Lars Reger, Chief Technology Officer Automotive, NXP Semiconductors

Today, a luxury automobile contains around 200 million lines of software code. Describing the importance of electronics in modern automobiles, NXP Technology Director Lars Reger said: „That makes it the most complex technical device you can buy.“

Interestingly, the tech expertise or hardware doesn’t always have to come from Silicon Valley or East Asia: NXP is the largest supplier of semiconductors for automotive applications, and is located in the Netherlands. From sensors and actuators to smart processors, its portfolio covers everything connected cars need.

Reger explained that the growing importance of electronics and IT had fundamentally changed roles and cooperation models between suppliers and car manufacturers. „In the past, we used to offer OEMs a new product. Now they call us and ask, ‚How would you build a connected car?‘ The reason for this shift, he explained, was the way the market has changed. The industry understood that hierarchical value chains no longer worked, and that building partnership networks was the order of the day. Reger described how carmakers and suppliers now sought the right partners very early on, so they would be as high up the innovation chain as possible. As a result, both sides understood faster what technologies could offer and how they could be used. „We’re starting to think in networks, to partner early, and to not just fight price wars.“ Digitalization was driving change – not only on four wheels, but also in the way proponents interact.

Automotive Summit 2018 – Executive Summary

In early December 2018, over 600 automotive experts from all over the world – including manufacturers and suppliers, tech and energy companies, politicians and associations – attended the auto industry summit in Wolfsburg, Germany. From 3 – 5 December, the industry’s big hitters discussed strategies, concepts and technologies for tomorrow’s automobiles and the future course of their industry.

We’ve compiled the highlights from the Handelsblatt Auto Summit 2018 in an interactive follow-up report.