Keynote: Transformation of supplier industry on the way to electromobility

Dr.-Ing. Lutz-Eike Elend

Managing Director, Member of the Group Executive Board at Muhr und Bender KG


The automotive industry is currently facing four trends described as “case”: connectivity, autonomous, service providers and e-mobility. The shift to e-mobility will have massive implications for existing automotive production structures and therefore also for the automotive suppliers, not least because there will be a longer period during which both technologies (electrification of the powertrain and conventional combustion engines) will be applied. The output of electric vehicles will grow continuously over the next few years and will hit significant volumes around 2023. That in turn means that despite declining overall volumes, combustion engines will still be produced over the decade and quite likely even after 2030. Nevertheless, the change will happen and the main reasons for this are stricter emission regulations, rising fuel prices and increasing competitive pressure. Not to be neglected, however, are also the effects of social changes.

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For established automotive suppliers, the transition to e-mobility can pose a major threat, as the elimination of elementary components in the vehicle is likely to result in considerable losses in value added. Numerous examples from the past show that established companies often react too late to changes and consequently disappear from the market.

For automotive suppliers, a product strategy consistently geared to e-mobility will therefore be of decisive importance. This is the only way to create new opportunities for components related to the electric motor, the battery or even the fuel cell, with considerable potential to expand the value chain. On the other hand, vehicles with alternative drive concepts offer further potential for established technologies (e.g. Lightweight design) due to their increased weight and constantly rising crash requirements.

The greatest challenge for almost all automotive suppliers will be to further develop the technological and production expertise built up over many decades in a targeted manner for new applications within the framework of e-mobility, or to apply this expertise in a targeted manner for new applications. Mubea is presenting one application of this expertise for the first time with its e-cargo bike on the FPHS2020. Take your chance to get to know this innovative prototype for urban transport on site at the exhibition accompanying the conference.