Due to the high bonding of resources, there is an important need for an innovative strength for the automotive industry. In contrast to the relatively short innovation cycles of most consumer goods a failed automobile development project can therefore weaken a brand substantially. The product life cycle of a model on the volume market is approximately six to eight years. In recent years some manufacturers managed to shorten the life cycle even up to five years. These developments led to an increased pressure to innovate in the automotive industry. In addition to the development of a new generation of models, the extent of the renovation, however, by facelifts, or model upgrade can be reduced significantly. All three versions have in common that they all are based on the Innovation process. The most significant difference to inventions was from my understanding that innovations are supposed to first, enter a market and secondly, to prevail there sustainably. .
From a marketing perspective, both an extension of the existing product portfolio (product line extension), as well as the establishment of a new product category (brand extension) be the result of an innovation. Furthermore I learned to distinguish between technical and social-technical innovations. In contrast to technical innovations - where the functional utility should be the focus of the customer - social-technical innovations offer rather emotional benefits Concerning process innovations, it can be noted that the relevance increases for the customer if he is directly involved in the process. As an example the sales process can be used. .
This process may in fact use both, technological innovations such as large 3D screens in the Audi City, as well as socio-technical innovations such as the theme-park-styled Autostadt by Volkswagen. The innovation process can be controlled through the use of the stage-gate model of Cooper (1994).