Some of the major challenges currently being addressed are e-mobility, connectivity and autonomous driving. The leading German automobile manufacturers still generate by far the largest share of their sales from vehicles with internal combustion engines. And they have always had an army of powerful partners backing them up: about two-thirds of the components in this industry come from third-party suppliers, who also account for about the same contribution in the development of innovative products. The leaders of the digital revolution, such as Apple and Google, are likewise trying to position themselves at the forefront of the next generation with new services in the automotive industry.
Developers and manufacturers of special materials, on the other hand, already have a fixed place in the design process of novel and advanced vehicle concepts. Technical ceramics are already an integral part of vehicle and engine construction. The challenges of the future, such as lightweight construction, wear resistance and intelligent heat management, mean that the applications of ceramic materials are becoming more pertinent. The demands placed on suppliers to drive technical innovations through the development of new material solutions are correspondingly high.