Transformation network for an electric, sustainable and digital automotive industry 2030plus in the ABC region.

stylized representation of a passenger car manufacturing © Martin Riedel  


Highly skilled and experienced workers design and operate the value-adding development processes and production systems of the German auto industry. In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, they are responsible for annual sales of around 34 billion Euros. The OEMs located in the Aachen-Bonn-Cologne (ABC) metropolitan area as well as the small and medium-sized suppliers and start-ups play a special role as innovation drivers in the region. The trend of the mobility turnaround is already noticeably affecting them.

The numerous small and medium-sized automotive supplier companies in the region in particular are currently facing enormous challenges. On the one hand, they have to cope with the ever worsening shortage of resources and supply bottlenecks in their day-to-day business, while at the same time initiating long-term changes in their business models and value creation processes in order to be able to operate successfully in the future in a digitalized market and economic order based on alternative energy sources and thinking in terms of material cycles. This mixed situation is causing a great deal of uncertainty and disorientation among the responsible decision-makers and within the workforce. It raises the questions of which strategic business model developments, innovation projects and technology investments are sensible to tackle and which qualification measures should be taken by employees in order to be able to meet future demands. Many companies feel left alone to answer these questions and are overwhelmed by the challenges ahead of them in this isolated position.



TrendAuto2030plus aims to act as an orchestrating force to drive forward the collaborative transformation process with the stakeholder groups in the vehicle and supplier industry in the Aachen-Bonn-Cologne (ABC) metropolitan area. As an organizational format, a network structure involving all relevant stakeholder groups (in particular also employee and employer representatives) will be established in order to ensure a broad scope of action and to achieve a maximum of participation, both in the development of project results and with regard to their dissemination and application. The competencies available in the region are thus to be brought together and further developed. The focus is on the SMEs located in the ABC region with high innovation potential and in particular those automotive companies that are particularly affected by social and technological change.



Transformation needs qualifications. In the automotive and supplier industry in the ABC region, continuing education plays a key role. Here, too, transformation will only succeed in the long term if employees are empowered to participate in and help shape their company's change processes. As part of the research project, prototypical qualification formats in the area of development, production and innovation will be developed and made available to companies and their employees. For a successful implementation of the Vision 2030+ on company as well as regional level, different network activities in the fields of information, knowledge transfer and structured exchange of experiences are carried out. The Machine Tool Laboratory WZL of RWTH Aachen University evaluates technological solutions of the automotive industry of the future and takes over the practical knowledge transfer by means of demonstrators in the Smart Automation Lab (SAL) and in the start-up factory. To this end, the different levels of competence of the stakeholders involved are taken into account and a needs-based learning path with individual entry points at the respective locations is set up.