Bienvenido at the Automotive Leaders Summit Mexico 2017

Bienvenido at the Automotive Leaders Summit Mexico 2017

The Automotive Leaders Summit brought together some of the most influential players from across the sector to discuss, debate and share the hottest topics of the day for Mexico's evolving automotive industry.

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Senior executives from around the globe gathered at the St. Regis Mexico City to celebrate achievement, creativity, knowledge and partnership. to connect and share the latest ideas and insights for the industry. From vehicle manufacturers, logistics and tier suppliers to future technology experts, their full analysis and debate presented the audience with some thought-provoking sessions.

Opening the conference, Peter Wooding, Three6Zero's Chief Executive, launched the one-day conference of presentations and discussions on the global supply chain, thanking all sponsors, speakers and attendees for their support before handing over to Sam Ogle, Editor of Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain Magazine to get proceedings underway.
Ogle then introduced Fausto Cuevas, Director General of AMIA (Asociación Mexicana de la Industria Automotríz) who gave a presentation on the "Trends of the Mexican Automotive Industry" and was followed by an in-depth analysis on "NAFTA and Mexico" and whether future agreements will affect the Automotive Industry by CANACINTRA's VP of International Affairs, Arturo Rangel-Bojorges – a reflective view on where negotiations may take us.

The next session brought together Richard DeBoer, Executive VP of Supply Chain Logistics, for Carter Logistics LLC and Dr. Ricardo Thierry, President, National College of Industrial Engineers Mexico with Sam Ogle to discuss how close the industry would be to a fully connected supply chain network and whether emerging technology would improve visibility and communication across the industry in a session entitled "Digitalizing the Supply Chain".

After a short break, the conference reconvened with an introductory keynote by Tomasz Liz, Director of Horizon Auto Logistics who outlined the challenges and lack of capacity in the Finished Vehicle Supply Chain.
Tomasz was then joined on stage by Sam Ogle, Guillermo Rosales Zárate, Director General of AMDA (Asociación Mexicana de Distribuidores de Automotores), Peter Koltai, Director Logistics of Audi México and Roberto Zavala, Managing Director and Head of Mexico for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics for a discussion on "Improving Finished Vehicle Distribution" and how this is envisioned for the future, and if emerging technology, IT innovation and supply chain issues will affect distribution channels.

Next, turning their attention towards production and manufacturing, Sam Ogle was joined by Juan Farias Negretti, VP & Managing Director of Faurecia Interior Systems Mexico, Joao Crema, Sales & Marketing Director for Scania de Mexico and Dr. Ricardo Thierry, President, National College of Industrial Engineers Mexico, in their panel discussion on the "Future of Automotive Manufacturing in Mexico". Together they gave their viewpoints and visions of Mexico's role in the automotive industry of the future and what effects, challenges, technologies, innovations and legislation might have on automotive manufacturing of tomorrow.

German Dominguez, VP, The Mexico Sourcing Institute delivered an insightful presentation on "Sourcing Strategies in Mexico" and the challenges faced & strategies employed by different aspects of the industry.

Taking another step towards the future, Bloomberg NEF's Business Manager for Latin America, Guillaume Fouché presented an interesting forecast on trends in "Clean Energy Transport" with a focus on battery capacity and EV vehicle outlook through to 2040.

Guillaume Fouché then returned to the stage, joined by Alfredo Guerrero, Ford Mexico's Smart Mobility Leader and Stephen Smith, Sales Director at Ridecell for the "Future Mobility: Innovation and Impact" session, to debate a variety of topics ranging from connected/autonomous/electric to ride-sharing/ride-hailing and what the future of mobility will bring to and be innovated by Mexico. The conversation ranged from disruptive change, to smart cities, energy initiatives, the smart cities challenge, data and telematics and ultimately, what will our urban landscape of the future really be like.

The penultimate panel session of the day saw Sam Ogle return to the stage once more, this time with McLaren Automotive Mexico's Commercial Director Enrique Romero, the CEO of DaiCom (Daimler Compra y Manufactura México) Letícia Rocco, Group PSA's Luis Fabián Basurto Castellanos, Director of Aftersales and DIREPSA Director General, Leonardo Castrejón to review the emotive topics of "Maintaining customer satisfaction and the importance of the aftermarket experience" and what challenges are presented from the aftermarket supply side that affect the overall perception of performance.

Continuing the theme of "futuristic" viewpoints and fast-forwarding the audience by a decade, Volvo Car México's Managing Director, Torben Eckardt, led the audience on a time travelling journey as the final keynote of the day, asking the delegates to "Imagine Mexico City 2027", sharing his thoughts on what the future holds for Mexico's automotive and mobility future.

The Summit drew to a close with Sam Ogle, Guillermo Rosales Zárate, Director General, Asociación Mexicana de Distribuidores de Automotores (AMDA), Shannon Everett, Chief Operations Officer, RICH Logistics, Torben Eckardt, Managing Director, Volvo Car México SA de C.V and Per Folkesson, President, Horizon Terminals who each gave their insights into the day's discussions during the "Leaders Panel".

Delegates then retired to a drinks reception where the conference concluded.

Test protocol developed by PSA, T&E, FNE and Bureau Veritas wins Ecobest 2017 award

Test protocol developed by PSA, T&E, FNE and Bureau Veritas wins Ecobest 2017 award

The protocol initiated by Groupe PSA to give fair and clear information to Peugeot, Citroën and DS customers, receives the ECOBEST 2017 award for the relevance of its project.

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The protocol is representative of the average customer consumption, designed to give reproducible and robust data.

It was co-developed with 2 NGOs: T&E and FNE, under the supervision of Bureau Veritas which has verified the accuracy and integrity of the results.

The development of the real-world fuel consumption test protocol commenced in late 2015 by Groupe PSA in association with two NGOs, Transport and Environment (T&E) and France Nature Environnement (FNE), and with a global independent certification organisation, Bureau Veritas. After 18 months of testing 60 vehicles with over 430 road tests covering more than 40,000 km, the measurements obtained make it possible to estimate the consumption in real-world driving conditions of more than 1,000 versions of Peugeot, Citroën and DS vehicles. This collaborative initiative, a world first in the automotive industry, wins the ECOBEST 2017 award.

ECOBEST 2017 is the key award in the green technologies, actions and programs in preserving the environment. It is given by AUTOBEST jury members representing 31 European countries, making it the largest Independent Motoring Jury in the world by the number of represented countries.

AUTOBEST welcomes the initiative of the Groupe PSA in association with T&E, FNE and Bureau Veritas: "It is the first time in the industry when a car maker is coming with a scientific approach of measuring the real world consumptions. In a period of time dominated by the suspicion that all the released consumption figures are not close to the reality, the PSA project is showing the determination of the French car maker to be fair with its consumers."

The awards ceremony will take place in the first half of February 2018.

Honda to evolve production system in Japan for global plants

Honda to evolve production system in Japan for global plants

Honda Motor Co., has announced that the company will evolve its automobile production system and capability to further enhance Mono-zukuri (the art of making things/manufacturing) in Japan.

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In more concrete terms, Honda will pursue two key initiatives: to evolve production operations in Japan and to newly establish a function to evolve production technologies in Japan to be shared globally.

Due to the rapid advance of new technologies such as electrification and intelligence technologies, the automobile industry is undergoing an unprecedented and significant turning point in its history. Anticipating major changes in automobile production, Honda will largely evolve its production operations in addition to product development operations.

Since its foundation, Honda has been establishing the technologies and know-how of Mono-zukuri in Japan and then evolving them rapidly to operations outside Japan, where each region applies its own originality and ingenuity at the spot. This is how Honda has achieved growth on a global basis. However, from here forward, automobile manufacturers must be able to accommodate new technologies speedily, and therefore it became essential for Honda to further evolve its production function in Japan and establish a structure where Japan operations will lead the other Honda operations on a global basis.

Based on this understanding of the situation, Honda will pursue the following initiatives:

Evolving production operations in Japan

While leveraging the respective strengths of automobile production plants in Japan, Honda will establish a production system and capability which will enhance Honda's competitiveness.

1) Saitama Factory:
In order to accommodate the production of vehicles equipped with new technologies such as electrified vehicles, the automobile production of the Sayama Automobile Plant and Yorii Automobile Plant will be consolidated to the Yorii Automobile Plant, which employs the latest production technologies. This consolidation is expected to be completed by around fiscal year 2022 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2022).
Production know-how involving new technologies will be amassed at the Yorii Automobile Plant and evolved from Japan, Honda's Mono-zukuri leader, to Honda operations outside of Japan, which will establish a structure where Japan operations will lead other Honda operations on a global basis.
Associates who are currently working at Sayama Automobile Plant will be transferred mainly to the Yorii Automobile Plant and fully utilise the production know-how they have amassed in their career.

2) Suzuka Factory:
Suzuka Factory will continue to establish technologies and know-how for producing highly-competitive mini-vehicles and also continue to play a role to evolve such production technologies and know-how horizontally to other Honda operations on a global basis.

3) Yokkaichi Factory of Yachiyo Industry Co., Ltd. (Yachiyo)
Striving to further increase the efficiency of producing low-volume-production models, which Honda is currently entrusting to Yachiyo, Honda and Yachiyo today signed a basic agreement to begin discussion toward making Yachiyo's automobile assembly business a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honda.
While leveraging the technologies and human resources amassed at Yachiyo, Honda will further increase efficiency by optimising its low-volume production system and capability.
The two companies will continue to discuss more details, such as the scope of Yachiyo business Honda will take over, and strive to reach a final agreement.

Newly establishing a function to evolve global production technologies in Japan

Within the Yorii Automobile Plant, Honda will newly establish a function to create, standardize and globally share new production technologies to accommodate new automotive technologies such as electrification technologies. Honda associates from production operations in each region will come together in Japan to jointly plan new production technologies and processes based on know-how amassed in Japan. Then, such production technologies and processes will be verified on the demonstration line built for this function, matured and then become standardised. Standardised production technologies and processes will be evolved horizontally to other Honda operations on a global basis so that Honda can launch high-quality new products to the market speedily.

Volvo Cars reports global sales growth of 11.2% in September

Volvo Cars reports global sales growth of 11.2% in September

Volvo Cars continued its sales momentum in September with growth in all main regions, compared with the same month last year, and remains on track for a fourth consecutive year of record sales.

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Sales in September reached 53,674 cars sold, up 11.2% compared with the same month last year. In the first nine months of 2017 sales amounted to 413,472 cars, up 9.0% compared to the year ago period.

Strong demand for the 90 series cars and the ramping up of new XC60 production continued to be an important factor in the company's sales growth.

In China, Volvo's largest market, sales grew by a solid 29.8% in September, compared with the same month last year, as the company sold to a total of 11,544 cars. The locally produced XC60, S60L and S90 models continued to be the main growth drivers. The Asia Pacific region recorded the strongest growth of all regions during the first nine months of 2017, up 23.7%, compared with the same period last year.

In the US, Volvo reported a very strong 40.7% increase year-on-year for the month of September, following strong sales of the XC90 SUV, the S90 sedan and the just arrived new XC60 mid-size SUV. The Americas region as a whole grew by 36.3% in September.

Sales in the EMEA region grew by 0.8% in September to 29,606 cars. For the first nine months of 2017, sales were up by 6.3% to 234,852 cars as the region continued to see strong demand for the new V90, new XC60 and XC90.

Globally, the Volvo XC60 was the best-selling model in September with 14,391 cars sold (2016: 15,551), followed by the Volvo V40/V40 Cross Country with 8,421 cars sold (10,341). The XC90 was third with 7,937 sold cars (7,856).

Toyota Australia closes manufacturing operations after more than 50 years

Toyota Australia closes manufacturing operations after more than 50 years

Toyota has officially ended more than half a century of manufacturing vehicles in Australia.

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Approximately 3,000 people attended a ceremony on October 3 at the Altona plant including current and former employees, suppliers, affiliate companies and officials from Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan.

Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner paid tribute to employees past and present for their ongoing commitment to ensuring the goal of 'last car = best global car'.
"It is you, our dedicated employees, who have built Toyota into Australia's leading car company – the biggest-selling brand for 20 individual years, including the past 14 in a row," Mr Buttner said.
"It is your efforts that have helped Toyota become a byword for quality, for reliability and for trust wherever you go in Australia.

Buttner assured departing employees that the company will be here to support them beyond today.
"When we launched the DRIVE program in 2014, its purpose was to ensure you are all in the best possible position to find a new job in the future. These services will remain until the middle of next year."

Buttner said Toyota would continue to be the leading automotive brand in Australia, retaining approximately 1,300 local employees and the existing dealer network of more than 270 sites.
"Toyota will maintain a sizeable presence in Australia. The company will continue to provide the Australian market with a diverse range of high quality vehicles, which I have no doubt will exceed expectations."

At Altona, plans included the relocation of key business units and the development of a Centre of Excellence.
"Altona will house our expanded design and engineering capabilities. Our 150-strong team are in great demand by Toyota affiliates around the globe.
"The Centre of Excellence will include a world-class training facility and other commercial initiatives that will enhance the company's business and the community."

Global President of Toyota Motor Corporation, Akio Toyoda, visited the Altona plant in August. Toyoda walked down the line and greeted manufacturing employees, expressing his sincere appreciation for the hard work and dedication that had been demonstrated in the lead up to their last day.
On the closing day, via video, Mr Toyoda once again expressed his gratitude. "I would like to express my sincere appreciation again to you, our dedicated employees, our suppliers, our customers, the local community and government who have all supported Toyota's manufacturing development in Australia.
"From the bottom of my heart I wish you and your families happiness in the future. Thank you very much."

Toyota Australia Chairman Max Yasuda announced the Toyota Community Trust, initiated through a $32 million endowment, which is to be left as a lasting legacy of the company's proud 54-year history of local manufacturing.
Mr Yasuda said he, like many employees, regarded Toyota as a family – a family that extended to the local communities in which Toyota operated.
"The Toyota Community Trust will enable us to create new beginnings for young people and provide all employees, especially those who are leaving today, with another reason to be proud of their time with Toyota," Yasuda said.

As part of Toyota Australia's transition to a national sales and distribution company, the consolidation of all corporate functions from Sydney to Melbourne will take effect by January 1, 2018.
As a result of this consolidation and cessation of manufacturing, the number of employees will reduce from 3,900 people to approximately 1,300. The head office will continue to be based in Port Melbourne and most of the Altona manufacturing site will be retained for new and relocated functions.

New trucks from Volvo running on gas

New trucks from Volvo running on gas

Volvo Trucks is now introducing Euro 6-compliant heavy duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas.

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The trucks can cut CO2 emissions by 20 to 100%. With a firm focus on new, energy-efficient technology for gas-powered vehicles, Volvo Trucks makes it possible to significantly reduce the climate impact of heavy regional and long-haul transport operations.

"We regard LNG, liquefied natural gas, as a long-term first choice alternative to diesel, both for regional and long-haul truck operations where fuel efficiency, payload and productivity are crucial. With a higher proportion of biogas, climate impact can be reduced far more. For transport operations in urban environments, where range is not as critical, electrified vehicles will play a greater role in the future.

Our vision is that trucks from Volvo will eventually have zero emissions, although the way of achieving that is not by one single solution but through several solutions in parallel. LNG is one of them," said Lars Mårtensson, Director Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks.

The new trucks, the Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG, can run on either biogas, which cuts CO2 by up to 100%, or natural gas which reduces CO2 emissions by 20% compared with diesel. This relates to emissions from the vehicle during usage, known as tank-to-wheel.

Compared with current gas-powered trucks available on the market, Volvo Trucks' new vehicles use 15 to 25% less fuel. LNG gives the trucks the greatest possible operating range.

"Our new trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas produce a far smaller climate footprint than diesel trucks do. In addition, they are much more fuel-efficient than the gas-powered trucks available on the market today. This makes gas more viable as a replacement for diesel even for heavy long-haul operations," said Mats Franzén, Product Manager Engines at Volvo Trucks.

Volvo Trucks is now working together with gas suppliers and customers to develop the expansion of LNG infrastructure in Europe. This development is also being supported politically in many countries and by the EU. A strategy for expanding LNG infrastructure is also included in the European Commission and member states' action packages for securing Europe's long-term energy supply.

Industry leaders get a great reception at the Automotive Global Awards Mexico 2017

Industry leaders get a great reception at the Automotive Global Awards Mexico 2017

Overlooking the historic Paseo de la Reforma, with the sounds, hustle and bustle of an exciting city at their feet, automotive executives gathered at the St. Regis Mexico to celebrate achievement, creativity, knowledge and partnership.

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The event commenced with celebrations for the Mexico Automotive Leaders Awards which opened with a champagne reception and opening address by Sam Ogle, where individuals were honoured at this prestigious ceremony.

Ogle said: "Over the past few years, Mexico has been, arguably, the shining star of the automotive world. The boom in automotive production, not only of finished vehicles but of componentry, has been virtually without precedent. This, in itself, is a tribute to the quality of the Mexican workforce and to the nation's espousal of new technology.
We pay tribute tonight to certain individuals who, by their efforts and those of their organisations, have exemplified the commitment and quality which has contributed so much to the continuing success of Mexico as a global automotive powerhouse."

Award winners

  • Peter Koltai, Director Logistics, Audi México
  • Alfredo Guerrero, Smart Mobility Leader, Ford de México
  • Per Folkesson, President, Horizon Terminals
  • Joseph Gemma, Chief Regional Officer, KUKA Robotics
  • Enrique Enrich, CEO, Scania de Mexico S.A. de CV
  • Horacio Saldivar, Director Purchasing, Nissan Mexicana
  • Shannon Everett, Chief Operations Officer, RICH Logistics
  • Roberto Zavala, Managing Director / Head of Mexico, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.

Peter Wooding, CEO of Three6Zero who organised the Awards said: "This is the first time we have brought an awards event to Mexico. These awards are reflective of the importance that Mexico holds for the whole automotive industry. The enthusiasm, creativity and innovation shown by the individuals here tonight are testament to the high standards expected by a quality-driven industry. It is by encouraging and developing individuals, giving creativity to ideas, being adaptable and flexible, that the industry will continue thriving in the years ahead."
"I am delighted with the support we have had to bring this event to Mexico and believe it has brought the opportunity to connect, debate and share the hot topics but also, to celebrate the achievements. We are proud to have welcomed a truly outstanding group of individuals for our inaugural Mexico Leaders celebrations."

The Awards were then followed by the Automotive Leaders Summit, an annual conference where top automotive supply chain executives from around the globe gathered in the heart of Mexico City.

Opening the conference, Peter Wooding said "I am delighted to be able to welcome you all to this conference and to discuss some exciting topics here today with our excellent speakers. The automotive industry is vitally important to Mexico's economy and we are here today to learn from those in the know and get to the heart of the key issues from the leaders of the industry."

The one day summit conference of presentations and discussions brought focus with topics such as the NAFTA & Mexico and the effect on the automotive industry, digitising the supply chain, finished vehicle distribution, the future of automotive manufacturing, future mobility, customer satisfaction and the aftermarket experience, as well as keynotes on topics such as the future of electric vehicles, Mexico 2027, NAFTA, sourcing in Mexico and of course, production outlook.

With its architectural splendour, thriving culture and endless energetic spirit, the 2017 Leaders Event concluded with an exceptional networking afterglow drinks reception.

Three6Zero

As a global media company, Three6Zero specialises in informing the automotive industry through its range of media brands to the world's audience. From the Americas, Asia, India and Europe, the company produces exciting publications, digital products, events and interest forum services to the automotive industry.

Three6Zero's publication brands include the magazines "Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain" and "Visions" both renowned for their editorial excellence, cutting-edge design and unique interviews, as well as their successful automotive events brands Automotive Leaders Summit and Automotive Global Awards.

New Nissan Leaf for Europe launched

New Nissan Leaf for Europe launched

Nissan has unveiled the new Nissan LEAF in Europe, the next generation of the world's best-selling zero-emissions electric vehicle.

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Nissan intelligent power: new powertrain

The new Nissan LEAF offers an improved range of 378 km (235 miles)* on a single charge, allowing drivers to enjoy longer journeys, interconnected by the extended European CHAdeMO Quick Charging network. Meanwhile the new e-powertrain also delivers 110 kW of power output and 320 Nm of torque.

Smarter technologies

The new Nissan LEAF is packed with ingenious technology, including ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system for a confident, more comfortable drive. ProPILOT uses the steering, braking and acceleration to assist the driver within single lane, low speed traffic and highway cruisng scenarios. In slow moving traffic it enables the New LEAF to autonomously slowdown and stop where traffic flow ceases. It will then start to follow the car in front when the flow resumes. Also included is ProPILOT Park for fully autonomous parking.

More control, less stress

Nissan says the LEAF's revolutionary e-Pedal technology transforms the way people drive by letting them start, accelerate, decelerate and stop – simply by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator. When the accelerator is fully released, the hydraulic and friction brakes are applied automatically, bringing the car to a complete stop and regenerating the braking energy to recharge the battery. The car holds its position, even on steep up and downhill slopes, until the accelerator is pressed again, taking the stress out of driving like never before.

Nissan Intelligent Integration: linking battery power to social infrastructure

The carmaker says that the new LEAF is also much more than just a 100% electric vehicle. It calls it a mobile power unit complete with unique bi-directional charging. This means it can give back energy to power the world around it by connecting to homes and offices. It can even return any excess charge to top up and stabilise the local energy grid thanks to Nissan's innovative Vehicle to Grid technology.

The new LEAF has a new 7-inch, full-colour (TFT) display highlights key features, including the Safety Shield technology, power gauge and information from the audio and navigation systems. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have also been integrated for enhanced connectivity *(depending on market).

GM reveals new-gen ECOTEC 1.0T and 1.3T engines to be launched in China

GM reveals new-gen ECOTEC 1.0T and 1.3T engines to be launched in China

General Motors has revealed its new-generation ECOTEC 1.0T and 1.3T dual injection engines that are being launched in China.

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The turbocharged engines were developed as a global architecture with the support of GM's worldwide manufacturing and supply chain networks. They will power Buick and Chevrolet models built and sold in the domestic market starting later this year.

"GM is integrating our unmatched global resources with our local capabilities to offer reliable, durable and efficient propulsion systems," said Michael Carman, GM China Vice President of Global Propulsion Systems. "These new engines will offer a great ownership and driving experience to our customers across China."

The 1.0T engine generates maximum power of 92 kW/170 Nm, while the 1.3T engine produces maximum power of 120 kW/230 Nm. Fuel economy has been improved by up to 10% compared to the engines powering the popular Buick Excelle GT. This translates into combined fuel consumption of only 4.9 litres/100 km for the 1.0T engine and 5.8 litres/100 km for the 1.3T engine.

Representing a new architecture, the new-generation ECOTEC 1.0T and 1.3T engines incorporate a series of cutting-edge driveline technologies. They are the first turbocharged engines to apply dual port injection, which optimises combustion.

The engines have a compact aluminium structure and redesigned combustion chamber, further enhancing efficiency. Twelve core technologies have been adopted to significantly reduce structural noise and vibration. The innovative application of intelligent mechatronics supports precise control, green operation and high power.

To ensure the highest level of durability, 367 prototypes were put through nearly 6 million km of testing in different conditions, including high altitude, high temperature, extreme cold, high humidity and corrosive environments, and on varying road surfaces.

The new-generation ECOTEC engines will be produced in GM's world-class propulsion manufacturing facilities using digitised, automated and big data-controlled manufacturing processes and innovative technologies.

FCA to sell Magneti Marelli next year but Alfa and Maserati to stay for now

FCA to sell Magneti Marelli next year but Alfa and Maserati to stay for now

Sergio Marchionne told reporters at a press conference in Italy that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will go ahead with the plan to spin-off Magneti Marelli but that it was too early to divest of Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

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He also said listing the unit, in the manner of GM and Delphi, and Visteon and Ford, might be the best route to protect shareholders and jobs.

At the event in Rovereto, in northern Italy, Marchionne said the divesting of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands may not even happen during the next business plan, which is planned run from 2018 to 2022, and whose details will be unveiled early next year.

Buyers for the Magneti Marelli business could include Samsung, who have expressed interest in the Italian supplier's lighting, electronics and connected vehicle products.

Renault moves to Industry 4.0 with plants of the future

Renault moves to Industry 4.0 with plants of the future

Renault is digitising its production system to support operators, build connected, personalised vehicles, and make plants more customer-focused.

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The traceability of each part

Each part is traceable, making it possible to track each order every step of the way. As soon as a customer orders a new vehicle, the raw materials are prepared, the suppliers informed and the logistic flows put in place. By fully synchronising all stages of production, the plant is able to respect lead times, from suppliers to end customers.

Sites use QR codes and RFID tags for parts, along with a database, to manage the quality of each part throughout the process.

For example, the Valladolid plant (in north-west Spain) uses active RFID tags to geolocate vehicles. That enables real-time identification of vehicles ready to be delivered, allowing customers be notified when their vehicles are ready.

A controlled process

With the "right first time" approach, operators treat each vehicle built as if it were their own. They know that everything they do impacts the quality of the vehicle delivered and are also aware of customer requirements.

With 36 production sites and 12 logistics sites worldwide, Renault and Nissan manufacturing teams apply the Alliance Production Way (APW) production standards.

Introduced in 2014, this system shares the best practices of both makers, captures synergies and facilitates the deployment of innovations and sharing of investments to upgrade plants.
APW has enabled cross-manufacturing between the two partners. The Micra built at Renault's Flins plant in France is one example.

People lead Industry 4.0

New equipment means people are more agile, more responsive and trained in new technologies.
Renault has deployed health, safety and environment policies at all its plants and is attentive to employee well-being at work. At the Cléon factory in France, for example, some employees wear exoskeletons for easier handling of parts weighing up to 15 kilogrammes, enhancing their agility and minimising the risk of injury.

Debulking robots also make it easier to handle parts. They pick up, replace and empty parts into trays, for a more seamless process flow. While a long way from replacing people, technology is gradually helping to phase out the hardest tasks.

Autonomous equipment such as collaborative robots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and driverless forklifts are bringing to life tomorrow's plants.

The digital transformation

All Renault plants will eventually be equipped with Wi-Fi and apps that already allow employees to access all the information they need – vacations, site closures, training and more – from their own smartphones.
Tablets have changed the way team – or UET – supervisors work. When it introduced the "connected UET supervisor" concept, the Valladolid plant gave each team leader a tablet for real-time access to production and quality data. This allows them to take action quickly; the photo feature lets them explain a production line problem with pictures and instant messaging facilitates conversations. They can respond immediately without waiting for interventions from the shop floor.

Predictive maintenance

It remotely monitors equipment using dedicated software to display all data relating to machinery in real time. The job of maintenance technicians is being transformed. They can now anticipate equipment failures that can affect production, rather than respond afterwards. Technicians receive alerts on their tablets and can connect to other sites or technical experts to plan the operations to be performed and keep the other sites up to date. This prevents production stoppages and guarantees the competitiveness of the production system.

Predictive maintenance has already been deployed at the Cléon machining centre in France, and will be extended to the Valladolid plant in Spain, the Sandouville plant in France and the Cacia plant in Portugal in the near future.

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