How Electrification will Radically Change the Automotive Supply Chain

March 01, 2021 10:57 AM

In recent years, consumers have begun to ask for more environmentally conscious products and the automotive industry is responding. General Motors has pledged to be completely carbon neutral by 2040 and to offer zero tailpipe emission vehicles by 2035. Ford recently announced plans to invest $29 billion towards electric and autonomous vehicles in 2025. This wave of OEM support, and the sales of electric vehicles picking up, signals that the tailpipe as we know it may soon be a thing of the past.

 

During Global Supply Chain Week, Gentherm’s SVP of Global Sales, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Jaymi Wilson, sat down with FreightWaves editor-in-chief, Mike McAllister, to discuss how the growing demand for EVs is radically shifting the auto industry.

 

With the increasing electrification of vehicles, original equipment manufacturers are facing new challenges. “The architectures are different and the battery manufacturers are constantly changing,” Jaymi explains. “It’s very dynamic in terms of how they are developing their systems.” And things are moving fast. This is creating new opportunities for OEM and auto parts suppliers to bust out of the traditional ways of doing things and step into a new dynamic of working together. 

 

The industry is shifting towards one of coopatation, which Jaymi says will center on the idea of working together with members of the automotive supply chain previously deemed competitors. She highlights that thinking beyond the current model and engaging in cross industry value propositions has great benefits, especially for those who want to be at the forefront of the EV boom. “We have to pay attention to the market,” Jaymi says. “For the betterment of the industry as a whole, this coopatition cross industry cross value chain collaboration is going to be a win-win for everybody.”

 

“We’re excited to help our customers and our coopatition solve problems that we’re all facing in the industry with our unique experiences and our strengths and to continue to bring value to the market.”

 

Automotive suppliers are now thinking with the end goal in mind. This, per Jaymi, means adapting to the market and striving to serve the ever-changing needs of the consumer. “The demands for what they are looking for in a vehicle is less about feeling the power and gas mileage these days,” says Jaymi. “It’s more about how are they spending their time in the vehicle? (and) Is it enhancing their everyday life?” Thus, while focusing on the accelerating electrification of cars, the automotive supply chain is also being asked to prioritize products that enhance passenger comfort, convenience, health and wellness. 

 

Gentherm is doing its part by teaming up with OEMs to test and install its ClimateSense™ system in EVs. In addition to maximizing the comfort of a passenger, the integrated automotive microclimate system helps to extend an electric vehicle’s range. “Energy efficiency is really a barrier to get the electrification adoption moving faster,” explains Jaymi. “There are problems to solve there,” she adds, noting that Gentherm is excited to play a role in this new supply chain movement. “We’re excited to help our customers and our coopatition solve problems that we’re all facing in the industry with our unique experiences and our strengths and to continue to bring value to the market.”