What do you do when you’re an OEM and global car sales are dramatically down and will only nudge up a bit over the next several months?
Audi—which saw global vehicle sales fall 21.1% in Q1—has a completely different idea than what one might expect.
Audi e-Tron. An EV SUV in a difficult market. (Images: Audi)
It has launched a joint venture with consulting firm Capgemini named XL2 that will provide assistance to automakers in making a transition to the cloud and SAP S/4HANA, an intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) business suite that covers production planning, logistics, finance, maintenance, quality and materials management, the things that are necessary for a digital manufacturing operation.
Explains Markus Winkler, Global Head of the Automotive Sector at Capgemini said "XL2 is an exciting new brand that stands out from the market combining an agile start-up culture and the experience and capabilities of two industry leaders. Its employees will shape digital transformation in the automotive industry with key state-of-the-art technologies. For that, we are excited to join forces with Audi, a technology leader in its own industry.”
Outside of VW. . . ?
If nothing else, this is absolutely a clever way to increase revenues both now and into the future as more companies make their moves toward deeper digitization.
However, whether companies outside of the Volkswagen Group might be interested in availing themselves of this capability will remain to be seen.
Amazon is increasing its penetration into the auto industry not just through things like Alexa and its multi-million-dollar investment in EV developer Rivian, but also with its Amazon Web Services (AWS), which will be used for its “Volkswagen Industrial Cloud,” which will combine the data from all of the machinery and equipment in the company’s 122 facilities.
Groupe PSA is implementing Track&Trace, a system that enables their shipping containers—inbound, from suppliers to factories—to be tracked over a digital network in real time.
Developers are making it easier to get started.