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VDA: Automotive Logistics Forum 2024: Automotive industry in the biggest transformation in its history

Expert forum opened in Wörth am Rhein - rethinking and redesigning the system of global supply chains - drive variants change production supply

The 12th Automotive Logistics Forum opened today in Wörth am Rhein, themed “Everything is electric – logistics in the new mobility!” Over the next two days, the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and the Federal Logistics Association (BVL) will bring the pacesetters from logistics, supply chain management and automobile production to the stage in front of around 500 participants. Speakers from OEMs, suppliers, logistics service providers, consulting companies and research will convey experiences, information and background knowledge, assessments and forecasts.

Changed supply chains, needs and dependencies

The BVL board chairman Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wimmer opened the forum together with the VDA managing director Dr.-Ing. Marcus Bollig. Wimmer pointed out that the change in technology has a major impact on the processes of the automotive industry and especially logistics. “In the next two days we will discuss what this means for companies. An example: In addition to the battery-operated electric drive, which is primarily used in the passenger car sector, there are variants such as plug-in hybrids or fuel cell drives, as well as combustion engines. This has an impact on the production logistics that we have to deal with.”

Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks, emphasized in the first keynote of the forum: “The series production of battery-electric trucks has been an integral part of our production at the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant since 2021. And we are continually expanding the portfolio of locally CO2-neutral trucks ‘made in Wörth’. We are also working hard to decarbonize the entire site, also including factory logistics. We have the clear goal of electrifying 100% of our delivery traffic in our largest truck manufacturing plant by the end of 2026.”

At lunchtime, Marcus Bollig will moderate a panel discussion on structural change in the automotive industry with Dieter Braun (AUDI AG), Dr. Michael Nikolaides (BMW Group), Axel Frey (Seifert Logistics Group) and Mattias Haberstroh (ZF Group). In the afternoon, more detailed specialist lectures will follow, including on packaging in the age of a climate-neutral economy or dependencies along the process chain.

VDA President Hildegard Müller will speak this evening at the presentation of the VDA Logistics Award. In the run-up to the event she emphasized: “Our industry is confronted with multiple external crises as well as increasingly uncompetitive international location conditions.

In order to maintain and expand our competitive advantage despite these challenges, innovative solutions are necessary, especially in the areas of logistics and supply chain management. Secure logistics chains will be one of the key competitive advantages in the coming years.”

The second day begins with two keynote speeches: Jürgen Distl (CFO Mercedes-Benz Trucks) uses the example of the Wörth plant, which is also the venue for the forum, to illustrate how to get fit for the large-scale transformation. Prof. Katja Windt (SMS Group) talks about the disruptive opportunities of entrepreneurial automotive logistics.


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