In the past, engineering suppliers could only increase and diversify their customer base to avoid burdensome staff adjustments in downturns That’s never easy, considering geographical constraints; proximity to the customer is highly prized. As the automotive, energy, railroad, and aerospace industries’ activity cycles have usually not been dependably time-correlated, engineering consulting firms have been striving to simultaneously service at least two of these industries, at home and abroad, to stabilise their revenue stream. In this report we present four engineering companies—Akka, IAV, Segula, and EDAG—who have succeeded along that strategic line and are active in vehicle lighting. They have been selected on the base of their size, their global footprint, their shareholders’ stability, and their track record.The cyclical nature of the automotive industry, like that of its aeronautical counterpart, makes advantages to sourcing skillful engineering from outside consulting firms during the expansion phase of the cycle. Labour cost savings and comfortable flexibility in adjusting to economic conditions are highly appreciated, and it is also an excellent way to source specific skills, tools, methods, and testing equipment required for one-off projects.
Currently there’s a great deal of public discussion about looming changes in the automotive industry with the arrival of electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and vehicle communication to other vehicles, drivers, road users, and infrastructure. The automotive industry is now facing a major disruption: significant changes in consumer behavior—namely, a much greater focus on the in-vehicle experience rather than the driving experience—will almost certainly disrupt the status quo. Specifically, automakers and tier-1 suppliers who want to survive and thrive will need to transform their products, capabilities, and organisational structures. These changes present both great risk and great opportunity. Automakers and T1s are busily hiring for new skills to cope with electrification, autonomous driving, digitalisation, and the far-reaching rollout of e-mobility. New resources are scarce, and so some skills and tasks must be outsourced to suppliers and engineering consultant companies.
The engineering companies presented in this report display the skills and capacities to take over some of the automakers’ and T1s’ lighting design and development tasks. These engineering companies can also bring added value in new areas like creating or improving in-vehicle experience, slashing development times by dint of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and tackling challenges posed by future mobility modes. The four companies are introduced in this report with their profiles, expertise, and their newest achievements.