BONUS: The effects of COVID-19 on the automotive industry with Nand Kochhar

Some of the most important steps to slowing the spread of COVID-19, such as physical distancing, have led companies to close or limit access to their offices and facilities. These restrictions, while necessary, present substantial challenges for automakers. Office buildings, factories, and testing, certification and homologation facilities either were closed or reorganized to support physical separation between employees. Vehicle design and engineering staff have had to find ways to maintain a collaborative, productive work environment while being physically separated from colleagues. Meanwhile, production facilities have undergone large-scale changes to maintain manufacturing activities while keeping operators safe.

Digitalization enables a smarter way forward

Through this transition, enterprise digitalization has proven to be critical for teams adjusting to new ways of working. Companies with pre-existing and robust digital backbones were ready and able to send their design and engineering staff home with little disruption to their work flows. These companies were also able to adapt their production facilities more quickly to accommodate for social distancing and other pandemic safety measures.

In vehicle design, automotive manufacturers have developed novel applications of virtual technologies to better support their staff, customers and partners. And again, we have seen that those companies with strong digital foundations have been able to trial, refine and scale these new methodologies with greater ease, and thus realize the value more quickly.

On the manufacturing side, modern software solutions enable production engineers to virtually plan and design production stations, lines and even entire facilities before physically implementing any changes. Virtual production planning and design solutions can even simulate human operators, enabling the production design to account for ergonomics and physical distancing requirements.

In this bonus episode of the Future Car, you’ll hear from Siemens Digital Industries Software’s VP of Automotive & Transportation, Nand Kochhar in conversation with Conor Peick (one of our writers). Nand delves into the many ways that automakers have adapted to the needs and challenges of the global pandemic, and how digital tools have helped propel them into these new ways of working. You can listen to this bonus episode through the player below:

The Impact of COVID-19 On the Automotive Industry

The effects of COVID-19 have bled across so many different sectors within the development and manufacturing industry, and have forced automotive manufacturers to rethink how they design, develop, and produce new vehicles. In particular, automakers have had to find ways to ensure the safety of their employees, their families, and the communities in which they live and work, all while doing their best to continue vehicle development and manufacturing.

I’m your host, Conor Peick, and today, I’m joined by the Vice President of Siemens Automotive and Transportation Industry, Nand Kochhar, to discuss some of the specific impacts the pandemic has had on the automotive industry, and also, the strategies that have helped companies cope.

Nand shares how the adjustment to COVID-19 safe environments and remote work has impacted those within his line of work, how increased collaboration has streamlined processes across their supply chains, and how these workflow shifts will boost resilience for divisions across Siemens and the digital manufacturing field.

To hear more, tune in to today’s episode of the Future Car Podcast, from Siemens Digital Industries Software!

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What has helped or hindered the challenges companies faced this year & What specific strategies have been innovative? (2:38)
  • Do you think other departments have had a harder time adjusting to remote work? (5:28)
  • How is adapting to digitalization going to make customers stronger after the pandemic? (6:41)
  • Do you foresee a regression to our old ways of doing things before the COVID-19 or will these technological changes stay permanent? (9:18)
  • What do you think the key steps are to reopening the manufacturing industry? (12:38)
  • Do you think automation will be pushed into tasks that haven’t traditionally used it? (18:43)
  • Do you see an opportunity in terms of future-proofing supply chains? (20:35)

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • The challenges COVID-19 has brought upon the automotive and transportation industry (1:16)
  • How Siemens has utilized digitalization during the pandemic (4:38)
  • The role digitalization plays in the longevity of the automotive industry (9:46)
  • New and emerging technologies that automotive companies are working on in order to build resilience (16:52)
  • How digitalization has made a difference in terms of company success, ability, and survival (22:13)
  • The lessons auto suppliers have learned and applied today from the 2007 economic recession (23:33)
  • The importance of collaboration throughout multiple supply chains (26:03)

Connect with Conor Peick:

Connect With Nand Kochhar:

Conor Peick - Thought Leadership Writer

Conor Peick – Thought Leadership Writer

Conor works as a writer covering Automotive and Transportation topics for Siemens Digital Industries Software. In this role, he has helped produce a variety of materials including blogs, articles and whitepapers on automotive topics ranging from wire harness design and manufacturing to embedded software development and overall industry trends.

The Future Car Podcast Podcast

The Future Car Podcast

The tech-driven disruption of the auto industry cuts across domains, from silicon and software to sensors and AI to smart traffic management and mobility services. Get the chip- to city-scale story in regular interviews with technologists at Siemens and beyond.

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