The diffusion of the Internet (and comparable communication infrastructures) has led to the emergence of a virtual global marketspace in which products and services are sold electronically. As a result, traditional intermediaries, such as travel agents or retailers, are being bypassed. This development effects not only products and services which can be digitized but also the marketing and distribution of physical products. We have scrutinized the interdependencies of product characteristics and traditional distribution structure, electronic commerce andthe emergence of new services and distribution structures trends in the automotive industry. The auto manufacturers are facing difficult choices on several fronts at a time: cybermediaries, independent (mega-)dealers and their own direct sales operations on the Web are competing with their exclusive dealers. Based on this analysis which reveals patterns of exacerbated competition, we will discuss strategic options for a business network redesign
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