Internal and external know-how

Integrating external R&D expertise

In addition to the Group’s own resources, external service providers are also important for our development process. In the years ahead, they will help us to systematically advance our model rollout and to successfully complete projects with the quality we expect but in less time. The use of development service providers is being increasingly coordinated between the Group brands in order to also achieve economies of scale here. We are also constantly expanding our cooperation with subsequent series suppliers in order to be able to tap into their expertise in the development phase of modules and components, including at international development sites.

Numerous patents filed

In fiscal year 2015, we filed 6,244 (6,198) patent applications worldwide for employee inventions, more than half of them in Germany. The growth in comparison with the previous year results in particular from the increased number of applications relating to driver assistance systems, conventional and alternative drive systems and lightweight construction, and once again pays testament to the Company’s high innovative strength.