VDA Managing Director at automotive suppliers’ conference in Saarbrücken
The forces driving structural change in the automotive industry are electric mobility, digitization and automated driving. They represent huge challenges, in particular to the business model of medium-sized automotive suppliers. These risks are, however, accompanied by opportunities for development – as pointed out by Klaus Bräunig, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), in Saarbrücken today. He was taking part in a panel discussion at the automotive suppliers’ conference organized by the German trade union IG Metall and the Hans Böckler Foundation. Bräunig said, “At the 67th IAA Cars, suppliers were enjoying a strong renaissance, with their new developments pointing up opportunities for even more value creation as the industry undergoes structural change. At the IAA, many suppliers displayed more of their own innovations emerging not solely from development partnerships with customers.”
The conference’s subtitle is “Change in the supply industry – shaping the transformation.” It aims to provide new impetus from science, politics and businesses and present good business practices in order to identify the key elements of the approaching phase of transformation. This work is also taken up in forums and in-depth working groups.
Bräunig stressed, “The present time is full of uncertainty about the future of conventional technologies. Technology bans are definitely the wrong way to achieve a balance between industrial policy and climate protection. We must be open to technology and work together.” He pointed out that the major suppliers could realign themselves more quickly than small and medium-sized family firms because they were stronger financially and had more options for expanding or adapting their portfolios.
The suppliers account for 75 percent of automotive value creation. Two factors behind the German automotive industry’s leading position are the close cooperation and development partnerships between suppliers and manufacturers.