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The acquisition of Lear Corporation demonstrates how the industry is leveraging robotics and artificial intelligence to increase efficiency and innovation

Welcome back to the latest episode of The Future of Automotive on CBT News, where we present the latest automotive and mobility news in the context of broader topics affecting the industry.

My name is Steve Greenfield from Automotive Ventures and I’m excited to have you join us.

One of our investment thesis at Automotive Ventures is that artificial intelligence and robotics will reduce repetitive processes and, over time, eliminate many mundane, boring human tasks. We are also investing in automation investments such as WarrCloud, which automates dealer warranty processing back to the OEM, RoboTire, which uses robotic arms to automate the tire rotation process, and most recently, Kinetic, which automates ADAS calibrations.

This week we received news that Lear Corporation, a global automotive technology leader in automotive seating and electronic systems, will acquire WIP Industrial Automation, a privately held systems integrator based in Spain specializing in advanced automation solutions for industrial applications.

Lear is a global leader in automotive technology with employees in 38 countries and a commitment to innovation, operational excellence and sustainability. Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, Lear serves all the world’s major automakers and is ranked 189th on the Fortune 500.

Like other suppliers, Lear has faced rising labor costs and shortage pressures in the wake of the supply chain crisis and, more recently, the negative impacts of the UAW’s contracts with Detroit 3 last fall.

A year ago, Lear said labor had become a major supplier concern, causing the company to accelerate the integration of robotics in its factories. By adopting robotics and automation, Lear aims to combat wage inflation, which is one of the biggest pain points for the automotive seating and electronics supplier.

WIP, Lear’s acquisition target, is a long-time Lear supplier with 25 years of automation experience that develops, integrates and implements cutting-edge technologies to create custom automation solutions for manufacturing applications. WIP provides Lear with strong robotics and AI-based computer vision capabilities that are important for safety, quality and efficiency in the modern manufacturing environment. WIP allows Lear to operate more efficiently, which allows the company to more effectively address ongoing macroeconomic challenges, such as elevated wage inflation.

This acquisition will be the latest in Lear’s strategic investment to expand its global automation and digital capabilities and will equip Lear with a robust portfolio of automation solutions and technical expertise that covers all critical areas of the manufacturing process, and will accelerate innovation in development of new generation automation technologies.

As automakers and suppliers focus on eliminating costs from their operations, I expect to see further innovations and acquisitions in the robotics and process automation space to enable companies to streamline processes and ultimately do more work with fewer workers.

Process automation, the use of robotics and artificial intelligence will continue to be key areas of focus for our investment funds and we expect these trends to have a strong positive impact on shaping the future of the automotive industry.

Companies worth watching

So let’s go to the Our companies worth watching section.

Every week we highlight interesting companies in the automotive technology industry that are worth paying attention to. If you read my weekly Intel report, we’re highlighting a company worth watching and taking the opportunity to share this company with you.

Today our new company to watch is P1 fuels.

P1 Fuels produces fossil-free fuel that runs in any combustion engine without the need for modification.

Their goal is to decarbonize the mobility sector, and they started this journey with motorsport.

Motorsports have always been a driving force behind the advancement of automotive technology.
It is thanks to this commitment to innovation that P1 Fuels is a pioneer in the production of completely fossil-free fuels.

P1 fuel emits 80% less CO2 compared to regular fuel. And their fuels are highly efficient: the power of P1 fuels is equivalent to that of regular gasoline.

If you want to learn more about P1 fuels, you can check them out on the website www.p1fuels.com


That’s it for this week’s Future of Automotive segment.

If you are an entrepreneur in the AutoTech industry and are working on a solution that will help car dealers, we want to hear from you. We actively invest through our DealerFund.

If you are interested in joining our Investment Club and want to make direct investments in startups in the AutoTech and Mobility industries, join. There is no obligation to start executing our trades and we continue to offer attractive investment offers to our members.

Don’t forget to check out my book “The Future of Automotive Retail” which is available on Amazon.com. Keep an eye out for my new book, The Future of Mobility, which is almost finished and will be released soon.

Thank you (as always) for your continued support and for following CBT News in this week’s Future of Automotive segment. See you next week!