Internal and external know-how

Integrating external R&D expertise

In addition to our own internal development resources, the capacity of development services providers is important for our development process. They will help us to systematically advance our model rollout and to successfully complete projects with the quality we expect and reduced development times in the coming years. The use of development service providers will be coordinated more closely between Group brands in order to benefit from increased economies of scale. We are also constantly expanding our cooperation with subsequent series suppliers in order to be able to tap their expertise in the development phase of modules and components, including at international development sites.

Numerous patents filed

In fiscal year 2014, we filed 6,198 (5,948) patent applications worldwide for employee inventions, almost half of them in Germany. The growth as against the prior year results in particular from the increased number of applications relating to driver assistance and information systems, alternative drive systems and lightweight construction, and once again pays testament to the Company’s high innovative ability.