Europe’s auto industry is too dependent on other regions, says Bosch president

A worker at the Volkswagen assembly line in Wolfsburg, Germany on April 27, 2020. Swen Pfoertner / Pool via REUTERS

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FRANKFURT, Dec.11 (Reuters) – The European auto industry has become too dependent on Asia and other regions for vital components such as semiconductors and battery cells, said outgoing Bosch chairman (ROBG .UL) to a German newspaper.

Automotive Chips and battery cells have become the two most important components in the age of electric and autonomous vehicles, forcing European automakers to rely on Asian suppliers as the local industry has been slow to build up. develop their capacities nearby.

“Yes, we have become too dependent on other regions and a change of course is needed,” Bosch supervisory board chairman Franz Fehrenbach, who is resigning at the end of the year, told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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“However, this is not the fault of the policy, but it is related to the optimization of costs in the supply chain,” he said. “The auto industry is slowly wondering what the supply of raw materials will look like, especially for battery cells.”

German companies have presented plans to regain control, including Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) which plans to build six large battery cell factories with partners in Europe by 2030.

A global shortage of automotive chips has highlighted the problem, prompting the European Union to launch subsidy programs to attract chipmakers to the continent.

Bosch, the world’s largest automotive supplier, opened a billion euro ($ 1.1 billion) chip factory in Germany this year, its biggest investment to date as it claims the equipment the latest electric and autonomous cars. Read more

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Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Edmund Blair

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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