December 7-8, 2021 | Online


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As manufacturers ramp up development and output of electrified vehicles, batteries and powertrains, they are rethinking production processes and technology. OEMs and tier suppliers of all sizes are investing in new platforms and tooling, increased automation, flexible assembly lines and new materials.

Meanwhile, greater connectivity and digitalisation are enabling new efficiencies, helping automotive manufacturers to harness the power of shared data, software and artificial intelligence across production networks.

These changes, happening at a time of extreme disruption and volatility, are increasing the urgency for manufacturers to accelerate the development of smart manufacturing ecosystems for future competitiveness, accelerating digital transformation to drive productivity and performance.

The Automotive Manufacturing EVolution Summit featured global automotive production experts, decision makers and suppliers sharing solutions, best practice, data, insights and technology.

Our sessions will be available online soon if you didn't get a chance to view any of them live, or if you want to rewatch them to refresh your memory on some key takeaways from professional speakers from prominent OEMs. In the meantime, these sessions are available on our interactive online platform here.

Featured Speakers

Informed and Inspired by Leaders and Innovators

Lars Carlston - web

Lars Carlstrom

Founder and CEO



Lars Carlstrom is the Swedish chief executive and founder of Italvolt. He previously started Britishvolt in the UK, which are building a 30 gigabyte factory in north eastern England. Now, Lars is building another exciting venture in Italy under the company Italvolt, which is planning to build a 45 gigawatt battery factory in the northern part of Italy, at the former home of Italian telecoms manufacturer Olivetti, a 100-hectare industrial site home to 50,000 workers 30 years ago. Italvolt will be a key battery cell supplier in Europe, and the largest factory in southern Europe.

James Birley - web

Jim Birley

Technology Integration Chief, Ford Manufacturing Technical Development

Ford Motor Company


Coming Soon

Dr Johanna Klewitz - web

Dr Johanna Klewitz

Coordinator Sustainability, Procurement Strategy

Audi, AG


Johanna Klewitz began studying International Business and Cultural Studies at the University of Passau. She completed her studies in 2009 as a graduate in International Business and Cultural Studies and moved to the Center for Sustainability Management at Leuphana University in Lüneburg as knowledge and transfer manager. She began her doctorate there in 2010, during which she researched sustainability strategies and innovations in businesses. After completing her doctorate as Dr. rer. pol., Johanna Klewitz joined Ball Packaging Europe (Ardagh Group) in 2014 as Manager of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs. Dr Johanna Klewit has been Coordinator for Sustainability in Procurement Strategy at Audi since 2016. In her function, she works toge ther with her team to further develop and implement the “Responsible Supply Chain Management” strategy of Audi Procurement. The strategic focus areas include ‘People,’ ‘Environment’ and ‘Innovation,’ and are aligned with the goal of generating a positive impact in and along the supply chain.

Jack Nunes - web

Jack Nunes

Vice President Environment, Health & Safety

Lear Corporation


Coming soon

Mathias Wijkstrom Scania Nov 2020

Mathias Wijkström

Plant Manager



Mathias Wijkström has been active in the truck industry since 2002. He is currently part of the Chassis and Cabs management team at Scania where he is responsible for the truck and bus chassis production in Södertälje. Before joining this team he had various position at Scania including, Head of SPS-office, MD of the production unit in France, Head of the Scania Foundry and different positions within Scania machining.

René Deist - web

René Deist

Chief Digital Officer

ZF Group


René Deist is a leader in digital transformation in the automotive industry. He joined ZF in December 2020 and has responsibility for digitalisation across the company’s internal operations, including IT systems, manufacturing, supply chain and finance. Before joining ZF, he was Chief Information Officer at tier-1 supplier Faurecia, where he led the global IT organisation and was also responsible for digitalisation and data processes across the company. He previously worked across IT at Bosch. He studied mathematics, business and computer sciences, and has carried research in applied and practical computer science. He is a passionate musician.

Key Themes Discussed by Industry Leaders

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EV and battery manufacturing

As electric vehicles gain momentum, OEMs and suppliers are orientating production plants and networks around EVs, batteries and related components. Manufacturers are adapting tooling, equipment and layouts to build battery arrays and packs. Many are introducing dedicated EV platforms as well as multi-powertrain assembly lines. In the wider supply chain, sourcing and production of EV batteries will be critical to success, while many OEMs are working in new ways with suppliers. This transformation is driving changes across automation, cycle times and digitalisation.

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Agility and Flexibility

Automotive manufacturing has always needed to react quickly to changes in demand and in the supply chain. But in today’s pandemic-disrupted supply chains, and fast-changing consumer requirements, OEMs and suppliers are facing a new ‘never normal’. They need to be more agile and flexible in manufacturing, whether in prioritising vehicles or adapting to engineering changes. Manufacturers also need to meet growing demand for EVs at the same time as producing a multitude of powertrains. Innovations in connected manufacturing, big data and automation, along with new ways of working will support greater flexibility.

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Digital production

OEMs and suppliers have accelerated adoption of digital manufacturing tools and systems, partly in the wake of the pandemic, and in parallel to growing electrification. The ‘smart factory’ is no longer the factory of the future, as manufacturers make use of IoT devices, connected equipment and cloud systems to link production equipment and locations. The rollout of 5G will allow even greater levels of data and information exchange. Digital twin simulations, AR/VR and digital prototyping are also allowing more focus on optimising manufacturing layouts, flows and processes in vehicle engineering and development phases.

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New partnerships

Automotive Evolution will depend on revolutions in partnerships across the value chain, from internal departments working closely together in design, engineering and production, to new relationships with suppliers and equipment specialists. Tier-1 suppliers, for example, are taking on new responsibilities in module development and production for battery packs and electric vehicles. Manufacturers are looking to equipment and systems specialists for digital innovation and efficiency, while startup OEMs are working with contract manufacturers to build niche models. Successful companies in automotive production will depend on deep and dynamic partners.

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Quality Control

Even as automotive manufacturing transforms, the importance of high quality and standards remains more important than ever. But here, too, new products are changing requirements, while technology and processes provide new opportunities. EVs and battery packs, for example, demand higher levels of testing for safety and materials. Meanwhile, plant managers are turning more to AR/VR in training and preparation, and to a range of vision systems for high-accuracy metrology and 3D measurement. OEMs and suppliers are investing carefully in the right tools and equipment to meet increasingly complex quality requirements.

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OEMs have mandates to increase sales of zero-emission vehicles. But most are now also striving for ambitious net carbon zero targets across manufacturing and supply chains, with major implications for production. Automotive manufacturers are integrating new material combinations, focusing on lightweighting and reducing pollution and waste from process like paintshop. They are furthermore investing in decarbonised manufacturing, the use of renewable energy and the use of closed loop, circular economy materials in production.

2021 Partners


ABB - web

ABB Robotics is a pioneer in robotics, machine automation and digital services, providing innovative solutions for a diverse range of industries, from automotive to electronics to logistics. As one of the world’s leading robotics and machine automation suppliers, ABB Robotics employs more than 11,000 people in 53 countries and has shipped more than 500,000 robot solutions.


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With over 3 million systems installed in facilities around the world and over forty years of experience, Cognex is focused on industrial machine vision and image-based barcode reading technology. Deployed by the world’s top manufacturers, suppliers and machine builders, Cognex products ensure that manufactured items meet the stringent quality requirements of each industry.
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ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions is the expert when it comes to developing new testing, inspection and metrology concepts for electric vehicle components. This has been achieved with joint projects, implemented in cooperation with the automotive and supplier industry. ZEISS eMobility Solutions features a selection of products from the ZEISS portfolio, providing unique holistic quality inspection solutions for all components of the E-Mobility: Battery, Power Electronics, E-Motor and Transmission – From energy to eMotion.
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Conductix-Wampfler is one of the world’s leading suppliers of energy and data management systems for all types of mobile equipment and machinery. Their products and systems transmit energy, data and control signals to conveyor systems, EMS, AGVs or skillet lines – both conductive and contactless. Furthermore, they offer innovative global safety stop systems for AGV or AMR fleets.
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The Panasonic Logiscend System is a material flow management solution. Logiscend replaces paper-based processes with a digital based solution. The solution utilizes a combination of software and wireless e-paper VIEW tags that help manufacturers get the right parts to the right place at the right time. Panasonic has over 100 years of experience as a global leader in manufacturing and industrial IoT solutions.
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Cosmo Tech provides a 360° Simulation Digital Twin platform to solve the most complex industrial problems and lead enterprise decision making. Industrial companies rely on Cosmo Tech to predict the evolution of their organization to better understand the impact of their decisions and optimize all levels of enterprise planning; ensuring a future that is robust, resilient and sustainable.
Symbio - web

Symbio is an AI-based robotics company that is advancing industrial assembly automation. By applying a software-first approach to automation design, Symbio enables automation solutions that adapt to variation and optimize execution in a complex manufacturing environment.


Connect with Automotive Leaders

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Previous Representatives

President & Chief Executive Officer

Chief Strategy Officer

Chief Operations Officer

Chief Engineer

Chief Manufacturing Officer

Chief Technology Officer

Chief Quality Officer

Chief Scientist

Chief Technician

Chief Information Officer

Chief Technology officer

Senior Vice Manufacturing

Vice President, Supply Chain

Director, Production North America

Director, Purchasing

Director, Global Customs & Trade Compliance

Advanced Manufacturing Manager

Plant Director

Plant Head

Quality And Innovation Director

R&D Chief

Technical Director