Automotive supplier

The automotive supplier provides raw materials, parts and components for the automotive industry. There is a rough distinction between top-level and mid-level suppliers. Top-level automotive suppliers deliver directly to the manufacturer, while mid-level suppliers deliver to top-level priority suppliers.

The spectrum of automotive suppliers extends from suppliers of individual components such as nuts, springs, tyres, lubricants and operating fluids to the system supplier, who produces and develops complete systems such as locking systems, board fittings or assistance systems. Thus many innovations found in current car model series do not originate directly form the automobile manufacturer but from the supply industry. The latter is experiencing constant pressure by the manufacturers and the competitors, but also from politics and environmental organisations, forcing them to continuously improve their products.

There is, however, also pressure concerning costs, because the automobile manufacturers know how to use their market power in price negotiations. For the suppliers, this means that they have to monitor their processes continually and seize every opportunity to increase efficiency and cost-saving. This includes the economical use of resources. Utilisation optimisation, benchmarking and reduction of materials are only some of the measures used here.

A distinctive feature of the industry is its close network. Many automotive suppliers have set up supply chain networks. This close collaboration has led to a concentration of suppliers in some German regions. The companies thereby benefit from short transport routes and a solid base of specialised workforce located in the area. The just-in-time production, which is widespread in the industry following the need to cut storage costs, is easier to implement with close proximity to the customer.

The automotive supply industry therefore faces many challenges, which only be met with intelligent and cost-effective solutions as well as the constant willingness to embrace innovation.