nanomaterial developments on catalytic converters, probing the inherent tradeoffs between performance, cost, availability, of new materials, material sizes, and current products.
  • For a leading sub-component supplier of airbags; evaluated trends in materials, future airbag systems design, further integration and sub-assembly demands by Tier 1 customers. Further efforts for this wire and metals producer examined stainless steel exhaust componentry, particularly connecting and clamping hardware.
  • Evaluated the adhesives market associated with tapes used for automotive component assembly purposes as well as attachment of automotive trim. The purpose was to size this market and determine product segmentation and purchase/usage practices.
  • Evaluated the passenger car fuel delivery systems market, focusing on fuel pump, lines, and related hardware to determine to what extent the trend exists for component suppliers to develop a systems approach in the OEM market; and the impact on metal vs. plastic products.
  • Tested the receptivity of heavy duty fleets to advanced lighting concepts for headlight and fog light applications; developed fleet lighting practices by vocation, reaction to new technology, product trial and adoption procedures, likely market penetration and required actions
  • Analyzed the market for automotive sound deadening materials and tested a new product concept.
  • Tested a product concept for the heavy-duty marketplace of a composite/plastic truck spring among fleets/vocations such as tank trailers, moving companies and other high-value cargo segments.
  • As part of a multi-client study assessing the US foundry market, analyzed the demand for automotive castings of all types vs. foundry supply capabilities and the introduction of new materials technology such as powdered metals.
  • Evaluation of market potential for maintenance-free batteries within the heavy-duty vehicle industry.
  • For a supplier to the heavy-duty engine market, evaluated the potential for a time-release water filter among engine OEMs, major fleets.
  • Conducted a comprehensive analysis of the market for wheels within light, medium and heavy-duty trucks, as well as agriculture and industrial application. The study focused on alternative materials, likely shifts in material usage, and the aftermarket associated with both replacement and styled wheels.
  • Evaluation of the market for automotive stampings analyzing the impact of alternative materials vs. steel.
  • Evaluated the potential development of disc brake systems within the heavy-duty marketplace and the impact of disc brakes in conjunction with ABS systems upon present products.
  • Analyzed the market for a number of truck/trailer products used in the heavy-duty segment - specifically, fifth wheels, pintle hooks and trailer landing gear.
  • Assessed trends and market development of collision avoidance systems in the US heavy truck market. This program examined early adopters and non-adopters of front and side collision warning devices, roll-over protection systems and other technologies. The conclusions addressed future product considerations and means to penetrate and develop market share.
  • Conducted an analysis of market share in heavy duty suspension components, detailing share by channel, application, region, etc. The program evaluated what potential share gains could be forthcoming in each market segment.

Back to top

Overall Market Focus

  • Examined the market for logistics services and conducted a competitive analysis of several providers. This rapidly growing trend to outsourcing both outbound and inbound freight has implications to the private and for hire fleet market. Of particular interest are the value added services that are part of the competitive landscape-logistics software, fleet management, warehousing, fulfillment, repackaging.
  • For a major heavy-duty truck producer, analyzed the heavy truck used vehicle market by vehicle type, brand, region, etc. Developed an econometric model to predict future used vehicle market conditions and volumes; examined alternatives to market over-supply of odd-spec or high mileage used product.
  • For a leading financial services provider, evaluated the accuracy of used product information. Studies of heavy-duty trucks, medium duty trucks, and trailers were completed by interviewing leading dealers in selected regions.
  • Conducted a study program for a major US truck/trailer producer that segmented the domestic market by product type and by geographic segmentation. This study was used to determine the future market distribution scheme for the client.
  • Conducted an evaluation of the trailer rent/lease market in selected US cities for a major manufacturer of truck trailers contemplating market entry into these areas.
  • Conducted a study of the US truck/trailer market focusing on the usage of specialty designed tank trailers. This study was an acquisition study, which evaluated major suppliers to this market and entailed interviews with users and major manufacturers.
  • Conducted an extensive evaluation of the market for automotive stampings based upon expected market outlook, changes in materials, vehicle sizes, and import share development.
  • Conducted an analysis of the automotive frame market, considering trends of vehicle downsizing, alternative frame/body configuration and likely competitive capacities and strategies.
  • Evaluated the future of new disc braking systems within the heavy-duty truck market. This program projected expected acceptance growth rates, perceived benefits and recommended new product marketing actions.
  • For a manufacturer of heavy duty automatic transmissions; surveyed several served market vocations for reaction to proposed product changes; prioritized the new features and functions, and evaluated premium pricing vs. likely penetration.

Back to top

Aftermarket Related

  • For a trailer manufacturer, evaluated growth development in the trailer aftermarket. The program developed information on captive, generic parts, and accessories as sourced by fleets through OEM, independent and direct channels. The results portrayed best practices in sourcing and selling parts.
  • To review the aftermarket tactics of a leading supplier to the heavy duty truck market. The program examined the various channels and recent efforts to increase sales and offset any efforts to source non-OEM product.
  • For a venture company with a new windshield wiper product-conducted a market assessment of potential channels, such as: auto parts chains, DIY stores, auto repair chains, vehicle dealers, catalogs, direct marketing, to determine a "best" channel for product introduction and then a channel development plan.
  • For a major aftermarket catalog retailer of repair, custom and enthusiasts parts, a customer satisfaction study program that addressed various buyer segments and how to increase their longevity and per buy purchase. As a follow-on effort, devised a tracking system for new customer performance.
  • Within the heavy-duty truck accessories market, evaluated the potential of a next-generation cab/fuel heater. Determined appropriate marketing actions among segments such as independent vs. fleet.
  • Conducted a study program which evaluated a supplier's market position within certain heavy-duty truck components; specifically transmissions, examining trends occurring within the aftermarket and evaluating possible business changes.
  • Evaluated the market for the rebuilding of heavy-duty transmissions and axles in the context of an acquisition investment for a major us components supplier.
  • Evaluated heavy-duty transmission/differential rebuilding/remanufacturing business; user attitudes, distribution channel, future market growth, OEM component and vehicle manufacturer strategies, profitability. The end result was an acquisition and the entry of the client in a multi-regional program.
  • Evaluation of the aftermarket for specialty automotive wheels. The study analyzed future trends and direction of market, manufacturers' positions, manufacturing capabilities of each of the competitors and the potential OEM accessibility. The work was the basis for analyzing the potential for acquisition.
  • Completed a study program for a component supplier of electrical equipment, specifically wiring harnesses and components to the automotive industry. This program evaluated the supplier's position in the domestic aftermarket and alternative strategies for future diversification either through product development or distribution.
  • Completed a multi-client study of the aftermarket for heavy-duty truck parts. The study was concerned with defining and determining the size of the market for truck parts as well as evaluating end-user practices, distribution strategies and government factors, which will have an impact on this market.
  • Evaluated the market for selected automotive crash parts within the western US. Study focus was on potential advantages of domestic manufacture of various import car parts.
  • Analyzed the distribution planning strategy for a major supplier to the heavy truck industry. The analysis took into account how a dealer organization could or should be supplemented by direct sales and a company-sponsored organization.
  • Demand and product positioning analysis of the battery charger business with subsequent decision to exit the business.
  • Evaluation of the heavy truck diesel-fired cab-heater market comparing competitive product offerings and developing an outlook for future unit sales growth.
  • For a plastics supplier tested a product concept of modular pickup truck accessories to meet the market for bedliners, tonneau covers and camper tops.
  • Evaluated the possible market opportunities of an auto body filler material developed by an OEM for the auto repair marketplace.

Back to top

Engine and Turbine Related

  • Conducted a market analysis of the 20-50 HP industrial engine market, assessing future shifts between air vs. liquid cooling, gas vs. diesel fuel, and likely growth of major end-use segments.
  • Directed a study program which evaluated the diesel marine engine market for a major diesel engine builder desiring entry into the U.S. and Canadian markets. The study program included analysis of pleasure and nonpleasure marine applications in the small- to medium-sized diesel engine range.
  • Analyzed the 750+ horsepower industrial diesel engine market for a major supplier to the market. Study focused on establishing future demand, number of installed units and manufacturers' shares.
  • Analyzed the retrofit /replacement market for turbochargers used on very large diesel engines for a supplier to the industry. This study focused on identifying the potential for replacing the installed base and developing a service strategy to compete against the independent rebuilder/remanufacturer.
  • Have been involved in a major international study assessing the opportunity of gas turbines as prime movers in the electric generation market. This study dealt with evaluating alternative competitive products and required interviewing in a number of foreign countries.
  • Studied the utilization of turbines vs. diesels as primary movers of compressors used in natural gas transmission lines in the U.S. and Canadian markets for a major supplier of diesel engines.
  • Conducted an analysis of the usage of diesel engine equipment in Western Canada. This study required interviewing with key industry operations and evaluating parts and service requirements in this area for a diesel engine manufacturer.
  • Evaluated potential growth opportunities in engine related applications for shell and tube heat exchangers. Specifically examining usage factors in OTR trucks, construction equipment, gensets, industrial applications.

Back to top