ArGeZ – Arbeitsgemeinschaft Zulieferindustrie – event
Exciting discussions at yesterday’s event “Suppliers in times of disruption”, that was hosted by ArGeZ in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Around 130 decision-makers from the various segments of the automotive suppliers’ industry came together on January 31, 2019 to generate new ideas and thought-provoking impulses related to the topic ‘mobility of the future’. Against the background of recent geopolitical and trade policy developments, this topic is is discussed highly controversial and is of major importance for strategic planning of the entire value chain.
Prof. Thomas Koch from the Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany, calls for a value-neutral consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of all drive forms and no fundamental rejection or exclusion of a single one. He warns against the background of the diesel debate: “We are facing an ideological debate here that needs to be restarted in a completely new way.” At the moment the discussion is going into the wrong direction according to Koch, politicians are making the same mistake as in 2007 and ignore universal physical laws and immission values. A way out from the current dead end, could only be possible, if all partners involved are ready to restart a fair debate.
VW relies on e-mobility
In contrast, VW capitalizes very clearly on e-mobility and sustainability for the future. A way out from the current dead end, one can only find out if the discussion is rolled up by all partners. Alfonso Sancha Garcia, Head of Group Purchasing Metals, VW AG, has highlighted the new strategy of the VW Group. Volkswagen is realigning the business model for electromobility. With an investment volume of around € 30 billion, more than 50 new all-electric models shall be launched. In a first step, sales of 15 million vehicles are announced.
VW’s corporate vision
The corporate vision is: CO2-neutral manufacturing including the entire supply chain – an ambitious goal. Customers shall be offered a green power contract when purchasing a car. The new vehicle type will be in a price range of approximately € 30,000 with the size of a Golf and the interior space of a standard Passat, according to Garcia. As of 2020 he should cover a range of 500 – 600 km. To achieve these goals an appropriate infrastructure is needed. And there is still a long way to go.
China is one of the most important sales markets for VW with around 40 percent. At the same time, China itself strives to dominate the world with key technologies and is on the way to become an export world champion. Remains to be seen, whether the bet will be won. In order to cope with the research effortin terms of financial and human resources, VW entered into a strategic cooperation with Ford. A totally new approach for the industry. Mobility has to be flexible and affordable, argued a participant
Future remains exciting
When considering current US trade policy, that breaks up and shakes established relationships, the future remains exciting. Therefore, Dr. Galina Kolev from the Institute of German Business in Cologne warns: “If the regulatory system is eliminated and we produce a ‘spaghetti bowl’ due to the increasing complexity of bilateral trade agreements, the business model of many companies will be in jeopardy.”