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In a recent study on potential growth in returns through the use of artificial intelligence, management consultancy McKinsey sees scope for a nine-percent increase, from which all automakers stand to benefit. The analysts identify the biggest saving potentials in the areas of production (USD 61 billion) and purchasing (USD 51 billion), with as yet untapped potential in intralogistics (USD 22 billion) and sales and marketing (USD 31 billion), too.

According to the study, the average annual increase in productivity currently lies at around 2%. The use of machine learning technologies could push this figure up by a further 1.3%. Due to the fiercely competitive market in the sector, it is also anticipated that it will be possible to pass on to customers the cost advantages brought about by modernization.

Automotive manufacturers are, however, still a long way off completing the digital transformation of their production plants, although many are well on their way. For example, last year, Spanish VW subsidiary SEAT was presented with the Manufacturing Excellence Award 2017 in the Logistics and Network Management category for the modernization and digitalization of its Martorell plant.