Valeo has invested around €0.5bn in Egypt over the past 10 years: CEO

Taha Sakr
9 Min Read

The rapidly growing number of vehicles globally is a major contributor to air pollution and climate change. For this reason, the world began to gradually shift towards the use of electric cars.

In this context, the majority of countries in the world, including Egypt — which recently hosted the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) — seek to expand the use of electric cars and to localize the industry in an effort to reduce emissions produced by the transportation sector and come up with necessary solutions to solve the climate change crisis.

Valeo is a tech company that works in the field of smart mobility with a particular focus on the development of safety on roads, especially through the acceleration of driving assistance systems and the fight against global warming through the acceleration of electric mobility.

The company, which was founded in 1923, started in a workshop outside of Paris and is now a world-leading global automotive supplier operating in 30 countries.

Valeo serves automaker customers and original equipment manufacturers across the world. The company has a business presence across Asia, Africa, North America, South America, the Middle East, and Europe.

Among its specialties, Valeo designs and develops embedded software that is integrated into the car, with high-added value related to electronic car parts.

The company started its operations in Egypt with only 25 engineers specializing in software testing and component development in 2005. In 2010, Valeo’s engineers in Egypt began to take over the entire software project development cycle. This helped fuel Valeo’s growth into a global centre of excellence specializing in software R&D with a force of 3,000 software engineers who serve all of Valeo’s business groups and drive several innovation initiatives around the world.

Daily News Egypt recently sat down with a number of Valeo’s executives headed by Valeo’s CEO Christophe Périllat and CTO Geoffrey Bouquot in the presence of Valeo Egypt General Manager and Group Technical Centre VP Tamer Aly to learn about the company’s activities and efforts to address the climate crisis.

Valeo has invested around €0.5bn in Egypt over the past 10 years: CEO

What are the main pillars on which Valeo’s strategy is based?

Valeo’s strategy is based on four key elements that are witnessing significant development in the automotive industry — electrification, driving assistance systems, lighting systems, and electronic systems relative to the interior experience.

Valeo is well aware that the industry is moving towards clean energy. It has been estimated that the market for the electrification of vehicles is expected to grow three times to reach €90bn. Among our preparations for this new transformation, Valeo cooperated with Renault to develop an electric motor free of rare, non-renewable materials. This is one of the mechanisms for achieving our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

What does Egypt represent to Valeo, and how does the company seek to increase its investment in this country?

Valeo has worked on equipping the largest software R&D centre in Egypt. It is the largest centre within the Valeo Group as well. It serves all the company’s business groups under one umbrella. The centre develops around 250 projects yearly and produces 60% of the group’s software production worldwide, which enables the centre to export 100% of its services globally.

The centre accommodates 3,000 engineers who we can say are among the most qualified engineers in the field, in whom Valeo invested hundreds of millions of euros in recruiting, developing, and upgrading their competencies to expand their knowledge and create a strong technology arm in advanced solutions.

Additionally, in recent years, Valeo has been actively cooperating with the Egyptian government. Recently, the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al-Nasr Automotive Manufacturing to cooperate on the development of various components for the electric vehicles that will be produced in Egypt. This is within the framework of the Ministry of Public Enterprise’s plan to manufacture electric cars of different sizes and to localise the industry in Egypt.

Notably, our cooperation with the Egyptian government extends beyond business operations. Through several agreements with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Valeo aims to provide job opportinities to youths seeking careers in the tech field.

Furthermore, Valeo maintains solid relationships with around 25 universities across Egypt in an effort to prepare university students for the tech job market and equip them with the knowledge needed for that purpose.

What is the size of Valeo’s investments in Egypt?

Over the past 10 years, Valeo has invested around €0.5bn in Egypt for the development of its talents of software engineers. Valeo also contributes a lot of efforts in collaborating with nearly 20 Egyptian universities in enhancing technical curriculums and preparing the young generations of engineers for careers in the tech industry.

What are the most prominent products that you worked on developing for car companies in electrification?

We have developed a full suite of products related to powertrain electrification: The electric motor itself, the inverter — which is the electronics and software box piloting the motor — on-board chargers to charge the battery from the grid.

But electrification goes beyond powertrain; our efficient thermal systems are essential to ensure a constant temperature management for the battery, or an efficient air-conditioning system that preserves the range of the vehicle while maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the car.

One interesting new product that we have presented at the 89th round of the Paris Motor Show was a cooperation with Renault to produce an innovative motor free of rare-earth materials. Valeo will produce a stator motor based on copper wires. The company is using its experience in generating higher power from this part with less electricity consumption by enhancing the density of the copper.

Renault will be responsible for designing the engine according to the requirements of its models and producing the moving parts without non-renewable elements or a magnetic field. This engine is supposed to provide high efficiency and activity, especially at high speeds, as its power will reach 200 kW, which is the equivalent of 268 horsepower.

What methods does Valeo use to improve safety in the design and development of embedded software related to e-vehicles’ parts?

Valeo is working, for example, on developing lighting systems that provide benefits beyond road lighting. The systems are based on sensors that detect obstacles or dangers and produce alerts to warn drivers, like lighting signs displayed on the ground.

Furthermore, the architecture of electric vehicles provides an opportunity to create a more attractive appearance, for instance by installing lighting systems on the front grille, where traditional vehicles have ventilation.

Through this, manufacturers will be able to provide a special design language for their electric cars. We have already begun to see this in the Volkswagen ID series, the front of which contains a light strip extending across the width of the car, along with an illuminated brand logo.

Can you tell us more about your future sales strategy?

I can confirm that the company plans to reach sales of €27.5bn by 2025 and €40bn by 2030.

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