Cost, knowledge and speed

Mercedes.jpgThere is increasing evidence for the blog’s belief that the auto industry is embarking on a fundamental shift in its approach. An interview in just-auto with Daimler’s R&D head, Thomas Weber, provides some important insights into the opportunities that may develop for chemical companies as a result.

Weber notes that “cost, knowledge and speed” are the “key to future success“. He adds that Mercedes now has 3 “key strategic directions“:

– More efficient engines. These will also become smaller.
– Hybrids. Infrastructure issues (eg battery top-up) need resolving.
– Reduced fuel consumption. Lighter materials will be crucial

This implies increased demand for polymers, and other lightweight products. In addition, greater fuel efficiency will free up more feedstock for the chemical industry, helping to keep raw material costs down.

Coincidentally, EPCA delegates in Berlin will be able to see some of these ideas in prototype, as Sunday’s opening event is being held in Mercedes World.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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