Upon the completion of the transactions under the Definitive Agreements, the VNBS joint venture will be terminated. This is the next step in the strategic review of Veoneer's brake systems business first announced in early 2019. On June 17, 2019, Veoneer announced that it had signed a binding agreement to acquire Nissin Kogyo's interests in the US operations of VNBS. The transaction closed on June 28, 2019, after which Veoneer owns 100% of such US operations.
The termination of the VNBS joint venture and the divestiture of the Japanese and Chinese entities are part of Veoneer's previously announced market adjustment initiatives which are aimed at focusing Veoneer on its core businesses and providing an effective cost structure to address the current market and business situation in the Company.
The purchase price is around $176 million. In connection with the transactions, Veoneer will be repaid an outstanding loan of approximately $20 million and receive a special dividend of approximately $5 million for a total cash impact of around $200 million. The divestiture is structured as two separate transactions, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions, including approvals necessary under the Japanese (for VNBJ) and Chinese (for VNBZ) competition laws.
“These powertrain solutions from our Blue Horizon product portfolio are engineered to fit multiple vehicle applications to meet customer needs now and in the future,” said John Bennett, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Meritor. “Meritor’s expanding range of next-generation technologies that include comprehensive solutions for standard axles, remote- mount configurations or fully electric powertrain systems furthers our goal of becoming the electric drivetrain supplier of choice.”
The 12Xe powertrain’s modular design uses many of the same components as Meritor’s 14Xe full-electric powertrain now undergoing testing with fleets. Testing of the 12Xe powertrain starts next year, and production launch begins in 2021. The 12Xe powertrain expands Meritor’s electric solutions coverage into Class 4 and 5 applications and into Class 6 and 7 applications with wheels as small as 17.5 inches, without sacrificing ground clearance.
Vehicle manufacturers can choose from a range of wheel-ends, brakes, transmissions and differential gearing, all tailored to meet the vehicle’s duty-cycle. The electric motor can be scaled to specific vehicle requirements and delivers 150, 180 or 200 kilowatts of continuous power and 250 kilowatts of peak power. The 12Xe powertrain is available with several differential options, including differential lock and a limited slip differential.
Meritor also developed the 17Xe powertrain that will deliver 420 kilowatts of continuous power and 450 kilowatts of peak power, and packaged it to fit easily into the rails of 4×2 trucks. In Europe, applications include 44-ton heavy-duty long-haul trucks, medium-duty 27-ton refuse vehicles, 19.5- and 26.5-ton intercity buses and 26.5-ton coaches. It will also fit 40- and 60-foot city buses in North America.
Meritor’s new two- and three-speed dual countershaft transmission is optional on the 12Xe and 14Xe powertrains. The transmission, coupled with the right-sized motor, delivers improved vehicle performance compared to a single-speed or direct-drive system. Each variant of the transmission is built with compact gear range splits to deliver efficient and high-performing operation. The three-speed version extends the performance envelope over the two-speed version to deliver higher startability and top speed.
"This new award is another result of Magna’s commitment to delivering high-quality, flexible and innovative transmissions,” said Tom Rucker, President of Magna Powertrain. “Our scalable dual-clutch transmissions enhance drivability while simultaneously providing optimal levels of efficiency, which makes our product a perfect match for BMW.”
The transmission technologies will be used in more than 170 different vehicle applications. The new hybrid solution by Magna has no impact on the overall package size of the transmission, which provides manufacturing flexibility to BMW. The hybrid variants also use a compact, 48V high-RPM electric motor within the transmission housing, providing innovative driving features while further improving fuel efficiency.
The transmissions will be built at Magna facilities in Neuenstein, Germany, and Kechnec, Slovakia.
Mr. Jon Heese, City Councilor for Tsukuba, jointly opened the Japan Technology Center with Mr. Teddy Gottwald, Chairman and CEO of NewMarket Corporation and Mrs. Regina A. Harm, President of Afton Chemical Corporation, subsidiary of NewMarket.
The investment provides an expansion of the analytical and mechanical laboratories to increase lubricant additive testing capabilities. This includes standardised and bespoke tests for transmission fluids, gear lubricants, passenger cars, motorcycles, commercial and off-road vehicles engine oils as well as industrial hydraulic oils. The expanded facility will provide its customers with enhanced technical services such as sample blending, physical/chemical analysis and performance testing that comply with international and Japan unique test methods like ASTM, JIS, JPI, JASO and JCMAS.
“We are committed to bringing our Passion for Solutions® model to Japan and the Asia-Pacific region to help our customers differentiate their offerings to meet the needs of the local marketplace. The expanded Japan Technology Center with its integrated technical support and performance testing will further enhance our ability to provide quick and effective solutions to our customers in Asia, and will provide customised solutions 'Made For' key Japan OEM projects,” said Mrs. Regina A. Harm, President of Afton Chemical Corporation.
“Afton Japan is a unique market with different needs and challenges. The 'Made For' strategy is built on the intent to understand the dynamics of each individual market and ensure we are developing the correct solutions from a product and services perspective. We constantly keep track of the local and global trends impacting the market and partner our customers to develop innovative additive solutions that exceed industry standards,” said Mr. Sean Spencer, Vice President and Managing Director of Afton Chemical Asia.
The expanded capabilities of the Japan Technology Center, with its integrated technical support, will enhance our capability to help customers:
With the Japanese government’s recent announcement further reducing the average vehicle fuel economy standards by 32% by 2030, Japanese automobile manufacturers will have to sell more electric and hybrid cars. “EV and Hybrid vehicles are equipped with transmission like CVT, one-shift ATF as well as gear and bearing to transfer and assist motor torque to wheels. Ultra-low viscosity oil is one of the solutions to lower fuel economy. Afton is working proactively with key OEMs worldwide to develop the technology and lubricant needs for electric/hybrid vehicles. Afton is ready and will have the most advanced additives to meet these new requirements. Our additives will continue to help the automotive industry reduce emissions, improve fuel economy, and extend the useful life of fluids and equipment,” said Togawa Takayuki, R&D Group Lead.
The Japan Technology Center’s state-of-the-art chemistry and mechanical laboratories operate with lean processes and tests run are in full compliance with ISO 9001/14001 safety, environmental and quality standards. The state-of-the-art facility houses a team of 17 R&D managers, formulators, technologists, technician and administration staff, increasing the workforce by 100% since the last decade.
Afton has an extensive network of research and development and testing facilities in the United States, China, India, Japan and the United Kingdom. At these facilities, testing is conducted to ensure products meet or exceed the latest performance requirements of both OEM and industry specifications. Proprietary tests are developed and field trials are designed to create compelling proof of performance data that helps our customers’ products stand out in their markets.
The facility, which was recently completed, will focus on developing and testing structural adhesives, sealants and related products for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. PPG scientists will also use the new lab to continue their development of next-generation coatings for lithium-ion battery cells, modules and packs used in battery-electric and autonomous vehicles.
The new lab will include state-of-the-art equipment for testing product strength, flexibility, adhesion and sound-dampening characteristics of PPG products used by several leading global original equipment manufacturers (OEM). The lab also creates several new high-tech chemistry and research jobs at PPG’s Cleveland facility.
“There is a tremendous amount of science in every paint layer on a modern passenger vehicle or commercial truck,” said Gary Bennett, PPG general manager, adhesives and sealants, automotive OEM coatings. “With this impressive new facility, PPG continues to invest in advanced research and manufacturing capabilities that benefit vehicle manufacturers, battery and component suppliers and, above all, consumers.”
PPG is a global leader in structural adhesive technology. The company’s CORABOND® adhesives enable vehicle manufacturers to achieve significant cost and weight savings by effectively and reliably joining an array of dissimilar materials without the need for expensive welds. The company also offers a broad portfolio of specialised sealants that support auto and truck makers’ light-weighting strategies and help enhance vehicles’ functional performance and durability.
PPG’s automotive adhesive and sealant technologies are also able to serve a variety of electric vehicle battery pack needs, including sealing of pack shells and components, fixing of cells and modules into packs, structural reinforcement, impact resistance, and thermal management.
The Cleveland, Ohio, facility is PPG’s flagship manufacturing facility for automotive OEM coatings. Situated in the city's West Park area, the plant has been an integral part of PPG since its acquisition in 1947 from the Forbes Varnish Company, which began operations in 1907. In addition to using advanced manufacturing methods to produce and ship its products, the Cleveland facility is the site of a field service laboratory equipped with the same application and curing equipment used by its customers.
The tyre selected is the Falken WILDPEAK All-Terrain (or A/T) Trail 01A, size 225/60R18 (100H-rating), and will be supplied for the first time to RAV4s beginning in late 2019. Tyres for the vehicle will be produced in Japan starting in the third quarter of this year.
"The dedicated WILDPEAK A/T Trail will be the exclusive OE tyre on the TRD Off-Road, and we are very pleased to support Toyota with this product, and honoured to become a supplier to the highly respected TRD model line," stated David Colletti, Falken's Vice President, Original Equipment.
The WILDPEAK A/T Trail is Falken's first all-terrain category tyre that has been developed and marketed specifically for crossover vehicles. Falken has already earned high marks for its durable, optimal off-road-capable line of products under the WILDPEAK name, and the new A/T Trail will quickly complement a vehicle category that is in high demand.
"Most tyre manufacturers typically target trucks and SUVs with their all-terrain product," noted Colletti, "but increasing demand for both rugged and capable crossovers requires the need for a tyre earmarked for this category and vehicle.
"Toyota realized its customers wanted a specially tuned RAV4, and based on Falken's strong connection to high performance, encouraged Falken to provide them with a dedicated tyre,"Colletti added. "We're proud to introduce the WILDPEAK A/T Trail 01A as the result."
The aftermarket version of this tyre will be named the Falken WILDPEAK A/T Trail. With rugged aesthetics to support modern crossover utility vehicles coupled with off-road and snow capability and durability that encourages exploration with confidence, the A/T Trail will appeal to owners of new crossovers as well as a replacement tyre for late model versions. The A/T Trail will be available in 30 sizes with official sales starting late 2019.
Toyota Racing Development, known worldwide as TRD, is the in-house high performance operations for Toyota and its sister brand, Lexus. TRD handles the creation and development of various tuning products and accessories, including performance suspension components, and wheels that help improve the drivability and handling of its street cars, trucks, SUVs and now Crossovers for more performance. TRD also supports the manufacturer's racing interests around the world.
As the Toyota RAV4 was redesigned for the 2019 model year, the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road is a new addition for the vehicle and will feature a number of unique components to improve its performance and capabilities, one of which is Falken's WILDPEAK A/T Trail 01A tyre.
In partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin-Madison, Magna is applying its powertrain, electronics and full-vehicle expertise to deliver an automotive-grade, high-performance electric motor that aims to achieve increased power density and reduced cost compared to current e-motors.
The project objective is to develop an electric motor that is half the cost and eight times the power density, while delivering 125 kW of peak power – similar to packing a gallon of milk into a pint-size container. The reduction in cost is the result of eliminating the use of rare-earth permanent magnets, which make up a significant portion of electric-motor cost.
“Magna’s mission is to make the impossible possible by solving some of the auto industry’s most complex problems,” said Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer, Magna. “Reducing dependency on rare-earth magnets solves two key issues for accelerating access to electrification – supply chain sourcing and cost.”
The project will integrate the exclusive electric motor technologies with a transmission and inverter as part of an overall e-drive system. The project scope includes development and use of innovative materials, cooling technologies, winding technologies, simulation models, as well as control and optimisation techniques.
Designing for automotive standards and low-cost manufacturing using Magna’s comprehensive design framework is another key element of the project. The electric motor technologies will be presented to the US DOE for evaluation in 2021.
Effective January 2020, Pickup & Delivery, certain Construction, Refuse, and Agriculture applications are approved with Endurant.
“The product team has developed new performance calibrations for customers that prioritize acceleration and route times in these additional applications. These calibrations have been very positively received by drivers in field tests”
“We’re pleased to offer Endurant in these new applications,” Charles Masters, general manager, Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies. “Fleets will appreciate the improved driveability and nearly 200-pound weight savings that Endurant provides over our previous transmissions, such as the Fuller Advantage automated.”
“The product team has developed new performance calibrations for customers that prioritize acceleration and route times in these additional applications. These calibrations have been very positively received by drivers in field tests,” said Charles Ganske, product manager, Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies.
Over 80,000 units have been sold since launching in late 2017. The Endurant portfolio has grown to include overdrive models with single and dual PTO options and direct drive models, and customers have benefited from Endurant’s reliability, efficiency and best in class maintenance intervals.
Endurant is currently available as part of an integrated powertrain at these OEMs:
The start-up is based in San Carlos, California and develops and produces lightweight and low-cost flexible electric circuit technology for power electronics using a proprietary combination of manufacturing processes, designs, and materials.
“We are excited about CelLink’s progress with its product portfolio since our initial seed investment,” said RBVC Managing Director Dr. Ingo Ramesohl. “The team has developed battery pack applications for electric vehicles and eBikes which are of high relevance for Bosch as the company aims to lead the mass market for electromobility”. The new funding is aimed at ramping up CelLink’s production to meet significant customer demand across the company’s three primary markets of vehicle wiring, battery pack interconnects, and LED lighting.
CelLink’s circuits use innovative combinations of manufacturing techniques and materials, resulting in simplified wiring designs with optimal electrical and thermal performance. This advancement in flexible circuit technology enables significant reductions in volume and weight over existing wiring technologies. For vehicle wiring, CelLink’s technology can provide up to 70% weight reduction and up to 90% volume reduction by replacing round wire bundles with flat flexible circuits. These savings have the potential to power widespread adoption across next-generation electrical systems.
Printed and flexible electric circuits make up a $60 billion market segment of the consumer electronics industry. However, manufacturers have not been able to address the power electronics market because the fabrication process cannot be scaled to produce large area or highly conductive circuits. CelLink’s ability to manufacture larger and more conductive circuits allows the company to target this rapidly growing market, which includes wiring for vehicles, LED lighting, battery packs, and solar cells.
The new round of funding will be used to scale up existing mass production contracts in these primary markets and transition several projects from product development to full-scale production. In the long-term, CelLink believes its technology can scale well beyond the company’s initial markets as its flexible circuits offer an attractive value proposition for several further applications in mobility and beyond. The company has already received strong interest in adapting its technology for use in aerospace and commercial vehicles.
The latest round of funding will enable CelLink to expand its experienced management team led by serial entrepreneur, CEO Kevin Coakley who previously founded ThinSilicon, which was acquired by China Solar Power. This funding round has also grown CelLink’s base of investors as well as strengthened connections with previous investors like RBVC.
“As one of CelLink’s earliest investors, RBVC has been a tremendous resource for our company in critical technical areas such as high-volume manufacturing and high-speed data transmission,” said CelLink CEO Kevin Coakley. “In addition, RBVC has provided valuable introductions to many of our key automotive customers and partners in Europe,” Coakley added.
The new trucks will feature Dana's Spicer® Electrified™ powertrain technologies and are expected to be on the road in early 2021.
Separately, Dana has also secured a new e-Powertrain development project with a leading truck manufacturer. The announcement was made at the North American Commercial Vehicle show.
Complete e-powertrain system
The company announced a medium-duty vehicle programme, consisting of a complete electric powertrain system that is fully designed, integrated, and upfitted to the customer's chassis by Dana. The three-year programme is expected to generate approximately $200 million in incremental sales to Dana, with vehicles available for order from the manufacturer in the second half of 2020.
Configured as a direct drive system, which uses a motor to power a Dana-provided axle and driveshaft, the trucks will feature Dana's complete e-Powertrain system, which consists of:
This system consists of the battery packs, battery management system, on-board charger, power electronics cradle, and electrified auxiliary systems; and
Dana-developed software and controls that will enable the diagnostics and telemetry of the system, as well as thermal management.
Electrified vehicle development
Dana is partnering with a second truck manufacturer on an electrified vehicle development platform that will incorporate a Dana TM4® SUMO™ HP motor. Ideal for high-power applications, this motor is purposely developed for both hybrid and battery electric configurations.
"The recent acquisition of Nordresa, a recognised leader in electric commercial vehicle integration, serves as an enabler for Dana to expand the development and integration of clean, electric powertrains to deliver higher efficiency and lower cost of ownership," said Mark Wallace, president of Commercial Vehicle Drive Technologies for Dana. "These new vehicle programmes leverage Dana's complete e-Powertrain products and capabilities, while demonstrating our ability to deliver end-to-end turnkey electric systems for our customers, which will, in turn, provide Dana profitable growth through electrified system sales."
To date, Dana's e-Propulsion technologies have been featured on more than 16,000 commercial vehicles globally and have been driven more than 600 million miles. This has resulted in the reduction of nearly 160,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, allowing customers to reduce the use of diesel fuel by nearly 3.5 billion gallons.