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„Like a sword of Damocles“

Interview with Dr. Michael Macht

The growth of e-mobility and the production of the corresponding vehicles is confronting the entire automotive industry with new challenges. In this interview, Dr. Michael Macht explains the background to this change and how OEMs can best react to it.

b on top: What does the growth of e-mobility mean for the industry?

Michael Macht: The growth of e-mobility has far-reaching consequences for manufacturers, OEMs and suppliers. Ultimately, legislators have set a CO2 emissions limit of 95 g/km, which will have to be adhered to as early as 2020. This means that the major manufacturers will have to add a correspondingly large number of electric and hybrid vehicles to their fleets. This is resulting in enormous pressure to bring vehicles of this type into the network right away. Anyone who doesn’t respect the CO2 emissions limit risks being hit by heavy fines. As a result, the CO2 emissions limit and e-mobility are hanging like a Sword of Damocles over OEMs and suppliers.

b on top: What are the challenges for OEMs and suppliers in the field of manufacturing technology?

Michael Macht: The drive, the battery and the power supply are the basic components of an e-vehicle. At the technical level, it is already possible to produce these. Despite this, when compared to conventional vehicles, technology in the field of e-mobility is still at the very beginning of its development. Nevertheless, OEMs and suppliers have to deliver high-precision parts and components that are absolutely reproducible and meet the demands that go with readiness for series production. What is more, the range of variants will increase greatly in the future and the enormous number of required parts will grow even further.

b on top: At present, how would you advise a conventional supplier to approach things?

Michael Macht: In my opinion, anyone who has used Bihler systems for their production operations in the past is well equipped for the future. This is because Bihler’s machines are perfect for manufacturing the stamped and bended parts, components and complete assembly groups that are vital components in electric engines. Bihler supplies the technology and systems necessary for the high-precision manufacture of these parts in enormous quantities and with short throughput times. And looking at the demand side, the number of parts that are no longer needed will be considerably smaller than the new volume that is added. At the same time, it is very important to recognize the direction in which e-mobility is continuing to develop at the purely technical level. It is therefore vitally important to have the right equipment in order to be ready to manufacture high-precision functional modules for the world of e-mobility.

Dr. Michael Macht is a qualified mechanical engineer who was born in Stuttgart in 1960. In 1994, he became Managing Director of Porsche Consulting GmbH. In 2009, he was appointed chairman of the management board of Porsche AG and a board member at Holding Porsche SE. From 2010 to 2014, he served as the board member responsible for Group Production at Volkswagen AG. Currently, Michael Macht works for Linde & Wiemann SE, Endurance Capital AG as well as for the Weichai Group and Kion Group AG.


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