Will Automakers Require IATF 16949® Certification for Electric Vehicle Suppliers?

Electric Vehicle (EV) suppliers and IATF 16949® certification

Electric Vehicles are accelerating change within the automotive supply chain and beyond, bringing opportunities, as well as challenges. As we watch the automotive industry transition from vehicle mobility based upon a fossil fuel powertrain to mobility based upon a stored energy powertrain, the impact to the automotive supply chain will be substantial.  In this article, we highlight a few of the automotive supply chain impacts, including IATF 16949® certification. This standard defines the quality management system (QMS) requirements for the design and development, production, and when applicable, assembly, installation, and services of automotive-related products including those with embedded software.  

The supply chain barrier to entry will be lowered with electric vehicles

A recent opinion piece in MotorTrend (focusing on the EV model XPeng P7), discussed the barrier to entry into the EV automotive industry as much less complicated than entry with internal combustion engine (ICE) technology.

The article states, “EV powertrains are inherently smooth and quiet, with fewer moving parts to wear or break. There are no pesky calibration issues in terms of getting a motor to meet emission and fuel economy standards or to get it to work together with a complicated transmission. Making a vehicle that’s instantly competitive with mainstream offerings from established OEMs is therefore a lot easier than it used to be”.

The EV supply chain will benefit from governmental regulations

The recently passed US Inflation Reduction Act, which provides substantial incentives for North American based electric vehicle supply chain manufacturing, resulted in a recent announcement of $11 billion in electric vehicle battery investment (Automotive News October 10, 2022).

The automakers are moving quickly with substantial investments in electric vehicles

During the October 2022 AIAG Quality Summit, a representative from General Motors shared that $585 billion has been invested in EV development by the global automakers. The automotive industry is moving at a rapid pace to meet their EV targets. 

The automakers are expecting IATF 16949® certification for electric vehicle suppliers

OEMs at the automotive conference indicated that IATF 16949® certification is expected to be the baseline for suppliers.  Also mentioned by the automakers – even non-automotive focused suppliers that manufacture components for the electric vehicle market will need to understand the aspects of automotive quality to understand the standards, such as IATF 16949® and the AIAG core tools.  Partnerships may need to be developed to mitigate risk. (Some OEMs are partnering with startups – for example: GM with Nikola and Ford with Rivian.)  IATF 16949® requirements will not be waived, but maturity needs to be developed.  The remarks were ended with a statement that the electric vehicle supply chain will need to implement the automotive quality tools (including IATF 16949® and the AIAG core tools).

What should EV suppliers and parts manufacturers be doing now?

In summary, the changing automotive landscape will provide risks and opportunities for many organizations in the supply chain, for both current automotive suppliers and current non-automotive suppliers, who will be supplying components to the electric vehicle market.  The supply chain needs to be ready for the changes, and aware of the automaker’s customer-specific requirements. Full supplier visibility and transparency will be required to protect the OEM’s reputation. Suppliers entering this EV marketplace should be proactive and preparing for IATF 16949® certification.

How do you cross the finish line to become IATF® Certified?

If you’re searching for a consultant, our team at simpleQuE is well positioned to support your IATF 16949® certification, maintenance, and internal auditing needs. SimpleQuE also offers a full line-up of IATF 16949® training courses which includes AIAG Core Tools, Root Cause Analysis and Problem Solving, Requirements and Implementation.  Contact us to learn more about the customized services offered to match your certification and training needs.

This article is by simpleQuE consultant and auditor, Bob Dornhecker.  With over 35 years of combined experience in auditing, manufacturing and certification, Bob has an extensive quality background.  Additionally, he has taught and facilitated many quality related training classes for clients and has provided support to companies securing their own ISO/Quality Management Systems certifications.  He also conducts ISO 9001 and IATF 16949® 2nd and 3rd party audits.

SimpleQuE is not associated with the IATF®, IAOB, ANAB®, IAQG®, and is not a certification body. SimpleQuE is an independent consulting, training, and second-party auditing service provider that assists a company on a path for the company to obtain and maintain certification through accredited certification bodies.




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