Starting with the 2019 model year, the company will be the exclusive worldwide supplier of rear drive units for all versions of the Ford Edge in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
The drive units take advantage of Dana's ultra-efficient Spicer AdvanTEK axle technology, which delivers best-in-class efficiency by reducing oil churning and gear and bearing friction.
"Dana's SmartConnect all-wheel-drive system with AdvanTEK technology offers the safety and agility of an AWD vehicle while still delivering best-in-class fuel efficiency," said Bob Pyle, president of Dana Light Vehicle Driveline Technologies. "Ford's selection of the Spicer SmartConnect system demonstrates how we successfully partner with customers on development and commercialisation of industry-leading technologies."
Spicer SmartConnect technology helps global automotive manufacturers address evolving emissions regulations while maintaining the safety and control that are key advantages of AWD systems on SUVs, crossovers, and passenger vehicles. Vehicles with disconnecting AWD systems are designed to automatically and seamlessly transition to AWD when the system predicts or detects slipping at the wheels, such as during rapid acceleration or in icy and other low-traction conditions.
The Spicer SmartConnect system configures the drivetrain to work in front-wheel-drive mode for the majority of driving conditions and engages AWD only when needed, enabling improved fuel efficiency. Dana's AdvanTEK technology utilises a low viscosity lubricant and optimised gear design to deliver maximum fuel efficiency, even while in AWD mode.
The systems are being produced at Dana's plant in Columbia, Missouri, and a new 80,000 square-foot manufacturing and assembly facility in Chongqing, China, which will launch production later this year to serve Ford's operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Dana has a century-long history as a trusted Tier I supplier for Ford with a relationship that dates back to the Model T. Earlier this year, Dana was honoured at the 20th annual Ford World Excellence Awards with the Green Pillar Award, which Ford presents to top supplier parent companies that demonstrate excellence in the delivery of fuel-efficient technologies.
The agreement includes a binding offer from Continental to purchase substantially all of Cooper Standard's anti-vibration business in France and its respective interest in the joint venture in India on the basis of which the parties view to signing an agreement in the next few weeks, once works council consultations have taken place.
Completion of the acquisition is subject to the approval of the respective antitrust authorities and of the signature of the aforesaid agreement for the French business. With the acquisition Continental is expanding its vibration control activities while at the same time ensuring the perfect complement to its global automotive customer portfolio.
"Our strategic vision is to be a leading global manufacturer in all core product lines we produce," said Jeffrey Edwards, chairman and CEO, Cooper Standard. "While we have extensive automotive anti-vibration systems business in North America, we determined that the best course of action is to divest this product line to a company that will enable the critical focus necessary to expand the business globally."
"This acquisition is enhancing our vibration control business and our ability to serve the automotive industry on a global basis. Weight reduction will drive future mobility, because less weight results in less fuel consumption and in fewer CO2 emissions. This increases the vehicle's efficiency and helps to extend the range of electric and hybrid vehicles," said Hans-Jürgen Duensing, Member of the Continental Executive Board and responsible for the ContiTech division. Additionally, less noise and less vibration increase driving comfort, which, in turn, enhances the driving comfort and the driver's safety.
Cooper Standard has extensive anti-vibration systems expertise in North America and offers global automotive manufacturers state-of-the-art anti-vibration solutions designed to mitigate vehicle noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) as a way of enhancing ride quality and handling. The anti-vibration systems business of Cooper Standard operates five manufacturing facilities – including R&D capabilities in Canada, France, India and the U.S.A. – and employs approximately 1,000 people.
"Cooper Standard enjoys excellent expertise in material and product design knowhow, predictive component analysis, system integration and vehicle testing. We complement each other in product space and customer base, and the combined business will drive innovations in lightweight and other anti vibration products," explained Kai Frühauf, Head of Continental's Vibration Control business unit in which the organisation is planned to be integrated.
"Together we can take advantage of future technological opportunities for passenger cars and light trucks. At the same time, we add additional inhouse mixing capacities in the US with full material development capabilities," Frühauf added.
Continental has been specialised in vibration control technology and noise isolation for more than 80 years. It develops and manufactures active and passive vibration-optimised mounting components and lightweight systems for engines, transmissions and other components for enhanced safety and comfort in the automotive industry.
Vibration Control is part of Continental's ContiTech division. The business unit employs more than 2,600 people and operates production sites as well as development and application engineering centers at eleven locations in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Mexico, Slovakia and the U.S.A.
Compared to its predecessor, the newcomer offers 20% higher mileage, 15% lower rolling resistance, even more precise handling and shorter braking distances on both wet and dry roads. Continental has already received approvals from 12 European vehicle manufacturers for factory-fitting of the EcoContact 6 on compact to mid-range models. The new summer tyre is designed to meet stringent requirements in terms of safety, precision handling, high mileage and low fuel consumption.
Constantly at the forefront of innovations, the engineers at Continental studied every component of this high-tech tyre, looking for possible optimisations. This involved redesigning the silica compound for an even more balanced distribution of the chemical components, resulting in even stronger bonding of the polymers in the compound and lower deformation of the tyre whilst driving. This has led to a significant overall reduction in rolling resistance, which in turn cuts fuel consumption.
Continental also introduced innovative additives to the compound to help the contact patch adapt even better to the road surface. This enables more effective transmission of braking forces and the good tyre/road contact means less wheelspin and more mileage. The product of these two innovations in the compound goes by the name of GreenChili 2.0.
Depending on the tyre size, the developers have chosen a tread pattern with three, four or five ribs. With this customised solution, the tyre can deliver good grip and precision handling all the way to its physical limits. The very balanced ratio between tread ribs and grooves also helps channel water into the tread grooves when driving in the rain and reduces the risk of aquaplaning.
At the same time, the shoulder grooves disperse the water to the outside, away from the contact patch, achieving even better grip on wet roads. For driving on dry roads, the tyre developers have taken their lead from sports tyres. The resulting asymmetrical tread geometry with rounded corners adds stability to the individual tread elements when cornering, delivering more precise handling and more grip. On wet roads, sipes with beveled edges afford extra grip and provide more effective drainage for the tread.
Continental has begun volume production of the first tyres for the replacement market. By March 2019, 112 items for 13 to 22 inch rims are to be available; the EcoContact 6 will be produced in tyre widths from 145 to 315 millimetres with aspect ratios between 80 and 30%. The tyres are approved for speeds up to 186 mph, corresponding to the speed index "Y".
Novelis will work with OEMs to determine how to maximize lightweight, high-strength aluminum to design the best solutions for specific applications at the right cost to better compete against steel and other materials. The facilities will be led by teams of industry-leading researchers, designers and engineers located in close proximity to automakers' manufacturing sites in North America, China and Europe.
In addition, Novelis CSCs will provide an environment to demonstrate product concepts, simulate customer processes and performance in use, as well as leverage data to educate stakeholders throughout the supply chain about elements ranging from forming to costing. The first centre is scheduled to open in Novi, Michigan with China and Europe to follow.
"The global auto industry is experiencing disruptive change in nearly every dimension, including electrification, autonomy and accelerated development times," said Steve Fisher, President and CEO, Novelis Inc. "To meet rapidly evolving demands, we are developing the CSCs to help our customers innovate with aluminum for tomorrow's lighter, safer and better performing vehicles."
Customer Solution Centres will bring research and technical platforms, operations and commercial development together to increase collaboration and innovation. Each centre will include high-tech development machinery ranging from computer-aided design (CAD) software to virtual collaboration capabilities and visualisation technologies.
"The automotive industry is entering a period of transformative change and relying on partners to provide solutions to help them build the cars of the future," Pierre Labat, Vice President, Global Automotive, Novelis Inc. "By creating another new way to engage with automakers, along with a physical space that inspires innovation, we are better prepared to make our customers more successful."
As the facilities come online, cross-regional teams will be in place to ramp up product development in critical stages for the auto industry.
As the definition of mobility and transportation continues to change, Denso is expanding into software-based solutions in addition to its hardware expertise. The full acquisition of Ease enables Denso to enhance the services offered within its Original Equipment Service (OES), aftermarket and non-automotive businesses.
"Ease excelled in its ability to access and extract enhanced level diagnostics data from vehicles, which is a critical component as we develop and provide more connected services to the aftermarket and OES industry," said Richard Shiozaki, senior vice president of Denso Products and Services Americas, Inc. "The company is an important addition to the Denso family and fits into our long- term goal to create and inspire new value for the future of mobility."
Ease was founded in 1993 in Scranton, Penn., and its products primarily focus on inspection, diagnostics and emissions, including VehicleMRI, a precision tool for inspecting and analysing automotive electronic systems and pinpointing hidden problems beyond typical check-engine-light issues with maximum accuracy.
Ease develops automotive diagnostic equipment, automotive inspection software, automotive emissions equipment, and automotive telematics systems. In 2014, Denso announced it acquired 72.1% of Ease to help accelerate research and development of its vehicle diagnostic and telematics business in North America.
Denso will move existing Ease employees and their expertise in automotive diagnostics to a business facility in Mayfield, Penn., known as the Northeast Environmental Technology Centre.
The transaction involves on the one hand the extension of an existing contract, and on the other the launch of a new engine project. Production of the electric coolant pumps will take place in Hartha in the German state of Saxony. They will be used for the main coolant circuit of four-cylinder engines with two-litre cubic capacity in European and Chinese vehicle models. The pumps will be shipped to one of the customer's plants in Europe as well as to several of its factories in China.
The variable-flow electric coolant pumps enable on-demand control of the coolant flow. Depending on ambient temperature and engine load, this can result in fuel savings of up to four percent. Moreover, since they do not depend on the engine's mechanical driveline, these pumps are also perfect for hybrid and electric vehicles. A version of the pump is also available for 48-volt electrical systems.
Featured in one of their engines, BorgWarner's solution will reduce NOx emissions for several diesel vehicles, helping them comply with latest regulations, such as Euro 6d.
"We are happy to expand our relationship with this globally renowned automaker as a Tier 1 supplier of choice for a wide range of vehicles," said Joe Fadool, President and General Manager, BorgWarner Emissions & Thermal Systems. "With our latest integrated EGR system, BorgWarner meets significantly increasing demand for efficient and clean technologies for combustion applications. Supplying customers with one complete module instead of single components strengthens our position as a leading supplier for heat exchange technologies."
BorgWarner's sophisticated EGR system is an effective and cost-efficient inside-the-engine method to significantly reduce NOx emissions by recirculating a controllable proportion of the exhaust gas back into the intake air. BorgWarner's EGR system reduces NOx emissions through optimised heat absorption as well as lowering oxygen concentration within the combustion chamber, resulting in lower peak cylinder temperatures.
With the capability to resist high thermal loads, the advanced all-in-one solution enables increased efficiency and durable performance even with minimal coolant flow. The EGR module unites numerous technologies such as an EGR cooler, a by-pass and an EGR valve into one compact package.
Hubei Rock, located in central China, is an independent supplier that provides weatherstrips mainly to Dongfeng Motor Corporation, one of China's "Big Three" automakers, and its joint venture companies with Japanese and other foreign manufacturers, including Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. and Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën Automobile Co., Ltd.
Toyoda Gosei China plans to purchase 60% shares from Hubei Rock's parent company, Hubei Zhengao Automotive Accessories Co., Ltd., for approximately JPY800 million ($7.12 million) in December 2018.
Toyoda Gosei's decision to invest in Hubei Rock was made with the aim of rapidly expanding its business in the region by merging the Toyoda Gosei Group's technology and knowledge in product design and production, cultivated as a global supplier of rubber and plastic parts, with Hubei Rock's track record and sales channels built up over many years of business with automakers in central China.
With this partnership, Toyoda Gosei's production network in China will expand to 4 locations: TG Star Light in northern China, Foshan TGR and Fu-Yue in southern China, and now Hubei Rock in Central China. Toyoda Gosei considers China to be a crucial market, and will continue to strengthen its development and production networks there.
Kathrein Automotive has over 1,000 employees in a total of eight locations in Brazil, China, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, and the USA. The two parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
"There would be no connectivity without antennas. High-performance intelligent antennas are the key technology for holistic vehicle connectivity. We are therefore glad to enhance our cooperation with our new colleagues from Kathrein Automotive and to continue to develop solutions for intelligent mobility together," said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior division.
From remote access keys, to navigation, to telematics, there are a vast number of interfaces for wireless communication both in vehicles and beyond. Thus, today's vehicles are already equipped with 20 antennas and counting. Advancing holistic vehicle connectivity and new communication technologies, such as 5G, will further increase demand for high-performance intelligent antenna solutions.
Analysts (Radiant Insights) estimate an average annual market growth of approximately 6.5% for vehicle antennas up to 2022. With the acquisition of Kathrein Automotive, Continental is thus not only expanding its own product portfolio, gaining essential development expertise, but it is also taking its successful and long-standing partnership with Kathrein to a new level.
Resulting from the cooperation between Continental and Kathrein, the Intelligent Antenna Module and Multifunctional Smart Device Terminal are already on the market providing successful connectivity solutions.
The Intelligent Antenna Module replaces the single antennas that, until now, have been scattered around vehicles by combining the antennas and the accompanying electronics into one hardware module. This not only simplifies wiring and reduces installation space, but also improves signal quality at the same time.
With the Multifunctional Smart Device Terminal, specialists from Kathrein and Continental have developed a solution that allows drivers to seamlessly integrate their digital lifestyles into their vehicles by easily and comprehensively linking them up with their mobile devices. The driver has only to place a smartphone in a tray in the vehicle cockpit for the phone to use Near Field Communication and Bluetooth to connect with the vehicle's infotainment system, charge wirelessly and link its antennas with the vehicle's external antennas to achieve considerably better signal quality.
Alongside these joint developments, the Kathrein Automotive Portfolio comprises of antenna systems for vehicle communication systems worldwide, MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antenna systems for optimised data-reception, as well as antenna systems for new 5G frequency bands. High-frequency electronic products, such as compensators for mobile-data and V2X technology, further compliment the product portfolio.
Clarion is a major Japanese supplier of in-vehicle-infotainment (IVI) and full digital audio systems, HMI and advanced driver assistance systems, connectivity and cloud-based services. With its core competences in electronics and software integration, this acquisition would significantly reinforce Faurecia's offer for cockpit systems integration.
As part of this transaction, Faurecia and Hitachi Automotive Systems have also reached an agreement for a business alliance within which Clarion and Hitachi Automotive Systems would be able to combine their product offers to propose unique autonomous driving solutions to OEMs.
"This project is very exciting for Faurecia as it would position us as a leading player for cockpit systems integration, able to offer unique user experiences. In addition, our business alliance with Hitachi Automotive Systems would enable innovative solutions for full autonomous driving to OEMs. The combined product and technology offer of Faurecia and Clarion and our complementary geographic presence and customer portfolios would create significant value for all stakeholders," said Patrick Koller, Faurecia Chief Executive Officer.
"We are convinced that Clarion will successfully continue to build its business as part of Faurecia. We at Hitachi Automotive Systems are committed to grow our activities in autonomous driving, which is one of our core businesses. In that context we look forward also to our partnership with Faurecia," said Brice Koch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd.
For the fiscal year ending March 2018, Clarion, headquartered in Saitama (near Tokyo), Japan, achieved sales of 183 billion yen (€1.4 bn). It employs 7,500 people and has 7 manufacturing sites (of which 6 are in low cost countries) and a presence in 16 countries.
The company has undertaken a major transformation of its product portfolio from its traditional audio/infotainment systems towards its rapidly growing advanced driver assistance and HMI systems, including driver monitoring and autonomous parking.
For Clarion, this deal would support the expansion of their customer base particularly in Europe and accelerate their strategic transformation. Faurecia would benefit from Clarion's strong customer relationships to achieve a breakthrough in its presence with Japanese OEMs.
Faurecia intends to create a new Business Group headquartered in Japan, named "Faurecia Clarion Electronics Systems" regrouping all of Faurecia's competences in this domain. This Business Group would employ almost 9,200 people, more than 1,650 software engineers and have over €2 billion ($2.28 billion) of revenues by 2022.