As the auto industry moves into its second century, it suffers from low margins and a sclerotic value chain that cannot evolve with customers' desires. Inventories of many weeks pile up on dealers' lots and at distribution centres around the world while executives applaud marginal improvements in factory efficiency. With billions of potential product variations, customers still compromise by selecting from a limited number of products sitting at dealerships or at distribution centres. Those customers who dare insist on a specific variation not only wait weeks but also pay extra for the privilege of telling vehicle manufacturers what they actually want. In The Second Century, Matthias Holweg and Frits Pil take a comprehensive look at today's dysfunctional value-chain strategies, then systematically discuss the changes in products and in processes that are needed to bring about responsiveness to customer needs. They look beyond the dealer, the factory, and the design studio to examine the web of relationships and the dynamics that have brought the auto industry to its current low point. Holweg and Pil argue that in this century the winners will not be those firms that search for larger and larger scale or those who run efficient factories, or those that squeeze the last drop of profitability from their suppliers. The winners, they say, will be those who build products as if customers mattered.