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Cybersecurity top concern among automotive manufacturers

Cybersecurity risk is listed as the top external obstacle for automotive manufacturers in 2024 – up from 9th position in 2023.

That is according to Rockwell Automation’s State of Smart Manufacturing Report: Automotive Edition. This global survey shows shifting priorities, increased technology investments, and workforce engagement challenges in the automotive industry

The global study encompasses the responses of 182 leaders from automotive manufacturers, automotive supply manufacturers, and electric vehicle manufacturers across 15 of the leading manufacturing countries. 

This year’s report emphasises the evolution of the automotive industry, revealing a focus on harnessing emergent technology to reduce risk, generate growth, and maximise workforce potential. Automotive manufacturers are acutely aware of the industry’s evolution in the era of Industry 4.0, particularly as cyberattacks resulted in $1.99 billion in system downtime costs in the first half of 2023 alone.

Key global findings include:

Cybersecurity risk is listed as the top external obstacle for automotive manufacturers in 2024 – up from 9th position in 2023.

97% of automotive manufacturers are using or evaluating smart manufacturing technology – up from 85% in 2023.

Technology investments increased 35% year-over-year, from 23% to 31% of the operating budget.

Wearable technology is listed as one of the top 10 investment areas for automotive manufacturers in 2024, ranking third overall.

Employee engagement is the top workforce-related obstacle for automotive manufacturers in 2024.

Reducing manufacturing waste is the factor that matters most to automotive manufacturers’ ESG programmes.

“As the automotive industry is navigating an era of rapid transformation, setting clear goals and fostering cross-departmental collaboration have emerged as critical factors—and obstacles—for success,” said James Glasson, vice president, global industry – auto, tire & advanced mobility at Rockwell Automation. “This year’s report highlights the pressing need for automotive manufacturers to prioritise organisational change management and adopt technologies that enhance the capabilities of their workforce.”

Automotive manufacturers are focusing on strategies that prioritise workforce retention, upskilling, and engagement. Technologies such as smart manufacturing and automation, which complement and augment the value brought by their employees, are key to driving positive business outcomes.

“At Rockwell, our deep industry expertise and comprehensive portfolio of industry solutions, combined with our extensive PartnerNetwork, puts us in a unique position to serve as a trusted advisor to automotive companies worldwide,” said Glasson. “Regardless of where companies are in their digital transformation and smart manufacturing journeys, we meet them where they are and help them achieve sustainable growth.”

The full findings of the report can be found HERE.

Methodology

This report is based on the responses of 182 managers and executives from automotive manufacturers, automotive supply manufacturers, and electric vehicle manufacturers in 15 countries. It’s part of the 9th annual State of Smart Manufacturing report, which surveyed 1,567 manufacturing leaders across multiple industries and was conducted in association with Sapio Research and Rockwell Automation.

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