Austria-based Benteler Group is a key global supplier of metal automotive parts, including suspension and engine components. But the company is positioning itself as a mobility partner that can help automakers looking to build in a smarter, more low-cost manner. To promote that, Benteler took a prominent stand at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, using the annual tech event to showcase an autonomous people-moving pod. Benteler’s EV systems subsidiary, Holon, created the vehicle in partnership with Pininfarina, Intel’s Mobileye assisted driving unit and mobility provider Beep. Benteler CEO Ralf Göttel discussed that project with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs and also explained why lightweighting is not the top priority for automakers transitioning to electric cars.
The autonomous pod that Benteler subsidiary Holon showed at CES appears a long way from your core business. How does the Holon Mover fit within Benteler?
Part of our mission is to make mobility lighter, safer and more sustainable. We don't perceive ourselves as a maker of, say, knuckles for axles. We are in the mobility sector, and we see a tremendous need for these vehicles, which are quite complex. But we have experience in the electric platform, which we developed five years ago, And, we also make modular assemblies for automakers, mainly chassis assemblies, combining different partners. So, for us it was a logical field to enter, while for traditional automakers or bus makers the initial volumes for these vehicles are not large enough to create interest.