AMS Winter 2022-23
Good progress, must do better
It sounds like one of my old school reports, certainly the latter part. At the end of a busy 2022 there has been considerable progress in some areas of the automotive manufacturing sector, especially when you consider the ongoing challenges around supply shortages and increasing costs. At our Automotive Evolution summit held in Munich in December (marking the first AMS live event since 2013) the focus was on European production with discussions covering the potential constraints on planned investment as growth in the EU slows, the push to establish high-volume battery cell production in the region, sustainability and leveraging digital tools and services to improve efficiency. Two common threads developed from a full day of expert panels, the need to shorten time to market for products and production programmes and the need for greater agility across supply and manufacturing operations. We have full report in this digital edition and you can also watch the panel sessions and interviews with leading industry figures on-demand on the AMS website.
Also, in this edition we have interviews with Harald Gottsche, plant director and CEO of the BMW s San Luis Potosi facility in Mexico who discusses M-Series production and how the factory’s model portfolio looks set to grow. We also speak with Rene Wolf, Director of Manufacturing Vehicle Operations at Ford Europe about how the Cologne plant will be upgraded to become the first Ford Electrification Centre in Europe.
Tier suppliers also feature with ZF’s Arno Güllering, senior vice-president of operations for the company’s electrified powertrain division, discussing how ZF is upgrading plants and skills for growth in EVs and electronics. While Matthias Zentgraf, president of Europe for China’s CATL, shares some insights on the hot topic of localising battery cell production in Europe.
While there is a lot of focus on establishing robust production operations to deliver battery cells at high volumes, there is also a good deal of development going into creating a sustainable supply of the key materials needed. Much of this involves creating a scalable recycling infrastructure and improving the efficiency of recovery processes. In this issue we have some great insights into this less visible but highly important aspect of the battery supply chain.
The progress to e-mobility has been good. The electric vehicle line-ups continue to grow and the market share for these is increasing, but the price gap between electric and ICE powered vehicles needs to close, and this will come from improving efficiencies in both the battery and vehicle production. Here’s looking forward to another year of manufacturing development and innovation.
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