Automotive beyond languages: Overcoming the challenges of a globalized industry through L&D

Like many other industries, the automotive industry fully benefits from globalization. Globalization helps overcome labor shortages, diversify sources of supply to avoid disruptions, and enables large-scale and local marketing. The distribution of skills and resources across different regions of the world not only optimizes costs but also fosters innovation by encouraging the emergence of new ideas and the creation of vehicles that are perfectly tailored to each market.

However, despite the advantages that globalization offers to multinational corporations and local suppliers, they can also face significant communication challenges. Learning and Development provides concrete solutions to overcome these challenges.

With our experience working with over 50 automotive companies worldwide, we have identified the key challenges that the industry faces due to globalization.

What are the communication challenges related to globalization for the automotive industry?

  • Misunderstandings and language-related issues are common challenges in the automotive industry, as well as in many other sectors today. Communication often takes place in English but conveying the message in three different languages (your native language, your counterpart’s language, and English as the intermediary language) can lead to serious misunderstandings. There are many pitfalls, ranging from accents to sentence structure, and even automotive-specific vocabulary. A typo, a double meaning, or a misinterpretation can cost you valuable time.

  • Interpersonal relationship problems can be complex, even among individuals of the same nationality. When your clients or suppliers are based abroad, or when your teams are comprised of diverse cultures, mishandling these issues can become a real handicap. Skills such as the ability to accept criticism, negotiate effectively, or write messages appropriately are crucial. Understanding the culture of your counterparts allows you to anticipate their reactions and communicate accordingly.

  • Productivity loss is a major challenge when instructions and communications are conducted in a foreign language. It can be exhausting for your employees, resulting in decreased morale and engagement within the company, especially for those who are less comfortable with English. However, productivity loss is also evident in deciphering information, writing and proofreading content, as well as the time spent managing misunderstandings.

  • The expatriation of talents and their families can have a significant impact on their professional and personal lives. When you choose to send key employees abroad to manage subcontractors, oversee development or production, or establish a new entity, it is essential to provide them with the necessary support to ensure a smooth transition.

  • Understanding local markets poses a major challenge as each market has its own characteristics and expectations. Sales arguments and products that work in one country may not be as effective in another. While some trends emerge globally, such as autonomous and electric vehicles, each country has its own concerns. Some prioritize environmental standards, while others prioritize price. Additionally, different driving habits require adapting vehicles to each market. The challenge is to accurately identify these concerns and draw the right conclusions in terms of investment. It also involves being able to communicate effectively with local authorities and the general public.

Don’t speak English. Speak Automotive.

Looking for language training that can have an impact on your global organization? Learnship works with over 50 major companies in the automotive industry, including Pirelli, Hella, Hirschmann Automotive, and Europe’s leading automotive manufacturer. Let’s talk about your challenges, and how we can help you excel.

Solutions to successfully overcome communication challenges in a multinational company

  • Learning a common language to drive communication: Whether they are automobile manufacturers, suppliers, or subcontractors, our clients have succeeded in improving communication and productivity among their teams by providing training without constraints of location or schedule. With an e-learning platform, they have both streamlined communication, retained their employees, and provided them with a competitive advantage for their personal development. In a company where everyone speaks the same language, encourage communication at all levels. Emphasize the importance of transparency, information exchange, and active employee participation.

  • Identifying key problematic situations and offering targeted support: Off-the-shelf content does not suit every profile, especially when specific needs must be addressed, such as preparation for expatriation, negotiation, or rapid improvement of oral skills. By opting for individualized training, you can expedite the progress of your talents by addressing their specific needs. We offer trainer-led programs focused on business challenges, key skills, as well as the automotive industry itself. These programs explore modern communication technologies for immediate application.

  • Identifying cultures within your ecosystem and providing intercultural workshops: We understand the importance of intercultural interactions in a professional context. That’s why we offer tailored training that takes into account the nationality of your employees and counterparts. Our workshops aim to enhance interactions by helping your employees become aware of different cultural dimensions, such as business principles, motivations, hierarchy, or leadership. Our approach is based on solid theoretical content, but more importantly, on practical case studies immediately applicable in the workplace. This allows your employees to acquire essential intercultural skills and apply them in their daily work.

  • Coaching your leadership teams: Leadership teams are usually fluent in English and can address complex topics with ease. However, occasional needs may arise, such as conflict management, writing important reports, presentations, or simply establishing clear communication guidelines. This is where personalized coaching comes into play, offering an ideal solution to address very specific topics and provide tailored action strategies. Our experienced coaches work with your leadership teams to identify their specific needs and guide them in developing essential skills to maximize their impact in key situations. Whether it’s building self-confidence, refining communication techniques, or effectively managing challenges encountered, our tailored coaching helps executives achieve professional goals successfully.

Why Learnship?

  • Personalized support and project management to meet your strategic requirements and local expectations.

  • Monthly reports to track program progress and monitor KPIs achievement.

  • Solutions to prevent dropout (customer service, mentors, etc.) to help your learners stay committed to their goals.

  • Measurable progress based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale, through pre-defined objectives, regular assessments, and ongoing evaluation.

  • Over 50 clients in the automotive sector, including Hella, Hirshmann, and the leading European manufacturer.

Let’s talk about your challenges.

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