VDA Managing Director Dr. Kurt-Christian Scheel at the 16th Quality Summit of the automotive industry – TÜV Report shows that German models lead in all age groups – Over 50,000 participants on QMC training courses – QMC is successful with offices in China and Russia
“The German automotive industry – manufacturers and suppliers alike – demands the highest quality both from itself and from its products. A look at the latest TÜV Report 2020 shows that these demands are satisfied. In all five age categories, from cars two to three years old all the way to cars ten and eleven years old, the top model with the fewest defects is always a German one. Also, without exception, German cars take all the top five places, and at least eight out of the top ten places in all categories. This long-term evidence of quality is based on the results from almost ten million cars tested by the TÜV,” stressed Dr. Kurt-Christian Scheel, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). He was speaking to over 200 automotive quality experts at the 16th Quality Summits of the automotive industry in Potsdam. He concluded, “To summarize, customers get ‘more car for their money’ – and can enjoy it for longer.”
“We see these very good results primarily as a directive never to let up in our efforts to achieve the best quality,” the VDA managing director emphasized. “This involves hard work every day and above all a passion for the product and the most innovative solution.”
The 16th Quality Summit is taking place under the motto, “Quality managers on the move.” Addressing the quality managers, Dr. Scheel said: “So this is about you – and the future challenges for you and your work. Future means more electronics, more software, greater complexity, and the increasing role of artificial intelligence (AI).” Quality managers in particular, according to Dr. Scheel, were expected to master the new technologies and fields of activity. “Cars are in fact more than a smartphone on wheels. You can’t switch your car off and restart it – at least, not while it is in motion,” Dr. Scheel said. He added that this meant a completely new dimension, especially for quality work, and represented a considerable challenge for the quality managers.
Dr. Scheel paid tribute to the work of the quality managers in the Quality Management Committee (QMA): “Your activity in the VDA has ensured that quality meets the highest demands. That is the basis for the success of the German automotive industry. Alongside the QMA, the VDA QMC (Quality Management Center) is a major pillar supporting the success of our quality work in the VDA. This is shown in the high degree of professionalism, the rigorous work in the working groups, and not least by the international publications. In 2018 alone, over 45,000 books were published in fifteen different languages.”
The international QMC training courses were also successful. “In 2018 we had over 50,000 people taking part at the QMC in Berlin, at our offices in China and Russia, and via our international licensees,” Dr. Scheel underscored. Driving forward and establishing QM methods, systems and processes – that was the job of the VDA QMC. “Furthermore, new paths are being pursued. Now the intercontinental project FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) has been established as a common standard QM for methods by the AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group) and the VDA in the international supply chain.”
Regarding electric mobility, Dr. Scheel stressed: “Now that important preparations have been made in the ‘concerted action for mobility’ talks, the expansion of the charging infrastructure must be tackled in earnest – at all levels, including the municipalities. This is because they know better than anyone where the demand for electricity for charging vehicles is the highest, how much space is needed, and how to approach retailers and parking-lot operators.”
The automotive industry was doing its share, Dr. Scheel said, with heavy investments, new models and a major contribution to the expansion of the infrastructure. “By 2023, we will increase the range of e-models five-fold to over 150. We will invest a good 40 billion euros in electric mobility during the next three years. Today OEMs and suppliers already have well over 5,000 charging points at their facilities for employees and customers. The number of company charging stations will continue to rise markedly because these premises are excellent places for charging up. We expect that by 2030 our member companies will install around 100,000 charging points on their German sites.”
Moreover, with the joint venture Ionity the automotive industry was very rapidly building a fast charging network along the main transportation routes. By the end of next year there would be around 100 charging locations in Germany, and more than half of them were already in operation, Dr. Scheel explained.
“For policymakers, this means it is high time to prepare Germany as a production and innovation location for the times ahead. The important aspects here are energy costs, corporate taxation and non-wage costs. The points of leverage are known and only have to be used,” Dr. Scheel underscored.