One current problem that might have been mitigated with help from Gaia-X is the semiconductor shortage. With clues regarding supply and demand segregated into silos, the industry wasn't given an early warning about the problem.
"Automaker-supplier relationships have always been point-to-point so they are all sitting on stacks of information where you are not able to gain access to interoperable, secure and neutral data along the entire value chain," Hagen Heubach, global vice president of the automotive industry business unit at German software giant SAP, told ANE.
To take advantage of the opportunities Gaia-X offers in areas that include quality management, logistics, and supply chain management, founding members BMW, Robert Bosch and SAP formed an alliance targeted specifically at automotive applications.
SAP CEO Christian Klein estimated the partners had already discussed 40 different use cases that could enhance productivity and boost growth for the automotive industry.
"By creating transparency in the supply chain down to the individual inputs, you can minimize these kinds of bottlenecks while significantly lowering your inventory costs," he told an industry congress.
BMW named another benefit of Gaia-X and the automotive alliance: improving the accuracy of its sustainability reporting standards by drilling down into their lower tier suppliers.
"It's extremely important to have proof along the various links of your value chain of the steps you are taking to reduce the enormous carbon footprint stemming from EV battery cells," BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse said.
Meanwhile, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz and German auto parts group Schaeffler have joined the alliance, now called the Catena-X Automotive Network. Catena is the Latin word for chain.
"This is a chance to set standards for the exchange of data and increase transparency, especially in the area of supply chain management," Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said. "Deciding to join was in principle easy for us."
In a statement sent to Automotive News Europe, Volkswagen said it "supported efforts by the automotive industry to develop common standards," adding it was one of the many so-called "Day One" Gaia-X members that came on board late last year. "There has not yet been a decision whether to directly participate in the Automotive Alliance," VW added.