VW’s Hitzinger says complexity of new cars will drive consolidation

FILE PHOTO: The new electric Volkswagen model ID. 4 is shown during a media presentation in Zwickau, Germany, September 18, 2020. Photo taken on September 18. REUTERS / Matthias Rietschel / File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The auto industry faces a new wave of consolidation as cars go electric, connected and add highly automated driving functions, Alexander Hitzinger, head of Volkswagen’s Artemis project, said on Wednesday.

“There will be consolidation. Not everyone will be able to afford these complex platforms. We will see a smaller number of very big players emerge who will drive this transformation, ”Hitzinger said at the FT’s Future of the Car summit.

The need to connect autonomous driving sensors to electric motors, batteries and high-definition boards is forcing automakers to design vehicle basics and car software operating systems in-house rather than assembling the code and legacy systems provided by a myriad of vendors.

The Artemis project is VW’s attempt to do just that.

“Cars are so complex that the traditional concept of you outsourcing to top manufacturers no longer works,” Hitzinger explained during a webcast.

The sums of investment and the complexity of the technology favor the big players because the decline in sales, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, makes it more difficult for small businesses to stem the investments necessary to develop advanced cars, did he declare.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Potter

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