In 2012 business will further grow across all industries. But the clouds on the horizon are visible and during the first months of the year did not disappear. The economic climate remains fragile with clear investment push across industries but at the same time remaining careful and flexible to mitigate potential reduction of sales. A senior EE R&D manager of a leading automotive tier 1 supplier summarized it as follows: “Cars sell in quantities we have never seen. Markets around the world are keen to get latest technology with their cars such as energy efficiency, functional safety or internet access. But we have learned our lessons from the recent recession and made engineering and production flexible to immediately react if sales drop.”
Needs for more efficiency and competitiveness in product development are therefore obvious. Vector Consulting Services had done their annual survey across industries like automotive, aerospace, and industrial automation. The result: Companies invest in growth through innovation by developing new products and solutions. At the same time they are aware of the volatile market situation and thus challenge their development teams worldwide to be as lean and efficient as possible.
Companies and entire industries are changing very fast at this time. Hardly any year has changed our lives with technological breakthroughs as strong as the last twelve months have done. With the explosion in Fukushima, the energy change has been started in an unprecedented push of industry and politics. The high-speed train accident in China emphasized that functional safety and quality must be uncompromised. Space Shuttle had its last flight and showed us that the complexity of technical systems must remain both technically and economically manageable. The first electric cars came into series production and showed the feasibility of entirely new powertrain technologies. Smartphones already make half of all cell phone sales. This all is the basis for many innovations in mobility, which will continue to thrive in 2012.