3D CAD Modeling is key in the OEM Automotive Industry

Why is 3D CAD Modeling Necessary to Participate in the Automotive Industry?

As the automobile industry continues to expand in the Southeastern United States, it signals good news for existing Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) suppliers in the region. With the addition of the Toyota-Mazda collaboration in Alabama and the Volvo production facility in South Carolina, local companies in the region will be exposed to new opportunities to service these manufacturing facilities.

However, many OEM companies prefer to stick with trusted global suppliers, which makes it difficult for smaller vendors to establish relationships. To overcome this hurdle, local companies could create new business opportunities as Tier II suppliers. 

Often, the manufacturer has cultivated a long-term business relationship with Tier I suppliers over a long period of time. This history of working together provides the supplier with a level of understanding in terms of quality, environmental, and cost standards required to make the supply chain successful. 

In order to meet the high quality standards of the OEM and the Tier I supplier, local companies often need to invest in quality 3D Computer Assisted Design (CAD) modeling system upgrades and expand their engineering departments. Allocating such resources can be a balancing act for many small and medium-sized companies—creating a barrier to competition in the new market.

How to Become 3D CAD Modeling Capable

3D CAD modeling, a must in the industry, can be an expensive proposition. To become CAD capable requires an investment in software, hardware and highly-trained technical personnel to create the level of quality required. Most, if not all, technical data for manufactured components is designed in 3D CAD modeling software. 3D CAD models of the parts can be virtually tested before physical production begins saving time and money. For a smaller local provider finding a 3D CAD modeling solution is simply a must.

All companies have to allocate resources wisely, but for the smaller manufacturer seeking to become a Tier II supplier in the automotive industry, finding the proper balance of marketing, capital, machinery, training and personnel can be cumbersome. Thankfully, many functions of operations, such as 3D CAD modeling, can be outsourced, shifting some of the investment responsibility onto a vendor instead of the company’s bottom line.

Choosing the appropriate 3D CAD modeling outsourcing partner is a critical step in becoming successful as a Tier II supplier in the supply chain. Many companies take the route of hiring temp 3D CAD modelers or freelancers.  However hiring a professional team can, instead, reap much better results and reduce the risks associated with relying on temporary solutions.


The continued expansion of the auto industry in the southeast presents a significant opportunity for economic growth in the region. With the right outsource partner and good resource allocation, local manufacturing companies can flourish as Tier II suppliers and seize this opportunity.