R&I Forerunner

The European automotive supply industry is a global technology leader, largely due to its yearly investment of more than €20 billion in innovation. For years, European automotive suppliers have registered the most patents for innovations in emissions and safety by bringing to the market an increasing diversity of products, with ever shorter development and production cycles.

Automotive suppliers play a key role in innovating and adapting the automotive industry to meet new global societal challenges and regulatory requirements. It is increasingly important to develop new technologies and systems for higher performance in terms of safety, sustainability, connectivity and comfort.

These massive investments in R&I result in disruptive technology solutions.

These solutions make European suppliers highly competitive world leaders.

Facts & Figures about Automotive R&I


The automotive industry as a strategic sector accounts for almost 7% of the EU‘s GDP

12 million

With 12 million sector-related jobs the automotive industry is vital for Europe’s industrial competitiveness

16 million

Per year, 16 million vehicles are manufactured in Europe, contributing to the stability and growth of the European economy

€22 billion
With more than €22 billion yearly investments into RDI, European automotive suppliers are one of the biggest private investors into research and innovation in Europe

R&I expenditure – OEMs vs Suppliers*

Suppliers on average account for 50% of the R&I spending in the European automotive industry – with a rising tendency

With future challenges such as global localisation, volume bundling and OEM module strategies, the balance of R&I expenditure will tip towards suppliers

2012 Total number of EPO patent filings