Mechanism of Value Co-creation in the NPD – the Case of the Chinese Electric Vehicles

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Brussels (2023)


Community of practice (CoP), ecosystem, Electric vehicle (EV), Engagement platforms, New product development (NPD), Value co-creation (VCC)


This research aims to explore how Chinese electric vehicles are quickly designed and produced in the process of New Product Development (NPD), from the perspective of value co-creation, and in the context of technology paradigm changing. Our study is based on the theoretical framework of value co-creation (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004; Ramaswamy & Ozcan, 2014, 2018; Wilden et al., 2017; Normann & Ramirez, 1993; Sandstrӧm et al., 2008; Vargo & Lusch, 2004, 2008, 2017; Pandey & Kumar, 2021), with the focus on the buyer-supplier relationship (Rothaermel & Boeker, 2008; Hoegl & Wagner, 2005; Enkel et al., 2009; Bogers, 2011; West et al., 2014; Dragsdahl Lauritzen & Karafyllia, 2019).

We conduct two in-depth case studies on Chinese carmakers, one is the leading state-owned enterprise with rich Sino-foreign joint venture experience, and the other is the newly founded company without automobile industrial experience. To study the buyer-supplier relationship, we choose two suppliers, one is the world-leading German supplier, and one is the Chinese giant battery company. The interaction of two buyers with two suppliers, illustrates how value co-creation (VCC) mechanism facilitate the quick NPD, more concretely, the electric vehicle in China.

We find out that efficient engagement platforms are the core of the VCC mechanism when buyers and suppliers work closely for the quick design and manufacture of EVs. In addition, in the case of one carmaker, consumers also actively participate the value co-creation, via digital engagement platforms, and thus generate additional values, including lifestyle products of the car brand. With other stakeholders, this carmaker’s business extends to batteries as service (Baas), etc. This finding further illustrates the dynamics of Chinese EV ecosystem, that goes beyond the buyer-supplier relationship.

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