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Powering Up Mobility Tier 1 Suppliers for the EV Era



As the mobility and automotive industry evolves, Tier 1 suppliers face numerous challenges that require new product development and software engineering approaches. From EV technology integration to supply chain disruptions, this article explores the six top challenges and provides actionable solutions for each.

The recreational vehicle industry shares similar challenges with the automotive industry, including developing new technologies, integrating complex systems, and addressing supply chain disruptions. As a result, Tier 1 suppliers need to establish partnerships and work closely with tech companies to leverage their expertise and incorporate cutting-edge technologies. 


Solutions for Tier 1 Suppliers’ Top 6 Challenges


1. EV Technology Integration

Tier 1 suppliers can tackle the challenge of EV technology integration by using simulation software to design and test new products, such as battery management systems and power electronics. Examples are the collaboration between Bosch and Nikola Motor Company to develop a fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) powertrain; and how we’ve provided top automotive tier 1 suppliers with super-fast prototypes integrated into vehicles for real-life scenario concept testing. This helped identify and resolve issues before physical prototypes were built, reducing development time and cost.


2. Developing New Software Systems for EVs

As cars become more connected and autonomous, Tier 1 suppliers must develop sophisticated software systems to support these functions. This shift towards software-intensive automotive systems introduces new requirements for skills and processes that differ from traditional automotive engineering and address the complexities associated with connected and autonomous vehicles.

Tier 1 suppliers can overcome this challenge by using agile development methodologies, software testing and verification, and DevOps and CI/CD pipelines and tools to improve collaboration and release software quickly and reliably. Investing in upskilling employee training programs and working with third-party experts can also infuse new ideas and approaches into development processes while filling any skill gaps in their current workforce.


3. Complex System Integrations

Integrating cloud-based systems with existing IT infrastructure requires expertise in cloud architecture, data management, software development, and collaboration with external cloud service providers.
Tier 1 suppliers can revamp their IT infrastructure with cloud expertise and systems integrators to manage system complexity effectively.


4. Supply Chain Disruptions

The automotive industry is a global industry, and supply chains can be disrupted by various factors, such as natural disasters, political instability, and pandemics. Tier 1 suppliers can overcome supply chain disruptions using IoT platform solutions and data analytics. IoT platform solutions can provide real-time visibility into supply chains. Data analytics can be used to identify and mitigate risks. We partnered with a world-leading engineering firm in boarding systems to develop an IoT platform to detect when maintenance is needed or when parts are likely to fail.


5. Cost Pressures

Automotive and other mobility OEMs are always looking to cut costs, and Tier 1 suppliers are often under pressure to provide cheaper components and systems. Tier 1 suppliers can use software solutions for product lifecycle management (PLM) to streamline product development processes, increase automation, manage the supply chain efficiently, and reduce costs. PLM software can help Tier 1 suppliers to manage the entire product lifecycle, from design and development to manufacturing and delivery.


6. Cybersecurity Risks

As vehicles become more connected, the risk of cyber-attacks grows. Tier 1 suppliers must prioritize robust cybersecurity measures to protect data transmission and prevent unauthorized access to vehicle components, systems and networks. This includes intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) solutions to monitor and detect suspicious activities, and secure communication protocols such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Safeguarding vehicles is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the automotive industry.


How Can Seidor Opentrends Help?

If you are a Tier 1 supplier looking for help overcoming the challenges of the EV era, we have a team of experienced automotive professionals who can help you develop and implement the solutions you need to succeed. Leading automotive players back our agile dev, infotainment UI design, prototype and complex system integration expertise. Contact us with your unique challenge, and we'll provide tailored solutions to help you stay ahead in the rapidly evolving mobility and automotive industry.


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FAQs about automotive tier 1 suppliers' challenges

What is an automotive tier 1 supplier?

A tier 1 automotive supplier directly supplies major components or systems to automotive manufacturers.

What are the key considerations for Tier 1 suppliers in addressing the challenges of the EV era?

When addressing the challenges of the EV era, Tier 1 suppliers should consider factors such as EV technology integration, developing new software systems, complex system integrations, supply chain disruptions, cost pressures, and cybersecurity risks. By leveraging simulation software, agile development methodologies, cloud expertise and more, Tier 1 suppliers can overcome these challenges and adapt to the evolving automotive industry. Collaborating with experienced professionals and seeking tailored solutions can also greatly assist in successfully navigating the transition to the EV era.

How are automotive tier 1 suppliers responding to current challenges?

Automotive tier 1 suppliers are responding to these challenges in several ways, including

  • Investing in new technologies such as digital prototypes, 3D printing and AI, to help them reduce costs and improve efficiency.
  • Expanding their global reach to tap into new markets and reduce reliance on one market.
  • Partnering with other companies such as technology companies and universities, to share resources and expertise.

What are the future trends for automotive tier 1 suppliers?

The future trends for automotive tier 1 suppliers include

  • The continued growth of EVs: The automotive industry is shifting towards electric vehicles. This will create new opportunities for automotive tier 1 suppliers, who will need to develop new technologies and components for electric vehicles.
  • The increasing importance of cybersecurity in the automotive industry. This is due to the growing use of connected cars, which are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Automotive tier 1 suppliers may need to invest in cybersecurity to protect their products and customers.
  • The need for greater sustainability: The automotive industry is pressured to become more sustainable in its processes and products due to concerns about the environment. Automotive tier 1 suppliers will need to develop more sustainable products and processes.

Tatiana Gely

Tatiana is based in Silicon Valley and leads Opentrends’ business development endeavors in North America. With experience in international and domestic technology markets, Tatiana wears many hats as she’s involved in marketing, business and sales efforts. Her goal is to build a strong brand in the US and contribute to creating a solid presence in the US market.