The vehicle industry will face major
challenges in the coming 10 to 20 years

Several political objectives have been set for the coming years. Within the EU, from 2020, the maximum allowable carbon dioxide emission for new vehicles will be 95 grams per kilometre. In addition, the number of traffic fatalities must be halved by 2020, as compared with 2010. In Sweden, public authorities and companies agree that the transport sector must continue to deliver value to society and industry, but with minimal environmental impact and fewer traffic injuries and fatalities. Swedish companies and authorities have therefore presented joint plans to meet this objective. In the year to come, the Swedish vehicle industry must also continue to be able to meet increasingly tougher global competition. According to studies by the companies themselves and by independent analysts, this is fully possible, provided that the companies are able to address the following issues:

  • The growing number of models and variants, as well as shorter product lifecycles, has a big impact on investment costs and the cost per vehicle produced. New powertrain concepts will entail a greater number of components and variants in production.
  • To be able to meet future demands from the market, the vehicle industry must be able to produce vehicles with different drive trains and a greater degree of volume flexibility within the same production systems.
  • The vehicle manufacturers’ suppliers account for 60-75% of the value of each new vehicle. Effective research and development collaboration between vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers is therefore necessary.

Sustainable manufacturing systems

The vehicle industry will continue to intensify the strong focus on energy-optimized vehicle concepts. The goal is to improve energy efficiency by 20-60% and use of renewable fuels by15-70%, depending on vehicle type, by 2020. Consequently, efforts to reduce vehicle weight will continue. High-strength steels and lightweight materials will be used to an even greater extent in structural components. This demands sustainable manufacturing systems that produce sustainable and innovative products. These manufacturing systems must be cost-effective, productive, capable (consistent high quality), lead-time efficient, adaptable, flexible, able to accommodate new process technologies for new materials, and demonstrate good reusability, e.g. in the event of changes in models and/or components. The targets for 2020 are to increase pre-production productivity by 65% and manufacturing productivity by 50% while reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing by 50%.

Nader Asnafi, Vice President/R&D Manager VA Automotive

Head of Research School of Engineering, Jönköping University
Vice President Research & Development, Uddeholms AB
Dean and Chief Research Director School of Engineering, Blekinge Institute of Technology
Senior Manager Research & Advanced Engineering, Volvo Car Corporation
Manager Mechanical Properties, Sapa Technologies
Researcher, Research Group Leader SIMR/KIMAB

Education: Mechanical Engineering, Luleå University of Technology