The proliferation of "crossover vehicles" is putting new strains on carmakers

SPEEDIER PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Carmakers must bring new concepts to market faster to cash in on fickle consumer preferences

BETTER ENGINEERING

To cut costs, designers have to increase component sharing among vehicles even as each auto must look distinctive

MORE FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING

As markets fragment into niches, plants will have to crank out a variety of models in smaller batches

STRONGER MARKETING

Advertising will have to do a better job of differentiating among similar models so consumers don't get confused

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