August’s SMMT International Update features guest writer Xavier Llobera, Automotive Segment WW Manager at HP Inc. Xavier writes ahead of an upcoming trade mission to Barcelona to explore opportunities in additive manufacturing and the EV Supply Chain.
We are facing a global supply crisis, strongly affecting the automotive sector, hindering its production chains and, therefore, its sales. One of the causes of this problem has been the great centralization of suppliers in Asia. Thus, we have learned that we must evolve towards more diversified supply chains, where components manufacturing sites are closer to assembly lines and consumer markets.
Another great challenge is the rapid evolution of the automobile market towards electric vehicles. Thus, for example, it is estimated that by 2035 -in just over 10 years- 50% to 80% of all sales will be electric vehicles. Significantly, some OEMs plan to reconfigure their product lines to produce only electric vehicles. These announcements include Volvo, Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen and Stellantis. Overall, the IEA (International Energy Agency) estimates cumulative sales of electric LDVs of 55-72 million by 2025. Even more, nearly 400 new EV models will be launched in the next 8 years.
These above challenges represent a great opportunity for the smartest companies, which are applying high doses of innovation and adopting advanced technologies such as additive manufacturing.
On the other hand, aware of globalization, British companies know that Spain is a key country in the automotive sector worldwide. Spain is the second largest vehicle manufacturer in Europe and ninth in the world, with 17 production plants from OEMs. Additionally, is the largest producer of commercial vehicles in Europe, and the fourth largest component manufacturer in Europe. Overall, more than 1000 component companies, from SMEs to large international groups.
In this context, the SMMT, Sernauto -Spanish Association of Automotive Suppliers- and HP have come together to support the competitiveness of British and Spanish automotive companies, inviting them to participate in a trade mission to Barcelona on 28 and 29 September .
Not only is Barcelona a beautiful city that is always worth revisiting, but it is the cradle of some of the most advanced Spanish companies in the automotive and technology sectors, some of which will participate as delegates, and others will open their doors to host several interesting visits.
To begin with, on 28 September we will visit Wallbox, the EV charging infrastructure OEM, which has demonstrated that an automotive start-up born in a European city (in this case, Barcelona, Spain), can be successful and expand throughout the world. For example, Wallbox has recently invested $11 million USD in a new manufacturing facility in Arlington, Texas, that will play a vital role in expanding the company’s presence in North America.
Next, we will visit DFactory Barcelona, which seeks to establish Barcelona as the centre of Industry 4.0 in Southern Europe. Not surprisingly, HP has placed here its newest Additive Manufacturing Production Site, where you will see dozens of printers working 24×7 in a real high-volume manufacturing environment.
Finally, we will visit the headquarters of CUPRA, the unconventional challenger brand that brings together emotion, electrification, and performance to inspire the world from Barcelona. Cupra is a spinoff of the SEAT brand, showing how a traditional OEM can reimagine itself to thrive in today’s new, fast-paced, competitive market. For example, in 2021 CUPRA maintained its upward trend, tripling sales with 80,000 vehicles delivered, driven by success of the CUPRA Formentor.
The second day, on September 29, we will visit the new HP’s 3D Printing Center of Excellence in Barcelona, one of the largest research and development centres on earth on this field. Inaugurated 3 years ago, it brings together hundreds of experts in more than 150,000 square feet of cutting-edge innovation space – about the size of three football fields – to transform the way the world designs and manufactures. Additionally, we will visit here the HP’s show-room for Automotive 3D Printing.
Moreover, the above visits will include breaks to enable interaction among British and Spanish delegates and with the host companies, to promote business opportunities. Likewise, HP will organize two networking dinners, on September 27 (the evening prior to the first day) and on September 28, to reinforce business relationships cross countries, and at the same time, enjoy Barcelona’s reputed gastronomy and nightlife.
In conclusion, an excellent opportunity that you cannot miss. Express your interest here: