R&D investments rise to around 30 bn euro – one third of global R&D expenditure
The German automotive industry has once again increased its spending on research and development (R&D). In 2013 its total R&D spending world-wide rose to 29.6 bn euro – up by a good 7 per cent over the previous year (27.5 bn euro in 2012). These figures are based on surveys by the Stifterverband (which promotes education and research in Germany).
Germany’s huge importance in research and development activities at the manufacturers and suppliers is illustrated by the fact that the largest proportion of automotive R&D investment (56 per cent) occurs here, while German group brands build only just over one third of their passenger cars at domestic plants (5.5 million out of a global total of 14.7 million units).
According to information from the European Commission, the German automotive industry also accounts for one third of all R&D spending in the industry world-wide – which means it is leading the field.
Furthermore, the automotive industry represents around one third of all R&D spending in Germany. “It is the largest investor in research and development by a long way and strategically important for Germany as a technology location. Here we generate the technological know-how on which the international competitiveness of the German automotive industry is based. The research and development departments at our manufacturers and suppliers have a highly qualified workforce of about 93,000 people. That is one in four of all R&D employees in the entire German economy,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).
The VDA president stressed that alongside the optimisation of classical internal combustion engines and the development of alternative drive trains – especially electric mobility – above all connected and automated driving represented a major focus of R&D in this key industry. He added that another rise in investment in research and development could therefore be expected in the future.