Communication in the automotive supply chain

Auto manufacturing is more international than ever with newcomers like India and China the latest new members of the global auto industry. As automotive OEMs break into new markets and new manufacturers emerge, this leads to developments and relocations for key Tier 1 and Tier 2 sub-suppliers that aim to be within close proximity of their customers.

In order for the suppliers and the OEM to collaborate efficiently, they need to be able to share precisely translated and interpreted information.

Traditionally, the automotive supply chain involves five major groups of players:

  • original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that design and assemble the vehicle,
  • first-tier suppliers that manufacture and supply components directly to the carmaker,
  • sub-tier suppliers that produce some of the individual parts that would be included in a component manufactured by a first tier supplier,
  • raw materials and infrastructure suppliers,
  • engineering firms, dealers and advertising agencies.




For a successful communication between the automotive supply chain links, an automotive translation services provider needs to:

  • Use professional translators that have knowledge across diverse technical fields.

These fields include, but are not limited to: mechanical & electrical engineering, automation technology, electronics and microelectronics, navigation systems, onboard computers, wiring, air conditioning, panelling, service and diagnostics.

  • Hire in-house native speakers that have knowledge of logistics, finance, R&D, marketing, insurance, client relationships, etc.

By being able to effectively communicate both upstream and downstream, a supplier can better integrate its actions to work seamlessly to meet the needs of a client on any terms, instead of the terms of business being dictated by language barriers.

  • Ensure that all translators have shared real-time access to dictionaries, specialised glossaries and translation memory systems.

Obviously, translators involved in automotive translation projects need to not only understand the technical aspects of the products they are dealing with, but must also be aware of the market in which they are being sold. The difference between technical language and market/retail language is large and significant.

By being embedded into the manufacturing supply chain, the translation services provider can understand it from the inside and accurately interpret the important aspects of the international auto parts industry and its successful marketing.


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