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Car-makers in race to the altar

PA Consulting’s Tim Lawrence, head of manufacturing, is quoted in an article in The Sunday Times. Tim shares his views on the impact of electric vehicles and AI on the car industry. 

The article is written in response to the merger talks between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault which, according to the article, suggests the industry is waking up to the huge demands of electrification and autonomous vehicles. The cost of powering an electric and driverless future, reports the article, makes further tie-ups inevitable.

Tim comments on the costs of electric expansion. He explains that “developing a new platform — the skeleton that underpins models — costs £700m to £1bn”.  This is an enormous burden for the biggest manufacturers , let alone smaller, niche players such as JLR. The Midlands-based company, now owned by Tata Motors, has promised that every new model will be electric from next year. Tim continues: “The challenge is you’re not just trying to do it with a model at a time. Instead, you’re trying to refresh the whole range.”

PA Consulting estimates that across Europe’s 16 main brands, 267,000 jobs will become redundant, and 141,000 of those workers will need to be retrained.

“We see a significant challenge in redeploying engine plants to making batteries or new power trains,” says Tim. “The type of skills you need are far less in terms of assembly and more in terms of software development and technology.”

Read the article in full.

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