‘Competitors in automotive industry should collaborate; continuity is at stake’
Technological developments creating more sustainability will be boosted as never before in the next few years. Guido Gerritsen, director / owner of APM, Automotive Parts Manufacturing, from Haaksbergen (Netherlands) warns the industry to be aware of the changing game.
““Because Toyota recently announced that it will release nearly 6,000 patents for hydrogen technology (*), the entire industry will gain an unlimited access to the knowledge that Toyota used to have exclusively. Everyone will be able to create its own advantage. And, because of that, we can accelerate the transition to more sustainability in the industry. ”
“The release will make it easier for the entire industry, new alternatives for the Toyota patents, need not to be developed anymore. Manufacturers and suppliers are now able to test their own knowledge to the existing knowledge which was in the possession of the Japanese. They can take further steps, though.”
“So, Research & Development will receive a huge boost. Toyota has been the big hydrogen pioneer for years, they have always fueled the discussion and therefore it is really breathtaking and exciting that they ensure their own competitors in the industry to move forward faster and faster towards the implementation of hydrogen technology.”
Guido Gerritsen explains that the pace has already been at a high level. The first red double-decker (*), so to speak, is already operating on hydrogen in London.”
“Exactly for this reason, it is – in my opinion – very important that relatively small players in the industry, should start looking for more mutual corporation, even with their own competitors. There is much at stake since the smaller ones are undoubtedly an important link in the industry as a whole; they shouldn’t lose that position. More than ever before, it has become necessary to join forces to create continuity not only in terms of knowledge but also on the basis of commercial strength. It will not be a matter of survival of the fittest; it will be a survival of the smartest!”
Guido Gerritsen explains that the need for collaboration now also applies to APM itself more than ever in het dynamic company history.
Broadening our opportunities
“We have always had an intense focus on innovation. It is our core business. Nothing more and certainly nothing less. Of course we also investigate broadening our opportunities in the market now, based on all the knowledge we have. But our entrepreneurial spirit says this might not be enough anymore. We – as a supplier in the automotive industry – will also have to think even more intensively about the future of battery technology in the sector through the release of these patents. And, what it means for us.”
“Therefore we are looking forward to discuss these themes in the industry. For sure we’d like to do so with fellow companies, both nationally and internationally. Not only because we naturally underline the collective social sustainability ambitions from our heart. But also this collaboration is good for the continuity of all of us. ”
*) Hyperlinks to Dutch articles