In consideration of the technological transformations in the course of electromobility and the associated market entry of new competitors, the traditional competitive strengths of the German automotive industry are being challenged in an unprecedented way. New energy and climate policy regulations are fundamentally questioning key parameters of previous business models of car manufacturers and suppliers. These changes in mobility and the associated challenges affect the state of Lower Saxony to a significant extent. After all, the automotive industry is by far the most important industrial sector and mobility is one of the state’s central future topics.

To cope with this structural change, the State Government of Lower Saxony (State Chancellery and Ministry of Labour, Economics, Transport and Digitalisation), the IG Metall trade union and the Association of Metalworkers in Lower Saxony have initiated the Automotive Industry Strategy Dialogue. Volkswagen AG and Continental AG act as important industrial partners. The Strategy Dialogue has the task of accompanying and shaping system transformation in a forward-looking manner, using the innovation potential of companies in Lower Saxony and securing employment and jobs. The aim is to maintain and expand the strength of Lower Saxony as an industrial location. The work of the strategy dialogue is carried out in three topic-specific innovator sessions. These three thematic blocks are:

  • Innovator session I: Technology, innovation, value chains
  • Innovator session II: Market and infrastructure
  • Innovator session III: Work and qualification

The planned project duration of the Automotive Industry Strategy Dialogue in Lower Saxony is three years. At the kick-off event on the 10.5.2019, the main topics, work packages and dates for 2019 and 2020 were defined. The members of the three innovator sessions will meet at least twice a year on the basis of selected specialist topics. Sub-working groups can be set up and additional experts and expertise can be obtained for in-depth discussions of specialist topics.

The intermediate results of the individual innovator sessions from 2019 and 2020 will be networked with each other and, in an iterative process and in coordination with the initiators, will be incorporated into recommendations for action, measures, projects, pilot projects and possible funding programmes. All findings will be summarised in a final report.