Stefan Knupfer

Senior Partner, Stamford, USA

Stefan Knupfer is a Senior Partner for McKinsey & Company in the Stamford Office. He became a Partner of the Firm in 1998. Stefan has worked primarily within the automotive field. In addition, Stefan has served clients in a broad variety of industries such as telecommunication, aerospace, electronic, environmental and transportation industry. Stefan is a co-leader of our North American automotive practice. In this role he gained experience in many projects for OEMs, suppliers and distributor issues, covering functional topics from product development to operations, sales and strategy.

Publications

What's Sparking Electric-Vehicle Adoption in the Truck Industry?

It’s déjà vu all over again as electric trucks begin to reappear after a hundred-year absence. What’s driving this trend, and do these vehicles make economic sense for dollar-wise trucking fleets? The answers may surprise you.

An Integrated Perspective on the Future of Mobility

How will city dwellers get around a decade or more from now? McKinsey shares some out-of-the-box ideas and three potential models for cities based on their current and expected future characteristics.

Repairing a B2B Extended Warranty Business

A B2B extended warranty unit can be a lucrative source of additional revenue for vehicle and heavy-equipment players. But without appropriate oversight and control, costs and complexity can soon overwhelm the business unit's potential. Learn how one company turned this situation around.

The Fast Lane to the Adoption of Electric Cars

Large cities may be the ideal test track for the introduction of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-only electric vehicles for the mass market. McKinsey & Company research shows that catalyzing the early adoption of these vehicles could take less than most automotive executives and policymakers think.

Perfect Fit? Plugging Electric Cars into Megacities

McKinsey & Company research shows how and why battery-powered cars could thrive in large urban environments in the next five years. To make this happen, policymakers and industry players need to clear the way by educating consumers about the benefits and challenges of living with an EV, and provide intelligent incentives to make the market as inviting as possible.

Podcast: Can OEMs Target Green Drivers to Sell Green Machines?

Can OEMs target green drivers when selling green machines? How many car buyers want to go green and what's stopping them? The answers to these and other questions are discussed in a McKinsey & Company podcast presented by its Automotive & Assembly Sector. The results of McKinsey's survey of light vehicle buyers in the pivotal US automotive market reveals surprising insights into consumer purchasing patterns regarding environmentally friendly automobiles. Learn why although awareness of green vehicles is high among light vehicle buyers, this doesn't necessarily "close the sale."

Can OEMs Target Green Drivers to Sell Green Machines?

Can environmentally "green" consumers save the planet? How much (if anything) are they willing to pay for greener cars and which technologies are most likely to gain consumer acceptance? Find out through the results of McKinsey & Company's survey of green automotive purchasing patterns. 

Making Cars Electric: How Three Industries will Evolve

It's a safe bet that consumers will eventually swap their gas-powered cars and trucks for rechargeable models. Electric transport, in some form, seems likely to be part of our future. But how long will investors have to wait for the bet to pay off – Years? Decades? Find out as McKinsey & Company examines what the future likely holds for automakers, battery producers, and utilities.

Achieving World-Class Product Development Cost Performance

As the need for better cost performance accelerates, companies need the right specifications at the right cost levels in the early stages of a project. Part 2 of McKinsey & Company's series focuses on how early product-feature definition and target setting can drive product development and significantly boost a company's cost efficiency.

Fast Company: Accelerating Automotive Innovation

"Younger" cars, shorter innovation cycles, and new industry players all push the need for speed in automotive product development to wide-open throttle. Part 1 of McKinsey & Company's series focuses on speeding up the innovation process.

CO2 Futures: A Conversation with McKinsey's Automotive & Assembly Sector Leaders

Industries worldwide are working to understand the implications of climate change and what roles they play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The automotive industry faces significant challenges in this regard, as developed countries introduce new standards and emerging economies strive to understand their responsibilities in combating global warming. To better understand the climate change issue from an automotive perspective, we spoke with leaders of McKinsey & Company's Automotive & Assembly (A&A) Sector. The discussion covered challenges and opportunities that the automotive industry faces in addressing climate change.

McKinsey Interview: Stefan Knupfer, Director and leader of McKinsey's North American Automotive & Assembly Sector, and Russell Hensley, an Automotive Expert

The debate surrounding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change is unlikely to cool down anytime soon. Because of the outsized role the automotive industry will likely play, the Automotive & Assembly Extranet asked Stefan Knupfer and Russell Hensley of McKinsey & Company's Automotive & Assembly Sector in the US for their perspectives on the likely impact of GHG abatement on the auto industry. Read what they said about the differences in GHG abatement solutions across regions in the automotive industry, the prospects for meeting the challenging new industry fuel economy standards, and how "green car" innovations could save the industry from commoditization.  

OSI Solutions for the Passenger Car Industry

Each year, the automotive industry spends billions of euro or dollars needlessly because of the way OEMs and supplier work together. The fourth and final part of McKinsey & Company's series on the OEM-supplier interface (OSI) reveals ways in which the industry can eliminate much of this waste. Learn why mindsets matter most, when attempting to reduce interface waste in the automotive value chain.

The Long-Term Threat of OSI Waste

In the long run, OEMs and suppliers alike need profitable partners, which is why any waste in the value chain causes both parties to suffer. Part 3 of McKinsey & Company's four-part series on the OEM-supplier interface (OSI) assesses regional shortcomings in OSI waste management and provides a case study of how one automaker routinely drives waste out of its dealings with suppliers. 

OEM-Supplier Interface: Waste Drivers

Late engineering changes represent major gaps in most western European and North American OEM-supplier relationships that waste billions of euro or dollars every year. Learn more about these and other drivers of waste in Part 2 of McKinsey & Company's four-part series on the OEM-supplier interface (OSI).

Hidden Value in the OEM-Supplier Relationship

Inefficient relationships cost the global automotive industry billions of euros or dollars each year. Specifically, the friction created as automakers and their suppliers work on developing and producing cars generates vast amounts of waste – waste that until now, remained unquantified and largely unquantifiable. Part 1 of McKinsey & Company's four-part OEM-Supplier Interface (OSI) series documents the overall industry waste caused by inefficient OEM-supplier interactions, which is on the order of approximately EUR 22 billion per year in Western Europe and North America combined.

How Battery Storage Can Help Charge The Electric Vehicle Market

Electric vehicles that top up their batteries at public stations can face significant demand charges, making recharging an expensive proposition. Adding storage batteries to the charging station mix can dramatically reduce these costs.

Three Surprising Resource Implications From The Rise Of Electric Vehicles

The economic consequences for energy, raw materials, and land may not be what you’d expect.

Elements of Success: Urban Transportation Systems of 24 Global Cities

As cities increasingly attempt to integrate public and private transport elements, which urban centers serve as benchmarks? To find out, McKinsey studied 24 cities to develop a fact-based ranking.

Charging Ahead: Understanding The Electric-Vehicle Infrastructure Challenge

While more electric vehicles (EV) make their way onto roads in greater numbers every day, one important question remains: where will they all charge? McKinsey runs the numbers and makes the case that charging infrastructure could soon become the industry’s greatest challenge.

The Potential Impact of Electric Vehicles on Global Energy Systems

The good news: the spread of EV probably won’t increase total power demand significantly. The challenging news: It will, however, likely reshape the load curve. McKinsey suggest a variety of ways energy provider can ride the curve successfully.