Auto Suppliers in Germany Focus on Digital Technology


Published Date : Sep 14, 2015

With technology giants such as Apple and Google working on self-driven cars, the automotive manufacturers such as Daimler AG, Volkswagen, and BMW are under threat. However, the German car makers are looking at the rich prospects offered by the rapidly growing wired-car industry. This has opened new opportunities for equipment giants such as Continental AG, Bosch GmbH, and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. These equipment suppliers have tied up with the U.S.-based technology firms and are leveraging new technologies for all parts of a vehicle. This shift in the global automotive market will be evident at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week. 

To succeed in the automotive industry, German car makers and their local suppliers have realized that it is important to work on vehicle-control technology. Advanced safety systems, self-driving cars, and connected cars depend on advanced gears and gadgets aided by software. The technology firms in Silicon Valley acknowledge that the German car makers are the leaders in this field. Daimler, Audi, and BMW have agreed to jointly acquire Nokia Here, the digital mapping business of Nokia Corp. This has led other German suppliers to team up with the car makers and invest in the mapping software.

The various initiatives taken by German car makers as well as the suppliers can be traced to the fact that every seventh job in Germany is related to the auto industry. With the U.S.-based tech giants, and car-hailing services such as Uber Technologies Inc. entering the automotive industry, the Germans are trying to upgrade their technologies to keep the rivals at bay. Though the brands of the German suppliers are not much visible on the exteriors of a car, the partnerships with technology firms and auto manufacturers will strengthen their position in the market.