© Unsplash
© Unsplash

Digital innovations are shaping the image of the automotive sector. Anyone not boosting their innovative energy, is likely to be left behind in tomorrow’s market. A study by the digital association Bitkom has shown that there are only a few companies that want to rely on the support of start-ups.


© Daimler AG


The majority of companies think they will have to generate the innovative energy from within their own ranks because the supply of start-ups is too unattractive or they simply don’t have the necessary contacts. Only 29 percent of automotive manufacturers and suppliers are working with start-ups and developing products or services with them, 15 percent fund start-ups through funding programmes and a mere two percent have invested in start-ups. The survey was conducted with members of management boards and managing directors of companies in the automotive industry with 20 or more employees. Bitkom President Achim Berg emphasises: “The rule that applies to the automotive sector more than any other area of industry is: digital first. Anyone wanting to be in the overtaking lane when it comes to digitisation, must work with innovative, technology-driven start-ups.”

Flagship project in Munich

According to respondents in the survey, the innovative energy of the sector is being retarded because there are too few automotive start-ups. “The future is digital and networked. Anyone translating this insight into practice now, will secure a clear competitive edge”, adds Berg, highlighting, in particular, the Digital Hub Mobility which began work in Munich at the beginning of 2017. A nationwide initiative on the part of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs is bringing medium-sized companies, start-ups and scientists together in order to work on networked mobility and develop new solutions.