Christian von Albrichsfeld, Continental Romania: “We need innovation in the future, and this is the path Romania must follow”
“The automotive industry is going through a huge transformation from a technological point of view. We are talking about digitalization and those software defined vehicles. We are talking about autonomous, connected cars. We are talking about electric cars that are much more expensive and we see that the market is not recovering as quickly as we thought it would.
Customers are not so convinced to buy electric cars, especially in this context with inflation and interest rate increases. Sales of electric cars are currently not up to our expectations.
We also have geopolitical problems that change the landscape regarding our suppliers. In addition, we have to do a series of checks to make sure that the suppliers comply with the requirements imposed by the European Union,” Christian von Albrichsfeld, Head of Country, Continental Romania said during Automotive 2023 Forum organized by Automotive Today and The Diplomat-Bucharest.
“We have many challenges and much to do for this technological transformation. Software-defined vehicles also means artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and other trends that we must follow.
Romania has changed enormously in the last 20 years, the GDP has increased by 800%, the minimum wage has increased 3 times, and the advantageous taxation has attracted numerous investments.
We must increase the degree of automation; we must invest more in the educational system so that we have a qualified workforce. If wages increase, you must have products with high added value. That’s the only way you can attract investments and grow.
We collaborate with Romanian universities and want to develop educational programs that meet the demand on the labour market: artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, etc. We need innovation in the future, and this is the path Romania must follow.
I am optimistic and think that 2024 will be a better one. Maybe we will have a law on living labs, which will allow us to go with autonomous cars through some neighborhoods of the city or on highways.”
Full recording of the conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P1kYtDifKc