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by Matt Brogan

It seems quality improvements and industry cost-cutting will be placed on the backburner this year as auto industry leaders from around the world race to implement new technology in their vehicles.

An executive survey released today by management consultants KPMG finds that new vehicle technologies will be the most important industry issue of 2010 with the top priority being a focus on alternative power systems.

The annual international survey of 200 senior automotive executives showed most believe technology issues will affect market share, investment, mergers and acquisition activity.

“New technology is primarily driven in the powertrain,” says Gary Silberg, KPMG’s national automotive industry leader. “Manufacturers are working on hybrids, electrics, clean diesels, natural-gas vehicles, fuel cells and solar cells.

“In many cases, those technologies are being developed in-house. In past years, automakers showed that they were willing to rely on suppliers for a lot of new technology, especially in electronics.

“We’re seeing a reversal of that now. General Motors, Nissan, Ford, Toyota and the Germans are all saying that these new systems are core technologies.”




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