Study: Digitalization of the Finance Function in the Automotive Industry


Great relevance, cautious implementation

Ludwigsburg – A lot speaks for the probability of a considerable increase in the importance of the finance function at automobile manufacturers and suppliers in the coming years. For the companies in the sector must, firstly, provide financial means for launching innovative products, services and business models. Secondly, they must permanently ensure liquidity and profitability – just how important this is is shown by the current crisis. The various finance disciplines form the basis in this regard.


The digital transformation provides the opportunity to increase the efficiency of the finance function and make it fit for the forthcoming challenges. Where OEMs and suppliers in Germany stand in this regard was examined by the management and IT consulting company MHP together with the Georg-August-University in Göttingen and the University of Groningen. The results were published in the study "Digitalization of the Finance Function in the Automotive Industry".


"Our empirical findings indicate an ambivalent situation," says René Kuhr, Associated Partner at MHP and one of the authors of the study. "Those responsible are aware of the relevance of digital technologies. But there is still a certain reluctance with regard to implementation."


Only half of participants are satisfied with IT


This estimate is based on, among other things, the fact that 77 per cent of the participants agree with the statement that IT solutions will in future play a greater role in the task portfolio for financing. However, only 48 per cent are satisfied with the current technical infrastructure (hardware and networks), 40 per cent with the system landscape (software). This is probably the reason why only 27 per cent of the participants in the study use digital technology on a regular basis. Such solutions are suitable rather for simpler tasks such as data provision (63 per cent agreement) or data analysis (49 per cent agreement). In contrast, the analysis of polystructured internal and external data is possible only for 11 per cent of the participants.


In the study, for which over 100 responsible persons from automotive companies - including all German OEMs – were surveyed, the empirical results are presented in a clear manner and reported according to different criteria. Thus, dependencies can also be recognized and differentiated statements made. René Kuhr: "The assessment of the objectives of a digital transformation largely depends, for example, on whether there is a digital vision or a digital strategy. If so, all the objectives surveyed are assessed more positively – in some cases markedly so."


On the basis of the empirical findings, the authors formulate specific recommendations for action to be taken by companies. These recommendations are intended to serve as impulses for systematically recognizing potential for improvement and then implementing them consistently.


The study is available on the MHP website and can be downloaded free of charge:




The English version of the study can be found here:


MHP Study Digitalization of the Finance Function in the Automotive industry


René Kuhr will be pleased to answer any questions on the digitalization of the finance function in the automotive industry. Simply send your question to: PublicRelations(at)


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