AAM to supply Power Transfer Unit to Cadillac for XT4

AAM to supply Power Transfer Unit to Cadillac for XT4

American Axle & Manufacturing (AMA) will provide Power Transfer Unit (PTU) for the added functionality of all-wheel drive (AWD) to Cadillac for its XT4 Crossover slated to go on sale later in the year.

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The vehicle's twin clutch AWD system features the AAM Power Transfer Unit that allows the driver to decouple the driveshaft and rear axle to reduce drivetrain losses when not in AWD mode. This system enables the driver to select AWD mode when needed or have similar fuel economy to front wheel drive models when not needed.

"The crossover segment is the industry's fastest growing luxury segment and AAM is growing with the segment and Cadillac," said David C. Dauch, AAM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "AAM's PTU provides discerning customers in this premium brand the functionality of AWD, but with improved fuel economy and emissions when compared to conventional AWD systems."

Attached to the vehicle's transmission, AAM's PTU sends power through the driveshaft to the rear drive module (RDM) when torque is needed. When AWD mode is turned off, AAM's PTU stops rotating the driveshaft and sending power to the RDM. This mechanism helps increase fuel economy and reduce emissions.

The Cadillac XT4 PTU is part of AAM's family of EcoTrac Disconnecting AWD solutions, which include disconnecting PTUs, multi-piece driveshafts, rear drive modules with electronic control units and torque transfer devices.

Sogefi to produce engine coolant pumps for electrified Volvos

Sogefi to produce engine coolant pumps for electrified Volvos

Sogefi, the automotive components company of the CIR Group, has signed a contract with Volvo Cars to supply engine coolant pumps for its future generation XC40, S60, V60, XC90 and S90 hybrid models.

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This new business will bring €10 million ($11.8 million) of additional annual sales at full volume.

Volvo Cars, a part of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH), has announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, placing electrification at the core of its future business.

Laurent Hebenstreit, Chief Executive Officer of Sogefi said, "This new contract confirms Sogefi's position as the supplier-of-choice for cooling technology in the fast-growing hybrid vehicle market. Sogefi will become the leading supplier for coolant pumps worldwide for the premium car maker Volvo Cars."

Sogefi will start the production of the coolant pumps for Volvo's vehicles at its Chinese plant of Wujiang in 2019.

Continental opens new R&D centre in Singapore

Continental opens new R&D centre in Singapore

Automotive supplier, Continental has opened its third Research & Development (R&D) building in Singapore.

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The new building aims to meet the demand of growing engineering capacities driven by the worldwide business expansion, particularly in Asia.

It is one of the three largest Continental R&D centres in Asia, and among the largest private R&D facilities in Singapore. The new seven-story building has a floor space of approximately 11,000 square metres. It will accommodate employees from Continental's Interior and Powertrain division. With this addition, the location will hire more than 500 employees in the next few years.

"Our presence in Asia has grown significantly. In 2017, we made 22% of our total sales in the region. The opening of our third R&D building in Singapore attests to our confidence in, and commitment to, Singapore as a strategic location to expand our research and development centres in Asia. With the new building designed to foster innovation, inclusiveness, we are future ready. We will be hiring more engineers with the relevant competencies and knowledge to ride the growth and demand for new technologies in the industry." said Mr Helmut Matschi, member of the Continental Executive Board and head of the Interior division.

"Continental's latest R&D expansion in Singapore will introduce new focus areas such as intelligent mobility and mobility services, given the burgeoning interest in urban mobility. We look forward to more like-minded partners leveraging Singapore's strong research capabilities to develop, test and commercialise mobility solutions to serve the region's increasing mobility needs," said Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board.

"In 2012, we had 650 employees, and to date we have more than 1,300, doubling the figure in just over a span of six years. Our target is to grow to more than 2,000 employees within the next five years. The rapid development within the automotive industry necessitates having sufficient talent." said Mr Lo Kien Foh, Managing Director of Continental Automotive Singapore Pte Ltd.

Magna wins contract to produce BMW Z4

Magna wins contract to produce BMW Z4

Magna adds the new BMW Z4 to its contract vehicle manufacturing line-up in Graz, Austria.

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Production is scheduled to begin at the end of 2018. This business further strengthens Magna's position as a brand-independent vehicle contract manufacturer.

"Our expertise in complete vehicle engineering and production makes us unique and the ideal partner for the industry," said Günther Apfalter, President of Magna Europe and Magna Steyr. "We are very pleased that we can further strengthen our relationship with the BMW Group and continue to solidify our overall position in the industry with new business like this."

Magna's cooperation with the Bavarian manufacturer started in 2001. In 2003 the first BMW X3 manufactured by Magna rolled off the production line, followed by a series of other models. Since 2017, a part of the total volume of the BMW 5 Series has been manufactured by Magna both with a combustion engine and as a hybrid version.

As a supplier with collective expertise across multiple product areas and the ability to build complete vehicles, the company is uniquely positioned to continue to partner with traditional automakers as well as new entrants in the new mobility landscape. Magna has more than 100 years of experience in vehicle production, in excess of three million vehicles produced to date, and a broad range of engineering and support services.

Yanfeng opens technical centre in Queretaro, Mexico

Yanfeng opens technical centre in Queretaro, Mexico

Automotive interior manufacturer, Yanfeng opened doors to its newest technical centre at the O’Donnell Aeropuerto industrial park in Queretaro, Mexico.

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with company leaders, government officials and customers to celebrate its opening. The 12,000 square feet facility, located adjacent to the company's manufacturing plant is focused on product engineering, advanced manufacturing, advanced quality and programme management.

The company is already present at three locations in Mexico supplying parts to major OEMs such as Daimler Trucks, FCA and GM among others. Yanfeng has been operating in Mexico under a joint venture with Adient, an automotive seat manufacturer, where Yanfeng owns 70% of the venture and Adient, the remaining 30%.

The new centre built on an investment of around $50 million, is believed to be supplying parts mainly to BMW, GM among other car makers who have facilities in the vicinity.

Yanfeng has created 1200 employment opportunities in Mexico since its arrival in the country five years ago.

Infineon showcases CoolSiC Schottky diodes

Infineon showcases CoolSiC Schottky diodes

At the PCIM Europe trade fair in Nuremberg, Infineon Technologies AG presented the first products of its automotive Silicon Carbide portfolio; the CoolSiC Schottky diode family which is ready for current and future on-board charger (OBC) applications in hybrid and electric vehicles.

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Infineon has designed the diodes specifically to meet the high requirements of the automotive industry with regards to reliability, quality and performance.

"The SiC technology is now mature to be deployed at broad scale in automotive systems", says Stephan Zizala, Vice President and General Manager for Automotive High Power at Infineon. "The launch of the automotive CoolSiC Schottky diode family is a milestone in the deployment of Infineon's SiC product portfolio for on-board charger, DC/DC converters and inverter systems".

The new product family is based on Infineon's 5th generation Schottky Diode, which has been further improved to meet the reliability requirements demanded by the automotive industry. Thanks to a new passivation layer concept, this is one of the most robust automotive device available in the market with regards to humidity and corrosion.

Because it is based on a 110µm thin wafer technology, it shows one of the best figures of merit (Qc x Vf) in its category. A lower figure of merit implies lower power losses and therefore a better electrical performance.

Compared to the traditional Silicon Rapid diode, the CoolSiC Automotive Schottky Diode can improve the efficiency of an OBC by one percentage point over all load conditions. This leads to a potential reduction of 200kg of CO 2 emissions over the typical lifetime of an electric car.

The first derivate will be available for the open market in September 2018 in the 650V class. Using a standard 3-pinTO247 package, the new products can easily be implemented in an OBC system.

Renesas to close its Yamaguchi factory

Renesas to close its Yamaguchi factory

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions for automotive applications, announced its policy to close and consolidate in approximately two to three years the Yamaguchi Factory (Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture) and a portion (the silicon production line) of the Shiga Factory (Otsu, Shiga Prefecture), respectively, of its wholly owned subsidiary Renesas Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (“Renesas Semiconductor Manufacturing”).

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The products currently manufactured on the production lines affected by this decision are scheduled to either be discontinued or to have production transferred to other facilities operated by the Renesas Group.

With regard to the 6-inch wafer fabrication sites of Renesas Semiconductor Manufacturing, Renesas stated on May 11, 2016 in the explanatory material for the FY2016/03 financial announcement entitled "Looking Back on the 'Reform Plan,'" that "After recovery efforts from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake settles down, Renesas will investigate every possible alternative, including realignment, for the Group's 6-inch production lines." This investigation has proceeded with the goal of establishing a manufacturing structure optimised for Renesas' future business environment.

As a result of this investigation it was determined that it would be difficult to continue a rational and stable supply of products through the operation of the Yamaguchi Factory and a portion of the Shiga Factory (the silicon production line), and a policy has been decided to close the former and consolidate the latter in approximately two to three years.

Moving forward, Renesas will make every effort to ensure continued employment of the employees affected by the present decision. As for the utilisation of the Yamaguchi Factory and portions of the Shiga Factory following their closure and consolidation, Renesas will endeavor to secure purchasers.

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