Forvia aims to halve its R&D costs by 2028 thanks to AI, says CEO

PARIS: French car parts maker Forvia wants to cut its research and development (R&D) costs by half by 2028, thanks mainly to generative artificial intelligence (AI) to keep up with electrification challenges and Asian competition in the automotive industry.

The world's 7th largest car equipment supplier, born from the French group Faurecia's takeover of Germany's Hella, currently employs 157,000 people worldwide, including more than 15,000 engineers in 76 R&D centres.

"(A total of) 50% ... is scary for two reasons", Forvia CEO Patrick Koller told journalists.

"First it is huge and will require a lot of restructuring, but above all, if you don't do it, within three to five years, you are out of the game," he added.

Forvia's CEO did not specify whether such a drastic transformation, which represents a challenge in terms of training and recruitment, would mean job cuts.


Forvia also plans to have five fully automated plants within two years, compared to the current one in Spain.

"By 2025, we aim to have five plants, known as 'dark plants', without operators", Koller said.

"Dark plant" is a play on "dark store", city-centre warehouse shops with no sales staff for home delivery.

This type of plant maintains human presence for management, supervision and maintenance functions, while production is automated.

The car parts maker currently has 291 industrial sites in 40 countries, according to its website.
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