AR.- From the perspective of the cluster, what would be the SWOT analysis of the automotive industrial network in the Community of Madrid and what aspects should be promoted to maintain and guarantee future competitiveness?
A.R.T.- To guarantee the competitiveness of the automotive industry in the Community of Madrid, it is necessary to address two aspects: the economic and the social. Regarding the first, it is essential to help companies optimise their costs, since the sharp increase in the costs of raw materials, transport, logistics and energy, together with high competitive pressure, has restricted company margins paralysing their investments and limiting their capacity for growth. Regarding the second, there is a significant disconnect between the professional profiles demanded by companies and the existing qualifications. SMEs, more than others, need to fill vacancies with Vocational Training to carry out machining, welding tasks... that they cannot find, and large ones need researchers and engineers with digital skills that they do not have at their disposal in Spain either.
AR.- What would be the requests to the Community of Madrid to promote the best possible scenario for the proper development of the automotive industry in the territory?
A.R.T.- 15 years ago, an MCA member company had 7 factories in Spain. Now it only has 2. Another of our Madrid-based companies moved one of its divisions to Castile and León. The way to maintain the headquarters of the automotive industry in Madrid is innovation, knowledge of processes and products, and making an innovative ecosystem available to companies to compete in added value. In terms of investment, it is necessary to open a line of aid for the acquisition of machinery. The automotive sector is the first industry to invest in fixed assets, essential for its production process, since the change to more efficient machinery can mean a huge improvement in the manufacture of parts cost/hour and with superior quality (less waste).
We have a fluid relationship with the Community and the City Council of Madrid and we recognise that they are making efforts to improve, such as through aid for Industry 4.0 and aid for industrial estates
In general, a greater political commitment to the industry, and to the car industry in particular, is necessary. In other autonomous communities and other neighbouring countries, such as Portugal, there are conditions that favour greater and better development of the industry. We have a fluid relationship with the Community and the City Council of Madrid and we recognise that they are making efforts to improve, such as through aid for Industry 4.0 and aid for industrial estates, and that they are always open to listen to us. In fact, they know first-hand the needs of the sector and we are working with them to share the good practices that other autonomous communities and other countries have successfully implemented.
In other autonomous communities and other neighbouring countries, such as Portugal, there are conditions that favour greater and better development of the industry
Finally, it would be very good to have aid for the continuous training of workers in accordance with the needs of the sector, that is, training of a more technical and practical nature, such as 3D manufacturing and work with high-voltage installations for mobility, in short, specialties typical of the automotive industry.
AR.- Given the evolution towards a greater volume of production of electric vehicles in the Iberian Peninsula, what opportunities could be generated for Madrid companies?
A.R.T.- The evolution towards an electrified car fleet sometimes means new orders for parts from manufacturers' suppliers, which translates into new opportunities for job creation and investments in expansion of facilities, equipment, etc., but it remains financial support is necessary for these supplier SMEs so that they can face this growth. In any case, it must be remembered that the automobile value chain is global. Madrid suppliers located at different stages of the value chain usually have agreements with groups at an international level, and when considering the best environment to carry out their activity, the border effect usually occurs, locating the activity in other territories. In this sense, there is a risk of relocation of the Madrid industry to other areas with more competitive conditions.
Madrid suppliers located at different stages of the value chain usually have agreements with groups at an international level, and when considering the best environment to carry out their activity, the border effect usually occurs
AR.- What innovation projects in terms of products and processes are the cluster companies currently working on?
A.R.T.- The companies in the cluster are working on incredible innovations in both products and processes. As for products, they are applying new technologies to cool all the electronics that go in the front of the car, researching new fuels, etc., to mention just two examples. In terms of processes, they are investigating novel applications of certain materials by varying the temperature and layers in 3D printing, achieving new properties of that material. Individual companies are strongly committed to innovation, but also as a whole, participating in PERTE VEC, PERTE Semiconductors, PERTE ERHA, and valuing participation in others, such as PERTE for Industrial Decarbonisation.
Stellantis play a prominent role in these collective projects, finding the necessary support for advice and the search for financing in the Cluster, as well as strengthening relationships with other actors. Member SMEs also find our support and that of our partner AECIM with its headquarters of "Enterprise Europe Network" and "Acelera Pyme".
SMEs find our support and that of our partner AECIM with its headquarters of "Enterprise Europe Network" and "Acelera Pyme"
A.R.T.- We started 2022 by organising a conference on energy efficiency, because among our associates there are some electric- and gas-intensive industries. In the visits we have made to the Cluster companies throughout 2022, we have verified how energy is a priority issue for the Madrid automotive sector and will continue to be so in 2023. That is why we have not stopped reporting all the aid and subsidies public funds that have been coming out to support the industry in this matter, and we will continue to insist on it, since in reality there are funds that companies are unaware of or have problems accessing due to the excessive bureaucracy associated with them. We are also working on two other seminars to help companies optimise energy costs, with two different approaches, which we cannot reveal yet because they are not closed, but which I think will be very interesting for our associates.
AR.- What is the cluster's contribution carrying out transversal projects such as the digital hub in the Community of Madrid?
A.R.T.- The Community of Madrid has been chosen as one of the European Digital Innovation Hub, a consortium of 11 members including AECIM, a member of MCA. Therefore, in this three-year project aimed at the digitisation of SMEs, MCA offers to collaborate with AECIM in everything it needs and has a place within the EDIH, although it is in a very preliminary phase, internally defining the model of governance and concrete tasks.
AR.- What possibilities of cooperation open up with the recently created Cluster for Innovation in Semiconductor Technology and Talent in the Community of Madrid or with other entities?
A.R.T.- MCA is a founding member of the Cluster for Technological Innovation and Talent (CITT) in semiconductors. On January 13, the first launch meeting of the Technological Innovation and Talent Cluster (CITT) in semiconductors took place and, therefore, it is still risky to consider possibilities of cooperation with other entities and technology centres. At this meeting, among other issues, its mission was approved, which will consist of enhancing the competitiveness of the microprocessor business network and of all the agents involved in the value chain, where our partner Robert Bosch plays a prominent role.
AR.- What other aspects can be highlighted in terms of cooperation possibilities in the Community of Madrid?
A.R.T.- I reiterate that to promote the Madrid automotive industry it is necessary to work basically in two areas:
Lea esta entrevista en castellano
Entrevista publicada en AutoRevista 2.377
Ceaga seguirá siendo industria, pero amplía su ecosistema para integrar a las nuevas formas de movilidad
La reunión contó con la participación de Jose María López, Comisionado para el PERTE VEC, quien compartió la situación actualizada del PERTE VEC
La agrupación Future: Fast Forward, la mayor alianza de la industria automovilística de la historia de España, participa en el eMobility World Congress que se ha estado celebrando en Valencia del 21 al 23 de marzo.
El evento reunirá a 10.000 profesionales, CEOs, líderes institucionales y expertos del 12 al 14 de septiembre en el Recinto Ferial de IFEMA MADRID.
En una segunda fase del proyecto buscará incorporar la realidad mixta para validar el prototipo de fabricación real con el contenedor definitivo y en el mismo lugar de fabricación.