Future of the automotive industry in Japan and Germany

In both Germany and Japan, the automotive industry is one of the key industries. However, the sector is at a crossroads due to current developments (such as digitization). The question arises to which extend the challenges faced by the German and Japanese automotive industries are similar and what recommendations for action result from this. These questions will be the focus of a dialogue between manufacturers, suppliers, scientists and trade unions active in Japan.

Photo: "Tesla Autobots" by Steve Jurvetson, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The German automotive industry is on an expansion course with rising sales, employment and exports. However, with the increasing importance of digitization and the necessity to react to the environmental and climate crisis, the pressure for change on the German key industry is also increasing. The automotive industry is facing drastic changes in supply and demand, which are calling its current business model into question. This puts the industry at a crossroads.

Since the beginning of 2017, a group of experts from politics, trade unions, business and science has discussed the factors of change, possible paths of change and necessary entrepreneurial and political decisions in a series of technical discussions. The results of the dialogue were recorded in a study on the future of the German automotive industry. In this study, the expert group recommends that the transformation of the sector be tackled as quickly as possible as part of a mobility turnaround. To this end, it proposes setting up a Mobility Pact for the Future, in which manufacturers, suppliers, trade unions, politicians and local authorities participate, in order to use the transformation path not only for the benefit of the automotive industry, but also for the mobility economy as a whole.

Japan is regarded as one of the most progressive and successful industrial nations with a strong automotive sector. The production systems developed there have shaped the industry worldwide. The country is also regarded as a pioneer of new forms of drive. Nevertheless, it seems that the Japanese automotive industry is losing ground in digitalization. The adherence to hybrids and fuel cells also stands in contrast to the global trend towards battery electric vehicles. But the increasing importance of integrated mobility concepts is also likely to exceed vehicle sales revenues in the medium term and thus change car manufacturers in both countries in the long term.

The question arises to which extent the challenges faced by the German and Japanese automotive industries are similar and what recommendations for action result from this. These questions will be the focus of an intensive dialogue within the framework of this project between manufacturers, suppliers, scientists and trade unions active in Japan.

 

Date: 19 November 2018, 15:00 - 17:30
Venue: Shiodome 6F, User Community Salon, Presentation room 1,2
Language: Japanese/English (simultaneous translation)

 

Hosted by: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Fujitsu Research Institute (FRI)

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Japan Office

7-5-56 Akasaka
Minato-ku
Tokyo, 107-0052
Japan

+03 6277-7551
+03 3588-6035

office(at)fes-japan.org

Photo: FES Japan

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