CEE – Continental sees megatrends business opportunity

Continental Automotive Serbia says its future may lie increasingly with developing solutions as megatrends shift the way component makers view business opportunities.

The advent of CASE trends may well see far more shared mobility in the future, which, while potentially driving down mass sales of vehicles, could see significant added-value components being sought after by customers.

"It is true, industry will change," said Continental Automotive Serbia GM, Sasha Cioringa at the recent Central & Eastern European Automotive Forum organised by Adam Smith Conferences in Budapest. "Complex projects and products – not so many products – for example Continental will not [necessarily] produce 1,000, 2000, 3,000 electronic products, [rather] we will develop solutions.

"For suppliers, it will be the same, maybe lower volumes, but much more expensive and complex solutions. If you reduce cars by 20%, but the car will costs ten times more, I think everybody will survive and have something to add.

"We are used – from the time of communism – to [a] lack of resources and we can come with solutions. Serbia is working on an AI strategy and Continental is part of the working group."

Cironga added Serbia needed to introduce AI for public services, as well as develop R&D and infrastructure for the sector, in addition to addressing ethical and safe use of the technology.

Speaking at the same conference, UkraineInvest investment advisor, Mykhailo Lukashyk, echoed the shifting mobility trends, which, in his view, could see one fully shared car taking 17 vehicles off the roads.

"The concept from ownership to usership [is changing]," added Lukashyk. "The industry challenge is optimisation on the production side. Traditional OEM business is changing from the side of sustainability, [while] digitalisation and electrification will mean a lot of new jobs.

"Ukrainian companies are already producing such technologies as Internet of Things, autonomous driving [and] cloud-based technologies. Ukraine produces 130,000 engineering graduates a year."

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