New technologies and shorter product cycles pose serious challenges for the motor industry globally. And, according to Garcia Sanz, procurement board member at Volkswagen: “In future, a key success factor will be a highly efficient global supplier network.”
And that promises a major shake-up of how Volkswagen manages its supply chain with an initiative called “Future Automotive Supply Tracks” (FAST).
It’s worth remembering that the group contains more than just Volkswagen. It is now the second largest motor manufacturer in the world. Its car brands include: Audi, SEAT, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, and Škoda. Not only that it controls MAN and Scania commercial vehicles – and just for good measure Ducati motorcycles.
So, the FAST initiative, which is designed to prioritise investments and make efficient use of resources in closer cooperation with suppliers, will touch much of the automotive supply market.
Volkswagen intends to identify its best suppliers in an agreed selection procedure – and only those companies will receive access to FAST.
The benefit for the suppliers is that they will be involved in innovation cycles within the group at an earlier stage, and be able contribute ideas to the pre-series development of vehicles at an earlier stage.
At the same time, production networks between Volkswagen and its partners will be harmonised to generate synergies.
“Together with our partners, we intend to forge ahead with the globalisation and innovations of our brand and the entire automotive industry and to actively shape the future of the industry,” said Sanz.
Volkswagen says it is redefining co-operation with its suppliers. But it is also a challenge to the rest of the automotive market that will demand a response from its competitors.