What is the automotive industry?
The automotive industry comprises of companies and organisations which work in the design, development and production of motor vehicles. From motorcycles to passenger vehicles, to heavy-duty lorries and trucks. The automotive industry is a vital part of the world economy. Vehicle manufacturing employs over 13.8 million people in the EU and accounts for 7% of the GDP. The resulting export deals are essential for international trade and relations. The industry began in 1860 in the US, with the production of the first horseless carriages. It has grown exponentially to become one of the largest economic sectors in the world. Mass production and increased automation have meant that the world currently produces over 96 million cars per year. A huge range of engineering disciplines is involved in the manufacturing process including electrical, mechanical, chemical and aerospace engineers.
Automotive industry sectors
R&D – The motor industry is the largest private investor in R&D in the world. Companies are striving to design vehicles with greater performance, fuel efficiency and increased safety. The industry receives additional funding from the European Commission to support global technological harmonisation, so advancements can be made faster through knowledge sharing. One of the hot topics now is the development of autonomous driving. Cars and other vehicles equipped with driver assistance systems are just around the corner.
Safety – Safety is paramount in the industry, and companies must adhere to strict international regulations. There have been major innovations in automotive safety using advanced technologies. Autonomous vehicles will be equipped with new accident avoidance systems, including advanced emergency braking and emergency lane-keeping systems. Along with autonomous driving technologies, increased detection abilities in heavy-duty vehicles make the roads a safer place for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Manufacture – The majority of the manufacturing process still relies on the assembly line method, introduced by Henry Ford in 1913. Today, the process has been elaborately refined and involves advanced automation. Computer-guided robots make the construction clean and efficient, pushing back the limits of mass production.
Automotive industry career prospects
The disparity between the skills demand and the supply of employees is a growing challenge for the automotive sector. The supply of experienced professionals is insufficient, and the industry must be supported by the immigration of qualified workers. The automobile industry in Germany is the largest employer in the world and the country has a reputation as the most innovative and competitive. As the birthplace of the modern car, Stuttgart in the Baden-Württemberg district is the centre of vehicle production. There are also large concentrations of manufacturing plants around the Dusseldorf region. In the Netherlands, there are opportunities in Amsterdam and Eindhoven for automotive engineers of multiple disciplines.
Automotive industry companies
Companies in Germany such as MAN are leading the way in the production and development of heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses. Living in Dusseldorf, you are surrounded by car manufacturers and the suppliers of vehicle parts. ZF is working on ground-breaking technology, including developing the future of autonomous driving. The automotive industry also has a significant effect on other industries, such as the production of machine tools by international giants Trumpf in Stuttgart. If living in the Netherlands appeals, then engineers could find exciting opportunities at DAF in Eindhoven, one of the largest manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks in Europe. Other companies in the Netherlands, related to the automotive industry, are Mitsubishi and Fokker, a world leader in aerospace technology.
Mundialz in the automotive industry
A career in the automotive industry allows you to work in a fast-paced environment. You will collaborate with other engineers from a huge range of disciplines. There are multiple vacancies in Germany and the Netherlands to explore. Once you’ve found the ideal position for you, Mundialz is here to support you through the relocation process. Our growing community of fellow professionals can help you get the most out of your expat life.