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Filings buzz: tracking industrial automation mentions in the automotive industry


Mentions of industrial automation within the filings of companies in the automotive industry were 17% higher during 2021 than in 2016, according to the latest analysis of data from GlobalData.

When companies in the automotive industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Industrial automation is one of these topics – companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether industrial automation is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the automotive industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned industrial automation at least once in filings during the past twelve months – this was 80% compared to 70% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to industrial automation.

Of the 10 biggest employers in the automotive industry, Denso was the company which referred to industrial automation the most during 2021. GlobalData identified 14 industrial automation-related sentences in the Japan-based company’s filings – 0.3% of all sentences. Stellantis mentioned industrial automation the second most – the issue was also referred to in 0.3% of sentences in the company’s filings. Other top employers with high industrial automation mentions included Continental, Lear and Mercedes-Benz.

Across all companies in the automotive industry the filing published in the fourth quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on industrial automation came from Denso. Of the document’s 1,679 sentences, 14 (0.8%) referred to industrial automation.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on industrial automation and how important the issue is considered within the automotive industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning industrial automation more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company’s ventures into industrial automation have been successes or failures.

In the last quarter, companies in the automotive industry based in Western Europe were most likely to mention industrial automation with 0.2% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in the United States mentioned industrial automation in just 0.09% of sentences.