Even in the face of considerable headwinds, dealmakers in the automotive industry have continued to stay busy. The emergence of new technologies continues to transform the M&A market, and automakers who want to stay competitive need to transform just as fast. In fact, a report from Bain & Company found that scope deals—in which firms penetrate a new market or acquire a new capability—now represent about 70% of automotive and mobility transactions over $100 million.

For an industry that’s practically built on disruption and innovation, 2023 promises to be another paradigm-shifting year in automotive. The automaker of tomorrow will do way more than simply manufacture the car you drive—it will enhance your entire in-vehicle experience. 

So what does this mean for automotive M&A in 2023? Find out when we release our 18th Annual Outlook report in November. Here’s a sneak peek at three big trends to watch out for:

  1. Emissions get lower, demand gets higher

    The digital transformation has illuminated the consumer’s need for game-changing technological capabilities, and OEMs across the board are responding by increasing their investments in the EV space. Between the recent spike in gas prices and increased awareness of climate change, electric vehicle sales will continue their meteoric rise.

    In the M&A market, expect to see more consolidation between traditional OEMs and technology suppliers—like Endurance Technology acquiring a majority stake in Maxwell Energy Systems.

  2. The driver of the future is… none?

    Despite ongoing questions around their safety and feasibility, driverless vehicles continue to zoom ahead in popularity—by 2030, the global autonomous vehicle market is projected to hit $1.8 trillion. In an effort to make these vehicles more commercially available, expect to see more deals between legacy automakers and autonomous technology companies—like GM upping its majority stake ownership in Cruise.

    As new research continues to advance the technology behind autonomous vehicles, we anticipate a huge increase in M&A transactions focusing on the growing need for strong cyber and data security measures, and firms increasing their investments in ACES (autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility) technologies.

  3. EVs are no longer a novelty

    2023 won’t be the year that electric vehicles take center stage—they’ve held that spot for quite some time. It’s the year that your friend’s new electric or hybrid vehicle ceases to be a talking point. But one of the biggest hurdles preventing electric vehicles from reaching ubiquity is the infrastructure around them.

    This won’t be the case for long. According to research from Reuters, global automakers are planning to invest over half a trillion dollars in electric vehicles by 2030. Next year, we can expect to see a significant increase in policy support for EVs, resulting in more investments in a public charging network, digital services, and government incentives to lure consumers away from gas-powered vehicles.

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Photo of Laura C. Baucus Laura C. Baucus

Laura Baucus is a results-oriented litigator and business attorney with experience delivering consistent results to clients in the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing and financial services industries. Ms. Baucus has worked both as outside counsel and as seconded in-house counsel. She is the Director of…

Laura Baucus is a results-oriented litigator and business attorney with experience delivering consistent results to clients in the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing and financial services industries. Ms. Baucus has worked both as outside counsel and as seconded in-house counsel. She is the Director of Dykema’s 140+ attorney Automotive Industry Group, the immediate past Leader of the firm’s Financial Services Litigation Practice, a Leader in Dykema’s COVID-19 Task-Force, the originator of the firm’s Supply Chain Group, the Manager of a firm OEM client-service team, and the immediate past Manager of the firm’s largest Michigan office.

Ms. Baucus regularly counsels clients on force majeure and related contract performance options. Her litigation practice focuses on procurement and supply chain, recalls, warranty and cost recovery, contract termination, tooling recovery, Uniform Commercial Code issues, and financial services.  Her contract practice includes negotiating and drafting supply contracts and other commercial agreements for automotive and other manufacturing companies, including terms and conditions. Ms. Baucus also manages national portfolios of lawsuits for some of the nation’s largest residential mortgage servicers.

Photo of Thomas S. Vaughn Thomas S. Vaughn

Thomas S. Vaughn’s practice focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions, public securities offerings, public company securities compliance and private placements of securities involving institutional, venture capital and private investors.

Mr. Vaughn serves as United States general corporate counsel for a number of international…

Thomas S. Vaughn’s practice focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions, public securities offerings, public company securities compliance and private placements of securities involving institutional, venture capital and private investors.

Mr. Vaughn serves as United States general corporate counsel for a number of international companies, with a focus on companies involved in the automotive industry. He has assisted these clients in establishing and growing their United States operations through both acquisitions and internal growth.

He counsels public and non-public companies on issues surrounding mergers; stock purchases and asset acquisitions; commercial loan financings; board of director meetings and general board relations; stock-based employee benefits plans; anti-takeover defense mechanisms; partnership syndications and joint ventures; product distribution relationships; and the drafting and negotiation of a broad array of business agreements. He assists clients with organizational issues; negotiation of initial rounds of financing; preparation of private placement memoranda; negotiation of venture capital financing and bank financing; and initial public offering representation. Mr. Vaughn serves as corporate secretary or assistant secretary for a number of companies.