Promoting innovation in the Colombian automotive value chain

The ability to innovate and embrace new technologies is a key factor for staying competitive in the automotive industry. UNIDO supported Colombian automotive parts manufacturers to design new products through the application of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies.

One of the costliest stages of a new product development process is the validation. Through computer-based simulations (digital twinning), this process can be shortened, which reduces costs. Therefore, UNIDO cooperated with the Korea Automotive Technology Institute (KATECH) that delivered a three-month training programme on simulation for Colombian engineers.

However, as only few companies counted with the required skills, software and hardware to engage in new product design, the project set up a network, which brings together these stronger firms (including from the naval and aerospace industries) to offer services to industry peers at competitive rates during idle times. As a result, nine Colombian automotive parts manufacturers were supported in developing 12 new products, 7 of which are already introduced to the market (e. g. ambulance headrests or airbag-compliant seat covers). One motorbike manufacturer, in cooperation with a local supplier, will soon begin producing new cargo trays using the services provided by two network members.

“Through this project we improved our innovation capacities. We designed a new component and started the full validation process, which confirmed that the product design was suitable to the road conditions and could meet client expectations. With this development we could demonstrate to our Headquarters that we have the capacity to design and develop new products from the base” said Jaroleder Rojas, Localization Coordinator, Hero Motors Colombia S.A.S.

These activities were carried out within the context of the UNIDO project “Sustainable and inclusive industrial development of the automotive supply chain in Colombia through enhanced quality and productivity”, a collaboration between UNIDO, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia (MINCIT), and the “Colombia Productiva” Initiative.

For more information contact Fabio Russo (F.Russo [at] unido.org), Juan Pablo Diaz-Castillo (J.Diaz-Castillo [at] unido.org), Stefan Kratzsch (S.Kratzsch [at] unido.org)