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The innards of a car – competences of car manufacturers and their component suppliers

Looking at the long list of component suppliers in the automotive industry, their fields of specialty and number of sales, which in some cases are not that far from those of small OEMs, is becomes clear that within the system of car manufacturing, the component suppliers play a bigger role now than ever. In Germany alone there are hundreds of those companies.

Research and development is largely done by suppliers nowadays, which means that together with the production work they do, they contribute nearly half of the added value. This is also reflected in the size of the companies, as with the rising competence and significance, the suppliers become more and more attractive as employers as well.

Who would still expect a car manufacturer to develop and make their own tires. It’s the same for other systems as well. Things like ABS, EPS, or technology to reduce exhaust, suspension control systems, chassis electronics, engine management systems, or transmission control often were not developed by a ca manufacturer, but a supplier.

As a result, many engineers and technicians working development are not working for the big car manufacturers directly anymore, but are very sought after by the suppliers. That is a big opportunity for anyone who would like to help shape the looks and technology of tomorrow’s cars.

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