Autonomous driving, car-sharing schemes and the electrification of powertrains are megatrends that are shaking up the car industry. Valeo CEO Jacques Aschenbroich's mission is to make sure the French supplier evolves fast enough to keep pace with the changes. He outlined his plans during an interview last month at his office in Paris with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Bruce Gain.
How radically are automotive applications changing and how does that affect your role as a supplier?
There is a very major trend involving how the driver will be taken care of as the car assumes greater responsibility. As we move toward the autonomous car, you will be able to do other things in your car, besides driving. The other part of the transformation is mobility, especially in urban areas. There will be more car sharing, more Uber-like services. The ownership structure for cars will become very different. There will be driverless Ubers and driverless taxis. Companies like Uber or car rental agencies might be our customers in the future. They might one day specify the cars and components they need directly to use. Nobody knows how fast this transformation will take place, but what we know is that we need to work with our customers to understand our place as a supplier of emerging mobility solutions.
How will companies such as Google and Apple fit into your future?
They represent exciting opportunities. We may have new relationships with different customers, but our relationships with our automotive customers remain key. But newcomers are entering the market and we must find the right way to grow with them.