Valeo was already the top French patent filer with the European Patent Office (EPO), with 612 patents published in 2016, and its move up the INPI rankings further illustrates the importance of innovation in the Group’s strategy, particularly its drive to reduce CO2 emissions and develop intuitive driving.
In 2016, Valeo’s R&D budget amounted to 1.596 billion euros, representing around 11% of its original equipment sales (net expenditure of 5.8% of the Group’s sales). Its patented innovations demonstrate its commitment to offering creative, sustainable solutions in response to the three-part revolution now underway in the automotive industry, with drivetrain electrification, automated and connected cars, mobility services and digital.
Industrial property experts are integrated into Valeo’s different innovation projects worldwide in order to define the methods and means for protecting the technologies developed by the Group’s network of 13,000 engineers.
Valeo’s innovation-based strategy is a success with customers, with innovative products accounting for half of total order intake in 2016. “Innovative products” are defined as products that were not on the market three years earlier.
Commenting on Valeo’s top spot in the rankings, Valeo’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jacques Aschenbroich said: