Technological change is perhaps the most important factor in changing competitive structure of markets and industries. It is fair to say that the pace of technological innovation is increasing. Technological change can be defined as the change in the combination of skills, knowledge, tools, equipment, machines and computers used to undertake tasks, which are essentially implemented to improve products or processes, gain competitiveness, maximise sales, market share and profits.
Jaguar Land Rover
In March 2008, after heavy losses under Ford ownership of approximately $600 million per year, Ford sold JLR to Tata Motors for just over £1 billion just a few months before a collapse in global demand in the int car market. Tata financed the takeover with $3 billion of long term loans. Tata had to refinance to keep JLR solvent after the 2008 financial crisis. In 2011, Tata announced a £5 billion five year investment programme in JLR - focused on new product development & new equipment at JLR three plants. In November 2011, JLR announced 1000 new jobs in Solihull by rising demand for 4x4s in Brazil, China, India, Russia. Soaring sales of Jaguar and Land Rover cars have helped Tata motors to a huge rise in profits (up 41% on 2010). JLR saw sales rise 37%, helped by selling 32 000 of its new Range Rover Evoque. China now overtakes the UK as JLRs biggest market, but are still based in the UK and use their British heritage as a unique selling point.
Technological Change at JLR
In early September 2014, there was an announcement by the company to further expand the solihull plant. This reflects the growth of the company in recent years. One of the things underpinning this success in JLRs ability to utilise new technology. The Range Rover Evoque design is a good example of this:
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Much of the design work for the Evoque was done using the 3D technology on a computer through the systems ‘computer aided design’ and ‘computer aided manufacture’ rather than producing a prototype and testing this.
The use of CAD allows JLR to create more radical, experimental designs and test their performance which improves their likelihood of appealing to more potential customers.
Being able to obtain a 3D visualisation enables the designers to alter the virtual car again without having to build a prototype.
Nanomaterials and Biotechnology
Similar to carbon nanotubes