HISTORY OBLIGES
WHAT DRIVES US

As the world’s leading independent engineering company, we make history every single day. And have done so for 50 years. What significance does such an anniversary have for a technology developer who is always looking ahead to the automotive future? Insights and outlooks from our CEO Cosimo De Carlo.

As CEO, you have the task of leading the company into the future. But right now you are looking at the past: 50 years of EDAG. What does this mean for you?

Cosimo De Carlo: As someone who has not even turned 50 yet, I have great respect for this long company history. There are hardly any technology service providers that have been able to continue their success story for half a century. It is good and important to pause at this milestone, and reflect on where we come from, what we have already achieved and what all of this means for us on our way to the future. Not just for nostalgic reasons, but also with a sense of pride for what we have achieved, and for the sheer pleasure of keeping the EDAG spirit alive. Especially now, when the automotive industry is facing revolutionary changes.

It is well known fact that resting on one’s laurels is a bad option. Especially when the winds of change and transformation are blowing. How well prepared is EDAG for this?

Cosimo De Carlo: To paraphrase Bernard Shaw, we can say that we are not good just because we have grown old, but that we are growing older because we are good.
The automotive industry is facing fundamental, disruptive changes. The transformation of automotive technologies, markets, and production methods set in motion by digitalisation and globalisation is essentially quite EDAG-like. We have the know-how, the speed and the agility to develop the innovations required in the fields of digitalisation, e-mobility, connectivity and even autonomous driving for and with our customers.

It is well known fact that resting on one’s laurels is a bad option. Especially when the winds of change and transformation are blowing. How well prepared is EDAG for this?

Cosimo De Carlo: To paraphrase Bernard Shaw, we can say that we are not good just because we have grown old, but that we are growing older because we are good.
The automotive industry is facing fundamental, disruptive changes. The transformation of automotive technologies, markets, and production methods set in motion by digitalisation and globalisation is essentially quite EDAG-like. We have the know-how, the speed and the agility to develop the innovations required in the fields of digitalisation, e-mobility, connectivity and even autonomous driving for and with our customers.

What do the customers expect?

Cosimo De Carlo: Many customers find themselves in a dilemma. They have to take an evolutionary approach to developing their portfolios on the one hand, but at the same time enable disruptions that will have a profound impact on their business models and processes. As this is often a difficult balancing act for them, we are frequently asked to provide development advice and support. Throughout our history, we have shown that our approach to technological innovations is proactive, not reactive. This enables us to anticipate and rethink mobility concepts in advance, and, with our customers, develop sustainable concepts for a successful future. The fact that, as one of the world’s largest independent engineering service providers, EDAG is today able to develop complete cars itself strengthens our customers’ confidence in us when it comes to the effective and efficient outsourcing of services, in order to quickly and reliably advance the necessary expansion of their own product portfolios. This is a win-win situation for both sides.

50 years ago, when EDAG was just starting out, it was just a small “design office”. In 2019, EDAG has a workforce of more than 8,600, and has established its position as a global player. What role do people play in this success story?

Cosimo De Carlo: People who, like the founders back then, are enthusiastic about the future of automobility, have been, are and always will be the decisive powerhouse in the EDAG cosmos. As CEO, I therefore see it as one of my most important tasks, especially in times of upheaval, to inspire employees and show them new ways of working together with consistent goal orientation. This is only possible in strong teams that are now more than ever capable of transversal thinking, of networking with other disciplines, of leaving behind silo mentality and egoistic departmental interests, and of cooperating in a culture of openness, trust and mutual appreciation. Classic hierarchical organisations are already a thing of the past; they will certainly look completely different tomorrow. What is needed is a new mindset that will continue to evolve. From networking people to networking companies. Only then will we be able to keep pace in today’s fast-moving world.

50 years ago, when EDAG was just starting out, it was just a small “design office”. In 2019, EDAG has a workforce of more than 8,600, and has established its position as a global player. What role do people play in this success story?

Cosimo De Carlo: People who, like the founders back then, are enthusiastic about the future of automobility, have been, are and always will be the decisive powerhouse in the EDAG cosmos. As CEO, I therefore see it as one of my most important tasks, especially in times of upheaval, to inspire employees and show them new ways of working together with consistent goal orientation. This is only possible in strong teams that are now more than ever capable of transversal thinking, of networking with other disciplines, of leaving behind silo mentality and egoistic departmental interests, and of cooperating in a culture of openness, trust and mutual appreciation. Classic hierarchical organisations are already a thing of the past; they will certainly look completely different tomorrow. What is needed is a new mindset that will continue to evolve. From networking people to networking companies. Only then will we be able to keep pace in today’s fast-moving world.

What happens next? Ideally, how would you like the world to see EDAG on its 75th anniversary?

Cosimo De Carlo: It is impossible to predict what the automobile world will look like in 25 years’ time. The only thing that is certain is that there will be dramatic changes. Very soon. There will be winners and losers in the automotive industry. But I am quite sure that EDAG will play a very important role in this transformation and that, with our ideas and historical experience, we will set the decisive course. Our most important asset are the EDAG employees who, with all their knowledge and motivation, will help to shape this future. That’s why I am not worried about what lies ahead. On the contrary, I am looking forward to it. These are exciting times that invite us to continue to make history.

With its concept cars, EDAG has always looked to the future. What can we look forward to this year?

Cosimo De Carlo: As this is our anniversary year, we are preparing a “big bang” to surprise the industry at the IAA 2019 in Frankfurt. In the new concept, we have further developed #collectivio (2017), and transferred the idea of robot vehicles with swarm intelligence to the urban living and working space. The result: a networked robot-powered vehicle which, with its numerous trailer and rucksack modules, is capable of handling any transport and work situations in urban areas, and is also in motion 24/7. Multi-modal, multi-functional and highly efficient. This is how we see the solution for future mobility and die revolution the automobile is currently undergoing.

With its concept cars, EDAG has always looked to the future. What can we look forward to this year?

Cosimo De Carlo: As this is our anniversary year, we are preparing a “big bang” to surprise the industry at the IAA 2019 in Frankfurt. In the new concept, we have further developed #collectivio (2017), and transferred the idea of robot vehicles with swarm intelligence to the urban living and working space. The result: a networked robot-powered vehicle which, with its numerous trailer and rucksack modules, is capable of handling any transport and work situations in urban areas, and is also in motion 24/7. Multi-modal, multi-functional and highly efficient. This is how we see the solution for future mobility and die revolution the automobile is currently undergoing.

Timeline

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Concept Cars

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Tomorrow now

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