VDA Managing Director Dr. Kay Lindemann speaks at carIT Forum
“The automotive manufacturers and suppliers are rapidly developing into providers of mobility and services. They already not only offer hardware but are also pushing forward the development of software, data-supported business models and a complete range of mobility services. Our companies clearly want the automotive industry to set the standards in the future using mobility technology ‘Made in Germany.’ We want to set the tone when it comes to software/data-driven business models on the roads,” said Dr. Kay Lindemann, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the carIT Forum today in Berlin.
Digitization – which alongside electric mobility is one of the two great megatrends in vehicle mobility – opens up to the automotive industry a broad range of opportunities for new services and business models. Cultural changes, such as those associated with the sharing economy, provide an additional boost to developments. Lindemann stressed: “Data make our mobility more multimodal and driving simpler. Cars will remain the central pillar of our mobility system. But no matter whether people will own cars or share them, cars will be at the heart of this new mobility world that is enriched with data and software.” However, he continued, using data also required trust. “Individuals must know what information is collected from them and be able to control how it is forwarded.”
Car sharing has already shown just how successful the automotive industry is in developing innovative mobility services. Lindemann stated, “Over 70 percent of users in Germany utilize the car-sharing schemes of the German automotive manufacturers. Car sharing really only picked up speed with the free-floating concept developed by the automotive industry.” And when it comes to the development of automated driving, OEMs and suppliers are in a position of strength: “Today the number of patents already shows that the classical auto manufacturers and the suppliers are further on than their challengers. Since 2010 alone, they have registered over 90 percent of all patents worldwide for autonomous driving,” Lindemann said.
He added that in the future the focus would be on developing additional digital business models. “Many OEMs and supply companies have repositioned themselves strategically in a variety of ways: by founding new corporate units, with new ways of working, and also through intensive networking with startups. Numerous automotive firms have created their own incubators in which they work with startups to develop ideas until they are ready for commercial application,” Lindemann explained. The automotive companies have specially founded venture capital companies ensuring the required organizational and financial flexibility for experimentation. Furthermore, the startup sector and the automotive industry have common political interests. For example, our legal regulations need to be modernized so that the development of new forms of mobility is not hampered. Just a few weeks ago the VDA and the German Startups Association issued a comprehensive joint position paper pointing up the need for political action.