Infineon receives Bosch Global Supplier Award for sixth time

Infineon receives Bosch Global Supplier Award for sixth time

Robert Bosch has honoured Infineon with the 'Bosch Global Supplier Award' – the sixth time that Infineon Technologies has received the award from the world's largest automotive supplier.

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Infineon supplies Bosch with radar chips for driver assistance systems, microcontrollers for the engine management, and chips for body and convenience applications.

The theme of this year's award ceremony was 'Partners in Success' because to Bosch, its suppliers are much more than mere deliverers of parts and components. They are also partners in development and innovation who help Bosch stay competitive: "In the connected world, partnerships are becoming more and more important," said Dr. Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Bosch Board of Management. "Hierarchical value chains are turning into value-added networks."

The award was accepted by Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon (pictured above). Bosch awards its suppliers every two years. This year marks the fifteenth time. For 2015 and 2016, Bosch honoured the 44 best suppliers from eleven countries. Infineon received the award in the category electronics and electromechanics. Other categories are purchasing of indirect material, resale goods, innovation, mechanics as well as raw materials and components. Currently, the Bosch Group's purchasing and logistics volume amounts to some 60% of its total sales ($83.4 billion in the 2016 fiscal year). Electronic and mechanical components are the main items purchased.

Chip leader in the automotive industry

With a global market share of almost 11%, Infineon is one of the two market leaders in chips for automotive electronics. In 2016, the total market for automotive chips was worth $30.2 billion (Source: Strategy Analytics, April 2017). Infineon is the technology leader in the areas of driver assistance systems and autonomous driving as well as in electromobility. Its product portfolio for the automotive industry includes sensors, microcontrollers, power semiconductors, and power modules.

AK Steel forges new automotive expertise alliance with purchase of Precision Partners

AK Steel forges new automotive expertise alliance with purchase of Precision Partners

AK Steel has signed an agreement to acquire Precision Partners Holding Company for $360 million in cash.

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Precision Partners, a leading North American automotive market company that provides engineering, tooling, die design and hot and cold stamped steel parts, is headquartered in Ontario in Canada, with more than 1,000 employees, including about 300 engineers and skilled tool makers, across eight plants in Ontario, and Alabama and Kentucky in the US.

The move will advance AK Steel's core focus on the high-growth automotive lightweighting space and its prominent position in advanced high strength steels, and further strengthens close collaboration with AK Steel's automotive market customers.
Precision Partners specialises in the design and engineering of tooling and die making, and the stamping of complex, hard-to-manufacture automotive components, with a broad portfolio of highly engineered solutions.

"The acquisition of Precision Partners underscores AK Steel's commitment to expand our portfolio of high-value products and processes," said Roger Newport, Chief Executive Officer of AK Steel.

AK Steel intends to finance the acquisition with a combination of debt and equity securities and remains committed to prudently managing its balance sheet.

The transaction is subject to customary closing and regulatory approvals in the US and Canada. Subject to the conclusion of the regulatory review, the closing is expected to occur during the third quarter of 2017. Credit Suisse is acting as financial advisor to AK Steel and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as its legal advisor.

US safety authority NHTSA says 2.7 million additional Takata airbag inflators will be recalled

US safety authority NHTSA says 2.7 million additional Takata airbag inflators will be recalled

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have stated that new testing is prompting Takata Corporation to declare 2.7 million airbag inflators defective in Ford, Nissan and Mazda vehicles.

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Takata airbag inflators are already linked to 17 deaths (11 in the US) and more than 180 injuries worldwide. The total Takata recalls may eventually involve more than 100 million inflators. The NHTSA said new testing is prompting the recall of some driver-side airbags built from 2015 back through 2012.

Nucor Corporation honoured by Volkswagen as a Best Supplier and the only steel supplier rewarded

Nucor Corporation honoured by Volkswagen as a Best Supplier and the only steel supplier rewarded

Nucor Corporation was presented with the Volkswagen Group Award 2017, given to Volkswagen's best suppliers, at a ceremony held in Berlin recently.

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The award recognises Volkswagen's suppliers for their innovative strength, product quality, development competence, sustainability, and professional project management. Nucor Chairman, CEO and President John Ferriola accepted the award on behalf of Nucor's 24,000 teammates.

"We are honoured to receive this recognition from Volkswagen," Ferriola said. "It shows that our strategy for long-term growth in the automotive steel market and producing higher-value products is working. This award recognises the tremendous work Nucor teammates have done to produce high-quality products that meet the demanding standards of the automotive industry, and validates our long-held belief that Nucor can provide the very best materials for this strategic market."

In addressing award recipients, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller talked about the important role partnerships play in successfully navigating the transformations occurring in the automotive industry. "We must make further progress together and become better and better. Never before have not only the pressure, but also the opportunities been as great as they are today. If we are willing to change, we can successfully master the transformation in our industry," Müller said.

The Volkswagen Group recognised a total of 19 suppliers. Nucor was the only steel provider and one of only two US-based companies to receive the award.

Continental acquisition will help ensure 20 million better cars, better mobile lives for 25 million consumers and 20 better cities

Continental acquisition will help ensure 20 million better cars, better mobile lives for 25 million consumers and 20 better cities

Continental has announced the closing of its acquisition of Singapore based mobility intelligence provider Quantum Inventions, helping complete Continental's Intelligent Transportation Systems unit.

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Quantum Inventions will add to Continental's growing intelligent transportation systems portfolio with its city data including next generation navigation systems that are highly responsive to real-time information such as traffic data, road incident information and dynamic road pricing. With the closing, Continental welcomes around 120 employees working across Quantum Inventions' three offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia; and Quantum Inventions Development Centre (QIDC) in India into its fold.

Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior division said, "Asia continues to play an ever increasing role in our strategy. Initiatives such as the Park & Go real time parking application for Singapore, our recent joint venture with China Unicom, strategic cooperation with Baidu, and now the purchase of Quantum Inventions underline our focus on developing mobility services solutions. We are excited to provide an expanded portfolio of customized solutions in the dynamic mobility services market."

Ralf Lenninger, head of the Continental business unit Intelligent Transportation Systems (pictured above) said, "Continental plans to double its current sales with mobility services by 2020. This alliance brings Business Unit Intelligent Transportation Systems a step closer to its goal of creating products, systems and solutions which, by 2025 will ensure 20 million better cars, better mobile lives for 25 million consumers and 20 better cities. I am delighted to welcome Quantum Inventions into the Continental family."

Saurav Bhattacharyya, CEO of Quantum Inventions added, "We are proud to be a part of Continental. With our combined strengths in the area of intelligent transportation systems, we are poised to provide a strong value proposition to customers, both OEMs and Cities, around the world."

Quantum's solutions are based on its proprietary state-of-the-art data technology platform, which provides connected navigation, traffic and transportation intelligence, high-speed dynamic routing computation algorithms, and real-time probe data processing and analysis. The company has three business lines – Automotive, Telematics and Intelligent Mobility.

Sanden finalise CO2 AC compressor supply for Mercedes-Benz

Sanden finalise CO2 AC compressor supply for Mercedes-Benz

Sanden Automotive Components Corporation are supplying Daimler AG with the world's first CO2 compressor for mass-produced passenger cars.

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A European directive on mobile air conditioning systems (MACs) introduced a ban for the use of refrigerant gas with a global warming potential (GWP) higher than 150 applicable for all new cars sold on the EU market since 1 January 2017. In response to this, Mercedes-Benz have commissioned Sanden to supply a new compressor, using R744 (CO2), a refrigerant grade CO2, used as a replacement for R134a and R404A in ultra-low, low and medium temperature refrigeration applications.

R744 (CO2) is becoming increasingly popular due to its excellent properties. With an Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) of 0 and a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1, R744 (CO2) is a natural refrigerant.

"Daimler chose Sanden for the development of the R744 compressor because of their extensive experience with this refrigerant and pioneering spirit towards new technologies. It has been quite a challenging project also for Daimler to get the R744 AC system launched in such short period. Therefore the strategic partnership with Sanden has been very important and we are pleased about this successful launch." said Dr. Ralf Theurer, Project Leader R744 of Daimler AG.

"This project truly represents the policy of Sanden Management; Create corporate value based on 'environment' utilising our global strength and quality capabilities. We are contributing to the health of our planet by bringing to the market a robust product, which has been designed by a global team. I am proud of this launch and very grateful for the co-operation with Daimler. Serving our customer whilst engaging in environmentally friendly activities is a privilege." said Tsuguo Ito, President of Sanden Automotive Components Corporation. "My target is to expand this technology and use the knowledge gained throughout the development to grow in a sustainable manner in the world market."

Advanced technological skills involving high pressure resistance and airtightness structure are required in commercialising production of CO2 compressors, because operating pressure for CO2 refrigerant is five times greater than that of HFC-134a. For the development of the new automotive compressor, in 2014 Sanden established a project team reporting directly to the president of Sanden Holdings Corporation (formerly Sanden Corporation). The joint Japan-Germany based team worked on the development of this product.

The compressors are produced at the supplier's Yattajima plant in Gunma prefecture, Japan.

Visteon supplies virtual instrument cluster and remote-controlled HD rear seat infotainment displays for all-new Range Rover Velar

Visteon supplies virtual instrument cluster and remote-controlled HD rear seat infotainment displays for all-new Range Rover Velar

Visteon Corporation is launching its latest generation high-definition (HD) digital display technologies on the Range Rover Velar.

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The all-new Range Rover model features Visteon's 12.3-inch fully reconfigurable HD "virtual" cluster with retina-class resolution, demonstrating leading automotive grade levels of luminance and color gamut.

As the primary driver interface, the virtual instrument cluster presents the driver with the option to personalise information in different configurations in the large display area, incorporating a combination of dials, information display zones and a full-view map when in navigation mode.

For rear seat passengers, Visteon has equipped the Velar with dual 8-inch displays for the entertainment system, which utilise vertically aligned (VA) liquid crystal technology, achieving market-leading contrast levels in excess of 2000:1, which – combined with full 24-bit color rendering and high luminance – deliver a superb user experience.

"The Velar is the first vehicle to feature Visteon's latest-generation fully reconfigurable instrument cluster technology, which incorporates significantly enhanced software capabilities and processing power," said Sachin Lawande, Visteon president and CEO. "We have a longstanding collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover in digital display development that has pioneered several 'industry-firsts' – including large-format reconfigurable clusters and high-resolution dual-view information displays."

The cluster is powered by advanced multicore platform technology designed for superior multimedia and graphics performance with an exclusive HMI created especially for the Velar. Developed in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover, the HMI is based on the Kanzi UI development toolchain – designed by Rightware – which facilitates development of custom shaders for unique Velar graphic effects in support of a wide range of brand themes, navigation and off-road features, as well as album art for music played.

Additional cluster functionality includes video and Ethernet network links to the in-vehicle-infotainment system, multimedia interface, language support and a connection to the Velar's new steering switch touch pad.

The Velar's remote-controlled rear seat entertainment displays offer passengers a wealth of different media choices in true 16:9 widescreen format – from movies to digital television channels and music streaming. Operating independently, the displays incorporate HDMI and HD link connections that support most smartphones, tablets and other portable devices, while front-seat occupants are able to select, monitor and control the content shown.

Visteon also supplies premium instrument cluster technology on Jaguar Land Rover's recently launched F-PACE, in addition to Jaguar XF, Jaguar XJ, Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport models.

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