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Driving automotive manufacturing towards a more certain future

03 February 2020

Ever since the first motor car took to the roads, the internal combustion engine has been a staple component in nearly every vehicle production line. With times now changing, manufacturers are finding themselves having to prepare for a greener, cleaner future without knowing what that future looks like or how many units to produce.

Barry Auty, Global Automotive Sales and Business Development Director for L3Harris Automation explains how a new flexible production technology is set to transform automotive manufacture and put vehicle producers on the road to a more certain future.

Aside from the potential concerns around Brexit affecting the production and sale in the UK, one of the biggest issues impacting just about every car maker has been the uncertainty around the future of the internal combustion engine (ICE). While petrol and diesel-powered vehicles still account for the vast majority of UK vehicle sales, with around 1.5 million and 736,000 sold in 2018 respectively, the growing trend towards low emission vehicles is seeing a steady rise in the demand for alternatively-powered vehicles. 

For companies whose production lines have been previously geared up for petrol and diesel vehicles, the challenge now is to try to second-guess a market that is still some way from maturity. 

Not surprisingly, manufacturers are reluctant to commit to the sort of investment needed to either build new production lines or reshape existing ones to build vehicles which may or may not sell. Furthermore, while the market share for ICE vehicles is predicted to fall by 2026, production of ICE-powered vehicles is likely to continue to dominate the market for some time to come, meaning that manufacturers will ideally need to run production lines manufacturing multiple vehicle platforms. 

Read the full article in the February issue of DPA.


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