Cost, knowledge and speed
on September 30, 2009

Mercedes.jpgThere is increasing evidence for the blog’s belief that the auto industry is embarking on a fundamental shift in its approach. An interview in just-auto with Daimler’s R&D head, Thomas Weber, provides some important insights into the opportunities that may develop for chemical companies as a result.
Weber notes that “cost, knowledge and speed” are the “key to future success“. He adds that Mercedes now has 3 “key strategic directions“:
– More efficient engines. These will also become smaller.
– Hybrids. Infrastructure issues (eg battery top-up) need resolving.
– Reduced fuel consumption. Lighter materials will be crucial
This implies increased demand for polymers, and other lightweight products. In addition, greater fuel efficiency will free up more feedstock for the chemical industry, helping to keep raw material costs down.
Coincidentally, EPCA delegates in Berlin will be able to see some of these ideas in prototype, as Sunday’s opening event is being held in Mercedes World.

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