Climate change and the digital transformation present challenges to companies from all industries, which involve huge investment costs and demand distinct innovative power. The terms “competition” and “co-operation” may seem to be complete opposites, but it can prove sensible for competitors to bundle their resources in order to overcome these challenges. The term used to describe this is “coopetition” which is a combination of the two words “co-operation” and “competition”. Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck AG, talks about this topic with Martin Lundstedt, CEO of the Volvo Group, in the podcast discussion. A central topic of this discussion is the launch of cellcentric, a fuel cell joint venture owned by both corporations, which was announced on 1 March 2021. The objective of this partnership is to accelerate the use of hydrogen-based fuel cells in long-distance haulage trucks.
“Climate change is the challenge of our generation. By working together with partners in specific key areas, such as the development and production of fuel cell systems, we can accelerate the transition to more sustainable transport solutions. This type of partnership benefits both our customers and society as a whole,” says Martin Lundstedt.
Martin Daum adds: “Of course, partnerships with competitors are not simple. It implies that you are working closely together with a competitor in one particular area with whom you continue to compete fiercely in many other areas. However, if you do it correctly, partnerships of this nature are of great benefit – particularly in times of transformation. In view of the fundamental change-taking place in our industry, it is vital that the development of new technologies such as the fuel cell in trucks now pick up speed. cellcentric is our new joint venture with the Volvo Group and together we are quickly developing the fuel cell to series-production readiness with the intention of establishing this technology for long-distance haulage trucks and beyond. This is a prime example for the topic of today’s podcast episode.”