“When science and business are networked intelligently, this benefits Germany as an industrial location. Interfaces such as the “acs Automotive Center Südwestfalen” bring small and medium-sized suppliers and research institutes together and strengthen the entire German automotive industry with innovative ideas,” explained Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the opening of the acs in Attendorn. The “acs Automotive Center Südwestfalen” is a joint project of the automotive supply industry, the universities and municipalities in Germany’s South Westphalia region. It provides a platform for development work and knowledge transfer between automotive manufacturers, suppliers and university institutes, with the clear aim of promoting weight reduction in vehicle construction.
“The requirements faced by manufacturers and suppliers are increasing all the time. Facilities such as the acs are necessary to ensure the competitiveness of the German automotive industry and thus domestic value creation,” Eichhorn stressed. “Here existing potentials are exploited effectively.”
The acs is intended to test new vehicle concepts and the use of new materials and material combinations. In collaboration with the University of Siegen and the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, small and medium-sized companies can conduct projects at the Automotive Center Südwestfalen tackling the problems of lightweight construction and exploring how to deal with the special requirements of electric mobility. “Consistent lightweight construction, as tested here in Attendorn, is a prerequisite for the success of future electric vehicles,” Eichhorn declared. “The German automotive manufacturers and suppliers are pioneers in lightweight construction. Every year they invest more than 20 billion euro in research and development,” he stated, adding that the direction for “tomorrow’s mobility” was visible: Germany should become the leading market and leading provider for electric mobility. This should be accompanied by establishment of the natural gas drive train, along with further improvements in the fuel efficiency of conventional engines, faster in-car online communication and greater safety.