Mr Auert, what is your overall assessment of the Cluster’s activities in 2018?
“The results are very positive for the Luxembourg AutoMobility Cluster, with the completion of two major projects that will have a significant impact on the development of the Luxembourg automotive sector.
The first concerns the Franco-German-Luxembourg cross-border digital experimental site, which won its first major project, ‘5GCroco’. This constitutes a call for a European Horizon 2020 project to deploy and test 5G in the context of cooperative, connected and autonomous driving. In addition to Post and SEC Consult for Luxembourg, this €18 million project involves 24 partners from 6 European countries, including car manufacturers Volkswagen, the PSA Group, Renault and Volvo.
Another ambitious project for the Luxembourg automotive industry is the Interreg Pôle Automobile Européen (PAE) project, which, with a budget of €2.2 million, aims to strengthen links and develop cooperation between the automotive clusters in Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), Wallonia (Belgium), the Grand Est region (France) and Luxembourg.
What highlight springs to mind from this year?
“I would definitely say the organisation of the Automotive Day 2018 conference in June, focused on the digitalisation of mobility. Nearly 220 experts from the Greater Region discussed the main trends, challenges and opportunities related to the digitalisation of the sector.
Technical conferences, technological exhibitions and driving tests provided a better understanding of how Luxembourg’s automotive companies and research institutes are tackling the major challenges of tomorrow. In addition, the support provided by the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) has enabled the organisation of more than 80 B2B sessions leading to partnerships and the development of new business relationships.
In terms of the challenges facing the automotive sector, what is the major challenge for 2019?
“This year, Luxembourg’s players will have to face a significant transformation in the automotive sector. Environmental constraints are leading to a profound change in engines (banning diesel, electrification, etc.) and opportunities related to autonomous and connected driving are whetting the appetite for new business opportunities.
In short, it will be necessary to quickly reinvent oneself, develop new products supported by new skills while controlling costs and facing fierce competition from abroad and from companies in other sectors such as ICT. »