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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: BMW, Critical Software Joint venture hires 500 workers this year




Porto, Oct.19,2021 (Lusa) - Critical TechWorks, a joint venture between Portugal's Critical Software and BMW to develop digital automotive solutions, plans to hire 500 workers this year and increase turnover by 60%, to more than €80 million.
"In 2021, our projection is to end the year with around 1,360 people [compared to 860 at the end of 2020] and, also involving our subcontracted partners, the number [of company employees] should be around 1,500 people," the company's financial director said in an interview with Lusa, as part of the company's third anniversary.
According to Paulo Guedes, around 900 people will be assigned to Critical Techworks' Porto facilities and the remainder to Lisbon's, the vast majority of them Portuguese.
"One strategy that we have implemented in the meantime and that has proven to bear fruit is to make much more use of external partners (in Portugal) and, therefore, we increasingly involve the local economy and local companies in the software sector with their specialities that are of interest to us," he said.
Thus, he said, Critical Techwoks' approximately 860 internal workers by the end of 2020 will be joined by a few hundred more sub-contractors, in a total that undoubtedly exceeded 1,000 people last year.
Translating this growth in staff, the company points to an increase in turnover of around 60% this year, compared to about €52 million in 2020, expecting to maintain this pace in 2022.
"The year [last] went very well, and the prospects remain very good," Paulo Guedes told Lusa, pointing only to a short period of some uncertainty at a global level in the first half of 2020, following the pandemic, and that, like several other sectors, affected the automotive industry.
"Especially in the first half of the year, there was a lot of uncertainty about what the real impacts of the pandemic could be on the automotive sector and what it could be subject to in a post-pandemic scenario. Therefore, we had some delays in some projects, but no cancellations, only some projects that should have started in the first semester started only in the second when the perspectives started to be better," he said.
With more than 90% of the projects currently underway being extended to 2022, to which new projects already under evaluation with the BMW Group will be added, Critical Techworks foresees for 2022 a growth rate equal to that of 2021 and 2020, not yet anticipating any signs of a slowdown in the activity.
According to the company's financial director, these good perspectives result both from the bet of the German automotive group on the two new electric models - BMW i4 and iX - which will have a strong presence of integrated Portuguese technology, and from the new paradigms of globality and the addition of new capacity to the car, which is almost treated as a device.
"The car is typically something fixed. When we buy it, we know that it has certain characteristics. But there is no need for it to be like that. Nowadays, technology no longer justifies it. Like you upgrade a mobile phone, you can upgrade a car by installing a new app, a new feature, or a new service inside the car. And that is what we are currently working on," Paulo Guedes said.
In the two new electric models i4 and iX, whose launch in the European market is foreseen for November, a significant part of the technology was developed by Critical Techworks, from the embedded technology at the level of the car controllers to the infotainment systems.
The financial manager pointed out the onboard Spotify or the map service, with all the intelligent services related to it, such as, for example, the ability to detect if there are free parking spaces at the destination.
Pointing out that a car currently has hundreds of internal control units of the most diverse functions, from stability to the car's climate (such as air conditioning control), Paulo Guedes said that Critical Techworks already developed all this.
As for the infotainment system, he added, the two new electric models have the next generation of infotainment from BMW, which was also developed by Critical Techworks, as well as all the displays and services onboard the car.
The financial director highlights that there is still a lot of intelligence that needs to be embedded in vehicles and many challenges that still have to be addressed, namely at the level of communication between vehicles and with the infrastructure, and gives as an example autonomous driving, where the baby steps are still taking place.
"That is why we do not see a slowdown in the needs that are arising at group level and which are guided by the needs of the market itself," he said.
PD/IMYN // ADB.
Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-10-20 09:54:00







 

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