Renault and Google Cloud have announced a new partnership to fast-track the digitization of the automaker’s industrial system, and perfect it’s data management platform.
With some experience developing its own digital platform, Renault focused on using the platform to connect and aggregate industrial data from 22 sites worldwide representing 76% of its vehicle production.
The integration of Google Cloud’s solutions and experience in smart analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) is hoped to boost Renault’s supply chain and manufacturing efficiency and production quality, while reducing the environmental impact.
Furthermore, the partnership recognises that employee training is a crucial aspect of the plan, with the two companies aiming to build a scalable program to enhance Renault’s process engineering, manufacturing and IT teams’ skills. To do this, they will introduce co-working, training and enablement sessions with the Google team.
José Vicente de los Mozos (pictured above), director of manufacturing and logistics at Groupe Renault, explained: “This collaboration is a perfect illustration of Groupe Renault’s digital strategy, applied here to the industrial field. This agreement and the commitment of our IT, manufacturing and supply chain management teams will allow us to accelerate the deployment of our Industry 4.0 plan designed to transform and connect our production sites and logistics processes around the world to improve our standards of excellence and performance. This partnership is also an asset for Groupe Renault employees who will benefit from high-level training in digital data management.”
UK well positioned to benefit from auto digitalisation
A recent report by professional services network KPMG, highlighted that digitalisation has the potential to enhance the competitiveness of the UK auto industry, claiming that the country is well-positioned to benefit from the trend.
To support this point, the report points to the diverse range of manufacturers present in the country including Nissan, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Vauxhall, and Jaguar Land Rover.
Additionally, the study found that many vehicle manufacturers, while recognising the importance of digitalisation, had only initiated a series of pilots so far. Many suppliers, notably SMEs had not begun any significant digital pilots.
However, a number of key barriers exist that slow the trend, including a lack of knowledge and necessary skills to design and execute a company-wide digital strategy. Also, a significant level of trust is required between the supplier and manufacturer to share data electronically, and SMEs identified funding for investment as a concern.
Ultimately, the auto industry thrives on innovation and the potential for digital technology to have a significant impact on production is endless.
Thomas Kurian, chief executive officer at Google Cloud, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Groupe Renault to help revolutionize the future of automotive manufacturing and power the next generation of supply chain excellence.”
Big tech’s invasion of auto market
Prior to the explosion of COVID-19 and subsequent financial crisis, fleet management firm ALD Automotive partnered with Amazon Spain to launch a personal vehicle leasing service.
Consumers are able to organise vehicle delivery and each car comes with a 50km/30-day return policy. The partnership is currently offering Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ford, Fiat, Tesla, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Seat and Subaru through Amazon.
Raoul Heinze, Amazon director, EU automotive, said: “We often experiment with new ideas and learn based on feedback we receive from customers. With Motors, we are focused on providing the low prices and convenience that customers expect from Amazon, while making the car leasing process as easy as possible.”
After selecting their car, configuration and lease duration, customers receive an email with a link taking them to leasing provider ALD Automotive’s online leasing platform, where customers complete a credit assessment and sign the contract.
With Apple Pay and Apple Card having been in circulation for some time, and Google and Amazon in partnership with an array of automotive industry operators, it remains to be seen how long before consumers begin witnessing the arrival of Amazon Bank or another big-tech company development in the financial services sector.