DETROIT -- The drive toward electrification and autonomous vehicles is going to change not only the parts and services suppliers sell to automakers, but also nearly every other aspect of their businesses, executives said Wednesday during a panel discussion at the Automotive News World Congress.
"There are three immediate and critical issues facing suppliers today," said Julie Fream, president and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, a trade group:
- The global talent shortage for engineers;
- The speed of technological change; and
- Market volatility and uncertainty.
Fream said recent suppliers association research has determined that, no matter a supplier's size or product, the biggest threat to its competitiveness is recruiting skilled workers.
"Almost every supplier is working to find ways to address limited human resources," Fream said, and that's regardless of a company's location or the products and services they sell.
"The problem is far deeper than changing recruiting tactics. As companies employ up to four generations at the same time, much of the industry's traditional or old-fashioned work norms and environment need to change to meet the newer generation's requirements," she said.