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Austrian Automotive Mission Visits Detroit

November 2, 2012

Group of suppliers sees a rosier future ahead

A group of Austrian automotive suppliers participated in the trade mission “Automotive Industry NAFTA” to the US and Mexico, which took place from October 21 - 25, 2012. The event was organized by ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, the Austrian Trade Commissions in Chicago and Mexico in order to promote collaboration between Austrian firms and companies in the NAFTA market and to support the participating companies in their activities in the NAFTA market.

The overall consensus is that the US automotive market is growing stronger. The production quantities are smaller but with a healthy profit for the OEMs and (hopefully) their suppliers. Because of the economic difficulties in Europe many suppliers and also the OEMs are concentrating their efforts more in the US and the BRIC countries.

Opportunities

The main topic of discussion was the rising demand for fuel efficient vehicles and the CAFE (Corporate average fuel economy) regulations. Both of them mean that the OEMs must improve the mileage of their mass-market models through techniques like more efficient engines and lighter car bodies. Light materials such as aluminum will be a strong trend in the future.

The mission had meetings at GM, Ford, Brose and Magna, which presented some interesting aspects of the industry and resulted in good connections for the group.

Automakers rapidly transition to low weight, high strength materials, and multi-materials solutions will be vital to boosting fuel economy and cutting emissions.

Improvements in five areas will lead the way:
• Engine technologies such as turbocharging and direct injection.
• Transmissions with more gears and dual-clutch technology.
• Mild hybrids and electrification of systems such as climate control.
• Full hybrids and a small number of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
• Advances in aerodynamics, lightweight materials, tires and other areas.

Check out the participating Austrian companies:

4a Manufacturing GmbH
ABA Invest in Austria
Anger Machining GmbH
Gebauer & Griller Kabelwerke GmbH
RB International (USA) LLC
Ing. Rauch Fertigungstechnik GmbH
SAG Motion AG
voestalpine Giesserei Linz GmbH

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