In addition to carbon fibres, the framework agreement also covers a number of different glass and carbon fiber fabrics. Delivery is expected to start in 2021 and will last for the vehicle’s entire lifecycle. SGL Carbon will be involved at various stages of the value chain. The carbon fibres are going to be manufactured at the Moses Lake plant in the US state of Washington, while the materials will be produced at the Wackersdorf site in Germany.
“With this project, SGL Carbon is strengthening its position as a supplier of fibres, materials, and components for the automotive industry. As far as we know, this will be the second largest electric vehicle series project in the industry after the BMW i3, in terms of the total volume of carbon fibres it is expected to use,” explains Andreas Wüllner, President Composites – Fibers & Materials (CFM) at SGL Carbon.
This partnership for the BMW iNext continues years of pioneering collaboration between BMW Group and SGL Carbon in the area of fibre-reinforced plastics. The cooperation began with the founding of the former joint venture, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibres, and developed over many years through the realisation of the first completely series-production-ready passenger compartment made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in the BMW i3, and innovative uses of the material in the BMW i8 and BMW 7 series.
This collaboration will primarily consist of the production of EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) as well as other bead foam products, for automotive product applications, including automotive seat structures, luggage compartments, steering wheels, door panels, bumpers and other energy absorbing components, automotive packaging and dunnage.
The first manufacturing facility will be located in Jintan, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, due to start production in the middle of 2019, servicing several significant automakers and automotive suppliers.
“This collaboration will largely promote the application of lightweight materials in the market, which will make contribution to lightweight development of Chinese automotive market. Meanwhile, we will enhance the vertical integration of our business through this opportunity. ” Mr. Wang Weizhong, Deputy General Manager of Yanfeng.
“We are thrilled about this new partnership with Yanfeng to support our valued customers in this growing market. The key strengths of both organisations complement one another and allow for further innovations in lightweight advanced materials to the region.” Charles Daly, President & CEO, Woodbridge.
Woodbridge offers innovative material technologies for applications in automotive, commercial, recreational, packaging, healthcare and building products. In the 40-year span from its first plant in Woodbridge, Canada, Woodbridge has grown with 67 operations in 23 countries. In addition to its manufacturing operations, Woodbridge offers a full complement of services including: chemical research and development, product and process engineering, tooling, technical support and accredited laboratory testing.
Yanfeng is the global leader of automotive supplier, focusing on interior, exterior, seating, cockpit electronics and passive safety. As a global company based in China, the overseas business accounts for over a quarter, and there are more than 230 footprints worldwide with total employees of more than 65,000.
Hirotec America, a member of the Japan-based Hirotec Group, will invest around $40 million and create more than 100 jobs in Lincoln County over the next three years. The company will build its plant in the Runway Centre Industrial Park, a Select Tennessee Certified Site. Construction will begin in the second quarter of 2019, and Hirotec America anticipates the plant will be operational in the third quarter of 2020.
“Tennessee sits at the heart of the South’s auto industry. And with the expertise of our workforce, there’s no better place in the country to operate an automotive business than Tennessee,” Haslam said. “I’d like to thank Hirotec America for investing in Fayetteville and bringing more than 100 high quality jobs to Tennessee.”
“Hirotec America joins a long and successful roster of automotive companies that call Tennessee home,” Rolfe said. “More than 135,000 Tennesseans work in the auto sector, and they make it one of our state’s strongest industries.”
Hirotec America, established in 1988 with its headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., is an automotive Tier 1 supplier specialising in manufacturing tooling. This new location in Tennessee will add part production capacity in the United States.
The new company is named BluE Nexus and will be established in April 2019. In August 2018, Aisin and Denso first announced their basic agreement to establish a joint venture.
Electrification requires a driving module package that consists of transaxles, motor-generators, and inverters, which are key components needed for both partially and fully electric vehicles. Aisin and Denso will combine their strengths in electrification to develop a wide range of driving modules and sell them to automakers in Japan and throughout the world. Moreover, BluE Nexus will calibrate them for the diverse needs automakers have for hybrid vehicles (HVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), and electric vehicles(EVs).
These modules help automakers and consumers protect the environment against global warming, atmospheric pollution, resource and energy problems, and more.
The new company will be headquartered in Anjo City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. With a capital investment of JPY50 million ($455,000), 50% of the company will be owned by Aisin and 50% by Denso. Kozo Yamaguchi, who is currently the Executive Vice President of Aisin AW, will be the President of the new business entity.
The joint venture, Hyoseong (Wuhan) Motion Mechatronics System Co. Ltd., will be owned 51% by CAAS and 49% by Hyoseong Electric. A new production facility is being planned near CAAS’s headquarters in Wuhan with an expected annual capacity of 4.5 million units upon completion. Total investment in HMMS will be RMB550 million ($82.5 million) with RMB198 million ($29.7 million) for the first phase of the production facility.
Founded in Busan, South Korea in 1973, Hyoseong Electric develops, manufactures, and sells direct current (DC) electric motors for automotive EPS, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), electric parking brakes (EPB) and HVAC blowers. Hyoseong Electric has become the world’s third largest producer of HVAC blower electric motors and the third largest electric motor supplier to automotive EPS products in Asia.
Mr. Qizhou Wu, Chief Executive Officer of CAAS, commented, “With this joint venture, we will not only significantly increase in-sourcing capability, but also gain greater control over the technology, production and quality of motors for our EPS products, which are critical products for our future. Knowing the future of autonomous vehicles requires stronger steering systems to coordinate on-road navigation and vehicle maneuvering, we are proactively strengthening our products to prepare for the paradigm shift in the foreseeable future. In addition, we look forward to broadening our product offerings and increasing our market shares.”
The 22,927 square-foot facility in Mladá Boleslav will be used to support all new projects and innovation programmes in Europe and globally, through its advantageous location near the company’s other manufacturing plants and key European customers. The company’s new facility will feature state-of-the-art development and testing facilities, capable of 3D rapid prototyping and laser scanning, climatic testing, and simulation, to ensure the centre is prepared to adapt to future customer and industry demands.
“The new Technical and Innovation Centre will reflect Henniges’ research and development competence and extensive technical expertise,” said Larry Williams, President of Henniges Automotive. “The resources and access of this facility will enable us to remain at the forefront of anti-vibration, vehicle sealing and glass encapsulation technologies while keeping our commitment to offering innovative new solutions to customers.”
With its base in the centre of the Czech Republic, the Technical and Innovation Centre will link its R&D capabilities and test programs with other nearby Henniges facilities to improve synergies in product design processes, validation and marketing. It also will allow Henniges to strengthen its customer relationships with European car manufacturers.
In addition, this campus will benefit from the area’s long engineering history to draw top talent and well-qualified specialists to work at the facility. Sixteen employees are currently slated to work at the facility, which is set to open in the spring of 2019, with hiring doubling in size in the near future. Eventually, the facility will house nearly 75 employees including product experts and business unit managers.
To create the new centre, which will become the company’s European headquarters, Henniges is using part of a $1.8 million state investment incentive, which it received from the Czech Government through its Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Operational Program “Enterprise and Innovations for Competitiveness.” Based on a business plan that was submitted, the government awarded Henniges its first state incentive due to the associated innovation and social benefits the company’s investment would bring to the area. Henniges is investing $3.6 million in test and laboratory equipment.
Of the total state incentive, $600,000 is being used to expand the development and testing equipment at the new facility. The remainder is funding the building of a global competence center at Henniges’ production plant in nearby Hranice. This competence centre will be used for advanced extrusion processes, such as the development of plastic materials for rubber sealing.
“We are thankful to receive this generous incentive by the Czech government, and pleased that the recognition validates our dedication to pursuing new and commercially interesting products,” said Williams. “We look forward to expanding our presence in the region and further contributing to the area’s innovation culture and high-tech workforce.”
In addition to the new Technical and Innovation Centre in the Czech Republic, Henniges has plans for further expansions in 2019, including a new manufacturing plant in South America.
Denso’s continued commitment to Tennessee significantly strengthens one of its key manufacturing locations, which is localising a critical product for North American customers focused on electric vehicles and expanding Denso’s potential customer base. Denso has been a leading global developer and pioneer of electrification products and systems for environmentally friendly automobiles for more than 20 years.
This marks the first production applications of Denso’s next-generation power modules, a critical component for the smaller and more efficient inverters needed for future electrified vehicles.
“The shift to electric vehicles will occur in stages, but we need to ramp up R&D and production now. Our long-term vision is a future with enhanced mobility, with less impact on the environment, and Denso is committed to advancing automotive innovation and helping our customers meet today’s and tomorrow’s transportation demands,” said Kenichiro Ito, Chairman of Denso’s North America Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Denso International America.
In 2017, Denso announced its investment in Maryville, along with the creation of 1,000+ U.S. manufacturing jobs in Tennessee. The investment expanded multiple production lines to create products like Denso’s next-generation inverter, as well as advanced safety components, and products that connect vehicles and society.
Once completed, the new plant will create approximately 100 new jobs in the region. The 22,500 square metre facility will produce automotive carpeting for Chevrolet and Buick models produced and sold in China. The company is among the largest producers of vehicle flooring systems, acoustical components and fibre-based decorative trim components for the Chinese automotive market.
“The new Auria Solutions Wuhan facility delivers on our on-going commitment to support our customers’ needs through strategic growth and investment in the region and around the world,” said Shenda Chairman Yao Minghua. “We look forward to delivering the world class quality and delivery our customers have come to expect from Auria.”
In addition to carpet manufacturing, the new facility also will have in-house product and material testing & validation capability.
Construction of the new facility will begin in early 2019 and series production is scheduled to start in the plant by the end of the same year.
Starting in December, two turbochargers will be offered for Ford engines under the Continental brand. Products for other vehicle makes are planned.
“Turbochargers are becoming increasingly important components,” explained Michael Rieth, Product Manager at Continental. “Owing to downsizing and increasingly strict emissions requirements, more and more OEMs are equipping diesel and gasoline engines with turbochargers in order to boost their efficiency. Turbochargers also play an important role in hybrid vehicles.”
With this product Continental for the first time will be offering dealers and repair shops in the independent aftermarket the original as a replacement part for repairs. It will be sold via specialised turbocharger distributors, and Continental will extend this step by step to other countries in the EU.
Since 2011, Continental has been supplying the turbocharger for Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. The turbocharger is installed in many high-volume models, including C-Max, Focus, Fiesta and Mondeo. Now Continental’s experts are offering their know-how to the aftermarket.
Initially, there will be two versions of the turbocharger: one for 100-hp EcoBoost engines and one for EcoBoost engines exceeding 100 hp. A matching valve set will also be offered. “We’re already working on expanding our product line, not just with turbochargers but also with other accessories,” says Rieth.
Continental will be selling these products in cooperation with specialised turbocharger distributors. Through this network workshops will be able to get everything they need for turbocharger repairs: oil lines, seals, heat shields and studs. A service hotline will be available as well.
Both partners will each hold a 50% stake of the venture. The companies have submitted the application for antitrust approval to the EU.
Vehicle interiors are becoming more flexible, the number of electronically interacting adjustment systems is increasing, and the interplay between safety and comfort components is being redefined. This offers Brose and AUNDE ample opportunities for future growth and technological innovation, such as seat foams with integrated massage systems, innovative comfort headrests, sensors for recognizing vital functions and controlling safety systems, seat covers in 3D printing or the intelligent networking of seat adjustment with Brose door systems to enable convenient vehicle access.
“The vehicle seat is a central element in the current technological transformation. Brose and AUNDE combine the specific strengths of both companies. We will not only create completely new seating concepts but will also advance the interplay of seats, interior and exterior with a focus on systems-crossing functions and the customer experience,” explains Sandro Scharlibbe, Executive Vice President Seat at Brose.
“The interior is the new exterior. Vehicle development in conjunction with the megatrend of autonomous driving takes place from the inside to the outside. This places new demands on the interior of the car. The joint venture between AUNDE and Brose can cover these requirements for the vehicle seat,” says Rolf Königs, CEO of the AUNDE Group.
In the new joint venture, Brose and AUNDE will complement each other in their expertise and product portfolio: the mechatronics specialist Brose will contribute its strengths as a leading supplier of adjustable seat structures, comfort components and electronics. AUNDE adds expertise in foam, covers and trim parts as well as extensive experience in assembly and logistics as a supplier of complete seats for light and heavy commercial vehicles.
The joint venture will start operations at the beginning of 2019 and operate independently on the international market. The company will set up locations and production capacities depending on customer projects. The joint venture is subject to EU antitrust approval.
The aim is to make the test results for Continental’s passenger and light truck tyres more conclusive and minimise the impact of the test procedure on the results. The new test vehicle is based on Continental’s automated Cruising Chauffeur, which was developed for freeways.
The test vehicle is controlled using a satellite-based navigation system. Equipped with camera and radar sensors, the car will be able to react immediately to people, animals, or other unexpected objects on the track, even without a driver. The development team from Uvalde is thereby contributing to making Continental’s Vision Zero strategy for accident-free driving a reality.
“In critical situations, the tyres’ level of technology is the deciding factor in whether a vehicle brakes in time,” explains Nikolai Setzer, member of the Continental Executive Board and head of the Tyre division. “With tyre tests which use an automated vehicle, we achieve highly conclusive test results and thereby ensure the premium quality of our tyres.”
One of the challenging tasks in tyre production is to carry out quality tests while tyres are in use. Newly developed rubber compounds and tyre models have to be tested under real life conditions, showing how well they perform on gravel roads, for example. Driving the test vehicles places huge demands on the drivers, as even the smallest deviations on the test track can have a huge impact on the quality and comparability of the test results.
Since 2016, the team led by Thomas Sych, Head of Tyre Testing at Continental, has therefore been working on the tyre test of the future in Uvalde. “We want to automate and thus standardise tyre tests to such an extent that we can identify even the smallest differences in the tyres,” explains Sych. “The automated vehicle enables us to reproduce processes precisely, meaning that every tyre in the test experiences exactly the same conditions. This way, we can be sure that differences in the test are actually caused by the tyres and not by the test procedure.”
For these same reasons, Continental engineers already developed an electronically controlled car to automate tyre tests 50 years ago. Back then, the vehicle followed a wire that was glued to the track, which limited its use to asphalt test tracks. Today’s prototype can also safely navigate along gravel roads without a driver.
In addition to the significantly improved comparability of the results, the tyre test using automated vehicles will also reduce the maintenance work required for the test tracks. Because the vehicle is sent on a route that varies by just a few centimetres each time, the test track is subjected to less wear and tear, thus requiring considerably less maintenance.
“Thanks to close collaboration with colleagues from many different areas of Continental, we have made a lot of progress with our prototype for the tire test. Our focus now is on further developing the necessary camera and radar systems for this special case of off-road routes, so that the vehicle can react appropriately when people, animals, or other vehicles unexpectedly appear on the route,” explains Sych.
Primarily for the Chinese market, the family-owned company manufactures products across its entire portfolio, including door systems, seat structures and motors there.
What began in 2015 with a small operation in rented production halls in Taicang will grow to a total area of 73,000 square metres with the completion of the second construction phase at the end of 2019. Brose Taicang will then be the largest production facility of the mechatronics specialist in Asia. To this end, the family-owned company is investing around €180 million ($205.2 million).
“The new location in Taicang will be one of the Brose Group’s most important plants,” emphasised Thomas Spangler, Chief Technology Officer, at the official opening. “With digitised processes and the latest manufacturing methods, we are significantly increasing our manufacturing competence in Asia”. For example, a modern production control system has been installed. It analyses data from production and controls the entire manufacturing process, which increases product quality and minimises scrap.
“The development in Taicang from a rental hall to one of our global lead plants is an example of the positive business development of the Brose Group in China and of our systematic implementation of modern production systems,” Spangler explained. The company will employ 1,600 people at the site by 2024.
Wang Hongxing, member of the Taicang government, was pleased with the success story as well: “The automotive industry is one of the most important pillars of our economic growth. We believe that Brose’s state-of-the-art plant will have a very positive impact on the future of the automotive sector in the region.”
Delivering future-ready seating solutions that enable added functionality is key as new mobility changes the way consumers use their vehicles. This kind of functionality starts with the seat structure itself. This acquisition will further enhance Magna’s capabilities in this area.
VIZA, with current customers including VW, PSA and Renault Nissan, brings seat-structure expertise and a portfolio of products including patented floor-latch systems and foldable seats. VIZA’s 73 years of expertise will help Magna further develop reconfigurable seating solutions in the new mobility landscape.
“We have been strategic and deliberate in growing our seating business, especially with our structural products, which require higher levels of capital investment,” said Mike Bisson, President Magna Seating. “VIZA’s deep expertise and footprint give us added support to grow, especially in Europe, and strengthen our competitive position.”
Once the deal is approved, Magna will add VIZA’s two facilities in Europe (Spain and Czech Republic), as well as one in each of Morocco and Mexico, and will welcome over 1,100 employees.
Magna’s seating business, recognised by automakers and end consumers for its innovation and quality, includes six R&D centres and 50 manufacturing operations around the globe.
“The demand for premium, larger-rim-diameter consumer tyres is growing across EMEA. To ensure the sustainable growth of our business, Goodyear plans to invest €94 million ($107.16 million) in its plant in Kranj, Slovenia to increase its capacity in this profitable segment,” announced Henry Dumortier, Goodyear’s Vice President Consumer Europe.
The investment will add 5400 square metres to accommodate advanced tyre building machines, increasing the plant’s overall capacity by approximately 25%. This will allow for production of an additional 1.8 million premium, A segment consumer tyres annually. Production will focus on 17- to 19-inch replacement tyres in EMEA.
The company expects to create about 160 new positions in Sava, mainly in the production area. The first phase of construction will begin in January 2019, with additional phases planned for 2020 and 2021 to reach full capacity.
“We are extremely proud that Goodyear decided to make this important investment here in Kranj. The decision reflects the company’s trust and confidence in our local team’s high-quality production and is a great recognition of our performance over the last 20 years,” emphasised Matej Zavrl, Managing Director of Goodyear’s Slovenian entity.
Since 1998, Goodyear has invested over €270 million ($307.8 million) to develop its Kranj facility. Continuous improvements enabled Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tyres (GDST) to grow into one of the biggest and most successful companies in Slovenia, and one of the country’s biggest employers.
GDST developed from a local manufacturer of low and middle price range tyres under a single trademark, into a manufacturer of the most challenging, high-quality premium segment tyres. Since first established in 1998, the company has produced over130 million tyres.
This combined electric motor, inverter and compressor module was selected as a high-performance, cost-effective solution by this new production customer after having purchased several FCS units earlier in 2018 for demonstration purposes.
The new contract will cover deliveries in 2019, and the initial order value is approximately $1.8 million. Additional details, including the name of the customer, specific vehicle program, and launch timing, were not disclosed for competitive reasons.
“We believe our fuel cell compressor system is the premier solution – from both a performance and cost perspective – in the market today,” said Joe Mitchell, UQM Technologies’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “At present, more than 50% of the operating fuel cell vehicles in China are estimated to be equipped with this company’s fuel cell engines, so we are very pleased that they have the confidence in UQM for this major contract – having worked closely with us earlier in the year. We look forward to partnering with them on additional orders going forward to support their growth and address the demand in this expanding market.”
The UQM FCS has been fully customised for fuel cell applications covering a wide range of applications, supporting fuel cell stacks from 30kW-150kW and 270-800 VDC voltage range, a pressure ratio ranging from 1 to 2.2, and airflow from 100 to 500 kg/h. FCS units are already deployed in a number of vehicle applications including full size transit buses, port vehicles, shuttle vans and passenger cars through a broad range of power levels.