VDA Managing Director Klaus Bräunig at the 10th ACOD congress in Dresden: supply industry creates 75 percent of all value-added in vehicles
“Now more than ever, the automotive suppliers play a key role in the development of new mobility solutions. Whether it’s electric mobility, digitization, connectivity or autonomous driving – the vehicle manufacturers are always crucially dependent on the innovations of the suppliers,” said Klaus Bräunig, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). He was speaking today at the 10th ACOD congress in Dresden. The Automotive Cluster Eastern Germany (ACOD) is a cross-border initiative and a common platform for activities of the vehicle makers, suppliers and service providers, research institutes, sector associations and institutions active in eastern Germany.
Bräunig stressed, “Over recent years and decades the suppliers have carved out an indispensable position: 75 percent of all value-added in a vehicle is created by the supply industry. Our industry’s global lead is very largely due to the close cooperation and development partnership between suppliers and manufacturers – despite the problems and the tough competition that characterizes this cooperation. Nothing can be done without suppliers, and that is not going to change in the future. Like the OEMs, the suppliers also invest heavily in new technologies and in efficient production. In the field of digitization new providers from the world of IT are also working to become partners in the automotive value chain. Therefore VDA membership is now also open to startups and digital companies.”
The VDA managing director particularly highlighted the work of the ACOD in networking manufacturers and suppliers. “Bringing both sides to the table in one organization – that is of much greater benefit to the companies than working in separate associations. This is something the ACOD and the VDA have in common.”
Bräunig added that the changes in mobility pose huge challenges for suppliers and manufacturers alike. He explained, “We assume that in 2025 the proportion of electric cars in new car registrations in Europe could reach 15 to 25 percent. We should avoid sudden breaks during this technological development. The challenge is especially great for the suppliers whose current strengths lie primarily in parts for conventional powertrains. However, new areas of growth may also provide opportunities to compensate for negative effects. For that, suppliers definitely need a reliable planning framework and cooperation with their customers.”
The automotive industry has a firm economic basis for tackling these challenges. The current business situation gives cause for optimism. The most important international markets – with the exception of the US – record increased registrations of new cars this year. Western Europe, for example, is around 4 percent up on last year, with Germany up by 3 percent. Suppliers benefit from this with rising sales, which helps them maintain their regular workforce at a high level.
However, this healthy situation does not mean the industry can rest on its laurels, Bräunig underscored. “In the next parliament, the politicians will have to redouble their efforts to bolster Germany’s competitiveness, in order to secure capacities at our suppliers’ domestic plants and to support them.”