Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The future of mobility is electric and, as a visionary British company, we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK. We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, Electronic Drive Units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.”
The first new electric car to be produced at the plant will be Jaguar’s flagship luxury saloon, the XJ. The choice of business leaders, celebrities, politicians and royalty for over five decades and through eight generations of production, the XJ is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK and has been exported to more than 120 countries.
The news was confirmed to workers at Castle Bromwich as production of the current XJ came to an end. Credited with pioneering a range of industry-first innovations during its 50 years of production, the new XJ will build on the characteristics synonymous with its predecessors – beautiful design, intelligent performance and revered luxury.
The new all-electric model will be created by the same expert team of designers and product development specialists responsible for delivering the world’s first premium electric SUV, and 2019 World Car of the Year, the Jaguar I-Pace.
This announcement, which safeguards several thousand jobs in the UK, is the next stage in execution of Jaguar Land Rover’s electrification strategy. In January the company confirmed plans to bring battery and Electric Drive Unit (EDU) assembly to the Midlands with investment in new and existing facilities. These investments have been anticipated in the company’s previously communicated capital investment plans.
The new Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall, operational in 2020, will be the most innovative and technologically advanced in the UK with an installed capacity of 150,000 units. Together with the Wolverhampton Engine Manufacturing Centre (EMC), home of Jaguar Land Rover’s global EDU production, these facilities will power the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover models.
The extensive transformation of Castle Bromwich to become the UK’s first premium electrified vehicle plant will be the most significant in the plant’s history. Later this month, work will begin to commence the installation of all-new facilities and technologies required to support Jaguar Land Rover’s next-generation Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). Designed and engineered in-house, MLA enables flexible production of clean efficient diesel and petrol vehicles alongside full electric and hybrid models.
The expansion of Jaguar Land Rover’s electrified vehicle line up will see customers offered a greater choice of vehicles to suit their lifestyles. However increased consumer take-up remains a challenge.
Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need. Charging should be as easy as re-fuelling a conventional vehicle. Affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad. The UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation.”
As Jaguar Land Rover makes its commitment to electric car manufacturing in the UK, it calls on government and industry to work together to bring giga-scale battery production to the country. This builds on the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and the government’s Faraday Challenge, essential for next generation battery technology to create smaller, denser, cheaper batteries. These critical steps will also support and grow the existing supply chain, making the UK less dependent on essential materials sourced abroad today.
Together, these initiatives enable battery production and demand for automotive companies, to attract future giga-scale factories to the UK.
1,269,245 new cars joined British roads in the first half of the year, down 3.4% as ongoing confusion over low emission zones and diesel, the removal of key ultra low emission vehicle incentives and an overall decline in buyer confidence affected the market.
Demand fell in all sectors, with private registrations seeing a decline of 4.8%, while larger fleet and business registrations also fell, down 2.5% and 37.1% respectively. Declines were also seen across every vehicle segment, except Dual Purpose which grew 9.1% in June and 7.3% year-to-date to take 22.6% of the market. However, Supermini remains the UK’s best-selling segment, making up 31.0% of all registrations in the first six months.
The month saw growth for petrol and battery electric registrations, up 3.0% and 61.7% respectively, but this was not enough to offset the continuing decline of diesel, which fell for the 27th month in a row (20.5%). Significantly, plug-in hybrids continued the recent downward trend, falling by a massive 50.4%, while hybrids also fell, by 4.7%.
The performance tipped the overall alternatively fuelled vehicle sector into negative growth for the first time since April 2017, undermining efforts to reduce emissions through fleet renewal of the latest ultra low emission vehicles. This is despite ongoing investment, which has enabled manufacturers to offer British car buyers more choice than ever before with more than 350 models now available in the UK – 44 of them plug-ins.
This technological innovation has led to a growing range of powertrain options, including advanced low emission petrols and diesels, and an ever-greater number of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen cars. Another option increasingly available is mild-hybrid technology, which provides an energy boost to traditional internal combustion engines, helping to improve fuel efficiency and lower CO2.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Another month of decline is worrying but the fact that sales of alternatively fuelled cars are going into reverse is a grave concern. Manufacturers have invested billions to bring these vehicles to market but their efforts are now being undermined by confusing policies and the premature removal of purchase incentives. If we are to see widespread uptake of these vehicles, which are an essential part of a smooth transition to zero emission transport, we need world-class, long-term incentives and substantial investment in infrastructure. Fleet renewal remains the quickest way to address environmental concerns today and consumers should have the confidence – and support – to choose the new car that best meets their driving needs, whatever the technology, secure in the knowledge that it is safer and cleaner than ever before.”
The new Innovation and Engineering Centre California (IECC) will be the largest Volkswagen vehicle research facility outside Germany, and serve as the heart of an expansion of Volkswagen’s North American engineering resources, driving greater innovation in vehicle technologies closer to the US customer.
“The future of the Volkswagen Group will be defined by our success in developing new technology that is designed to meet our customers’ needs,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “As we roll out the next generation of electric and autonomous vehicles, innovation will increasingly define who we are.”
The former ERL served as the Volkswagen Group’s research and innovation hub in Silicon Valley for more than 20 years. It grew from just three employees when it was founded in 1998, to more than 180 engineers, social scientists, researchers and product designers. Over the past two decades the campus helped develop several key vehicle technologies, such as predictive navigation and online speech, along with impressive technical demonstrations, such as “Stanley,” the first robotic car to complete the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2005 by navigating 132 miles of desert without human intervention.
The IECC will be comprised of two entities: the Innovation Centre California (ICC) and the Engineering Centre California (ECC). The ICC is one of three global Group Innovation centres that will be tasked with key “lighthouse projects” and focus on bilateral research and pre-development projects for VW Group brands. The ECC will focus on connected car, intelligent cockpit, and autonomous driving and parking development projects in the North American region.
To celebrate 20-plus years of innovation, the IECC also unveiled the Type 20 concept. Built from a 1962 Type 2 11-window Microbus, the Type 20 has been converted to electric power and showcases a variety of experimental elements, both tactile objects and interactive electronics. This unique concept embodies the Volkswagen Group’s history of combining future innovation with iconic heritage, much like the forthcoming ID. BUZZ.
The Type 20 features a full BEV drivetrain, including a 10 kWh battery, 2,500-Watt onboard charger, and an electric motor that produces 120 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. It also features a custom-designed active pneumatic suspension developed with Porsche that adjusts the vehicle’s ride height via software. This allows the Type 20 to actually rise as the driver approaches.
Experimenting with biometric vehicle access, the Type 20 includes a real-time facial recognition system integrated with the digital assistant to enroll and identify users. The system leverages a 720p wide-angle camera integrated into the driver’s-side second window. The recognition is done via the Sensory SDK, running in real-time on an Nvidia Jetson TX2 prototyping package.
The Type 20 integrates directional microphones into three zones of the vehicle—the front exterior, driver cockpit and rear passenger zone. An intelligent speech agent builds on the existing speech capabilities of the Group and can receive more natural language commands. The system provides LED feedback to exterior commands via the headlights and iconic Volkswagen logo.
Working with Autodesk, Volkswagen designers created custom wheels, rearview-mirror supports, and interior support elements using generative design—a process focused on maximizing strength while minimizing weight, which mimics natural evolution to create organic shapes.
A Looking Glass II holographic display is integrated into the Type 20’s dashboard, generating 3D images without the need for specialised glasses.
“We are excited to move into our next chapter as the IECC, to continue designing innovations that will bring the Volkswagen Group vehicles into the future with cutting-edge technology,” said Nikolai Reimer, Senior Vice President of the IECC. “The Type 20 is a fantastic example of how we celebrate our heritage while striving to advance our technology.”
The Type 20 will be on display at the IECC to celebrate the company’s two-decade history in Silicon Valley, alongside other installations that include past prototypes, project artifacts and historic vehicles.
On July 3, at the summit held in Dalian, China, the World Economic Forum recognised the Renault Cléon plant (Seine-Maritime, France) as an “advanced lighthouse” for industry 4.0. It is the first automotive industrial site to be recognized in France with this Label.
At the heart of the digital transformation of Renault Group plants, Cléon has equipped all 57 hectares of buildings with Wi-Fi, enabling data to be gathered and fully automated processes such as full kitting or parts traceability to be implemented.
"To prepare the mobility of tomorrow, which will be electric, connected and autonomous, our factories are driving this transformation to meet increasingly personalised customer demands in a more flexible work environment. With 35 plants worldwide, the Groupe Renault has an industrial system that is firmly anchored in the future," said Jose Vicente de los Mozos – EVP Manufacturing & Supply Chain Groupe Renault.
Indeed, this plant, which produced 760,000 engines and 372,000 gearboxes in 2018 and which has just celebrated its 60th anniversary, has been transformed into a recognized 4.0 plant, with several digital use cases such as connected workforce, virtual reality training and automated truck flow management. Already ranked among the best plants in the world by specialized agencies, the Cleon plant has created a local ecosystem while developing innovations that will be deployed around the world.
"It is a source of pride for all Renault Cléon employees to obtain this recognition from the World Economic Forum, which thus recognizes everyone's commitment. In a highly changing market, our plant has a central role to play in the production of electric motors for the entire Groupe Renault. Being at the forefront of the industry 4.0 is a strong competitive advantage that allows us to look to the future with confidence," said Javier Bernaldez, Director of the Renault plant in Cléon.
The Renault Group has chosen to place women and men at the heart of the plant of the future. Thus, employees at the Cleon plant benefit from a specific safety program for 100% of incoming employees using augmented and virtual reality. More than 3570 people have benefited from this innovative training program. The deployment of digital tools as close as possible to the field, particularly through tablets for workforce, provides real-time access to production or quality datas. All the technologies aim to facilitate everyone's work for a production that meets customer expectations.
With nearly 860 hires since 2015, the Cléon plant is fully involved in the local ecosystem and works with several Normandy start-ups to co-develop the know-how and technologies of tomorrow.
The Tesla Model 3 made a strong debut with a perfect score in the frontal offset deformable barrier crash test, a mainstay of Euro NCAP’s assessment since its inception in 1997. Its performance in the Safety Assist tests particularly impressed, thanks to its superb driver assistance systems like lane support, speed assist and autonomous emergency braking. The Tesla’s 94% score in 2019 Safety Assist tests is the best yet under Euro NCAP’s most recent protocol.
Another novice, Škoda’s new Scala, positioned between consumer favourites Fabia and Octavia, just pips the Model 3 in overall crash performance, with a 97% score in Adult Occupant Protection. This firmly puts the Scala amongst the top small-family cars tested by Euro NCAP for this part of the assessment, along with the recently tested Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Mazda 3.
With B-Class and GLE ratings, Mercedes-Benz is continuing its winning streak with its 10th and 11th solid 5-star result since 2014, underscoring that its safety reputation still is non-negotiable. Potential buyers of the Kia Ceed and DS 3 Crossback should inquire about the optional safety equipment on offer as Euro NCAP tests have shown that their respective “Advanced Driver Assistance” and “Active Safety Brake” packs will deliver better real-world safety performance.
Michiel van Ratingen said, “It’s great to see cars doing so well. Our tests get tougher and tougher, and cars continue to perform well, which means that car-buyers are getting an ever-safer range of vehicles to choose from. Next year, we up the ante again, with better tests of driver-assistance systems, a completely new frontal crash test and more attention to protection in side crashes. These new tests should help to make the roads safer for everyone.”
CVVD optimises both engine performance and fuel efficiency while also being eco-friendly. The valve control technology regulates the duration of valve opening and closing according to driving conditions, achieving a 4% boost in performance and a 5% improvement in fuel efficiency. Furthermore, the technology cuts emissions by 12%.
“The development of the CVVD technology is a good example how Hyundai Motor Group is strengthening our powertrain technology,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “We will continue our innovation efforts to bring forth paradigm shifts and ensure sustainability of our business model.”
Until now, an internal combustion engine’s performance and efficiency have been governed by variable valve control technology that adjusts the timing of valve opening and closing and depth of the valve’s opening, with engine power produced through the fuel intake-compression-expansion-exhaustion cycle.
Typical variable valve control technologies manage the timing of the valve’s opening and closing (as in Continuously Variable Valve Timing - CVVT) or control the volume of air admitted by adjusting the depth of the opening (Continuously Variable Valve Lift - CVVL). Previous variable valve control technologies could not regulate valve duration, as the valve’s closing timing was subordinate to opening timing and could not respond to diverse driving situations. CVVD takes the technology in a new direction by adjusting how long a valve is open.
When the vehicle is maintaining a constant speed and requires low engine output, CVVD opens the intake valve from the middle to end of the compression stroke. This helps to improve fuel efficiency by reducing the resistance caused by compression. On the other hand, when engine output is high, such as when the car is driving at a high speed, the intake valve is closed at the beginning of the compression stroke to maximise the amount of air used for the explosion, enhancing torque to improve acceleration.
Unveiled alongside the new CVVD technology is the new Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi Engine, a V4 gasoline turbo unit with 180 horsepower and 265Nm of torque. The new powertrain is the first to utilise the Group’s new CVVD technology and also features Low-Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (LP EGR) to further optimise fuel efficiency.
The exhaust gas recirculation system returns some of the gas burnt by the engine to the combustion chamber, producing a cooling effect and reducing the emission of nitrogen oxides. The G1.6 T-GDi also features a low-pressure system that redirects the burnt emission gas to the front of the turbocharger compressor, rather than the intake system, to increase efficiency under the high load condition.
Additionally, the new unit has an Integrated Thermal Management System that quickly heats or cools the engine to an optimal temperature, and a strong direct spray system that achieves 350bar, surpassing the 250bar of the previous T-GDi engine. In addition, engine friction is reduced by 34% with the application of low friction moving parts.
The new Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi engine will be applied in the Hyundai Sonata Turbo, which is set for introduction in the second-half of this year. This premiere will mark the first in a series of new Hyundai and Kia vehicles featuring the engine. Information on first Kia vehicle to feature the engine will be revealed later on near the vehicle’s launch date.
“We’ve been building trucks in Texas for more than 20 years, and our additional investment in Arlington Assembly is proof of our commitment and confidence in our Arlington team,” said Gerald Johnson, GM Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing. “We are counting on the Arlington team to continue focusing on building the highest quality products possible for our customers while preparations continue for the launch of the next generation of our full-size SUVs.”
Arlington Assembly is the sole producer of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade.
GM has a long history of dominating the full-size SUV market since creating the segment in 1935. Last year, GM dealers in the United States delivered more than 282,000 full-size SUVs — almost four vehicles for each one delivered by the company’s closest competitor. GM’s full-size SUVs are exported to many markets around the globe.
GM has invested more than $4.2 billion in three US assembly plants – Arlington, Flint, Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana – to prepare for the launches of its next generation pickups and SUVs and to increase capacity, further improve build quality and drive operating efficiencies. GM’s new trucks and SUVs are also driving new investments at plants in Moraine, Ohio to expand diesel engine production, Toledo, Ohio to expand 10-speed transmission production and more.
Since 2009, GM has invested more than $23 billion in its US manufacturing base — more than one-quarter of every dollar spent by any automaker.
Opened in 1954, Arlington employs 4,500. The plant converted from car to truck production in 1997. Arlington Assembly operates on three shifts of production. Through a series of purchase agreements for wind power, Arlington Assembly runs entirely on wind energy, earning the plant a spot on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Top 100 List of the largest green power users.
The Boao Consensus, which describes the strategic results of the congress, foresees e-cars accounting for 50% of annual global car sales by 2035. Within the Chinese market, Volkswagen has committed to that goal as well, making China pivotal for Volkswagen Group’s decarbonisation strategy.
Volkswagen intends to offer 14 electrified models to Chinese customers this year. By 2028, more than half of the Group's planned 22 million electric cars will be produced in China. At the same time, Volkswagen is strengthening its local R&D. More than 4,500 engineers work on future technologies in the country.
At the congress, Herbert Diess emphasised the important role of the automotive industry on the way to fulfilling the Paris Climate Agreement: "China also relies on emission-free mobility under its clear commitment to the goals of Paris. In this transformation, we are playing a key role in providing a comprehensive range of e-vehicles and strengthening the private charging infrastructure."
In his speech, Diess also underlined that a predictable and reliable legal and regulatory framework was necessary for the further development of electro mobility. He welcomed another opening-up of the country.
E-mobility is already booming in China. Last year, more than one million plug-in hybrids and purely battery-powered vehicles were sold. This makes China the world's largest market for e-cars. The government is supporting e-mobility through comprehensive initiatives such as the expansion of the charging infrastructure and low electricity costs. In addition, more renewable energy is being harnessed to generate electricity.
As part of its e-mobility offensive, the Volkswagen Group plans to produce around 11.6 million e-cars in China by 2028: that is more than half of the Group's global total target of 22 million. All three joint ventures - FAW-Volkswagen, SAIC Volkswagen and JAC Volkswagen - will contribute to this. As soon as the SAIC Volkswagen plant in Anting and FAW-Volkswagen plant in Foshan start producing MEB-based vehicles next year, the production capacity alone will be around 600,000 purely electric vehicles per year.
In addition, JAC and SEAT are developing their own platform for smaller e-cars. Next year, around 400,000 electrified models from Volkswagen Group China will be delivered to Chinese customers. Thus, Volkswagen Group China will meet all regulatory requirements: the fleet consumption target of five litres in 2020 as well as the requirements of the credit system for the share of electric vehicles in total production.
The ecological footprint is to be further improved in all 33 Chinese production facilities of Volkswagen and its partners. In the past year alone, the CO2 emissions of the Chinese plants were reduced by 13%, saving 390,000 tons of CO2.
The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé from BMW Group Plant Dingolfing offers the best of both worlds. This four-door model is a genuine sports car that combines spaciousness in the rear with all the benefits of a luxury sedan. The Gran Coupé is 231 mm longer and 61 mm taller than the regular Coupé. The 28 mm wider rear axle sets a new production record: No other BMW brand vehicle has a wider rear axle.
The panoramic glass roof option, available exclusively in the new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé, creates a continuous transparent area from the windscreen to the rear window. To ensure seamless integration into the vehicle roof, this is already fitted in the paint shop. The additional weight of this four-door variant, at around 70 kilograms more than the BMW 8 Series Coupé, is moderate, thanks to an intelligent material mix, with doors and flaps made of aluminium and the boot lid formed from SMC plastic.
The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé will roll off the production line at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, along with the BMW 5 Series, 7 Series and remaining 8 Series variants. The Gran Coupé is expected to make up over half BMW 8 Series volumes, making it the most-produced variant of the BMW 8 Series family. The luxury sports coupé is proving especially popular with customers in the United States, which is expected to account for almost a third of sales, followed by the Middle East region and the UK market.
The upper end of the BMW 8 Series family’s performance range is clearly defined by the new BMW M8 Competition Coupé and the new BMW M8 Competition Convertible. With these high-performance sportscars, Plant Dingolfing is venturing into a new performance range in the luxury segment.
Around 60 BMW M8s leave the Dingolfing facility every day. Each vehicle undergoes a final quality inspection on the plant’s own break-in course prior to delivery. The luxury sports coupé’s biggest sales are expected to come from the US, with well over a third of all units likely to be sold there. No other market comes close. Both Coupé and Convertible body variants are equally popular with BMW M8 customers.
Dr. Stefan Sommer, Board Member for Components and Procurement, said: "We are convinced that a sustainable supplier network is a guarantee of long-term corporate success. Sustainability is becoming a decisive business factor."
In a Sustainability Rating, the suppliers first provide a self-assessment of their sustainability conduct on the basis of a questionnaire and documents supplied. The data and documents are checked by qualified third parties. In case of doubt, on-site checks are carried out. If misconduct occurs in the areas of environmental/social affairs or corruption, these lead to exclusion from the award of contracts.
Hiltrud D. Werner, Board Member for Integrity and Legal Affairs, said about the enforcement of the standards in the often deeply staggered supply chains: "We are aware of our responsibility on further steps along the supply chain. However, the demand for sustainability standards and integrity is actually only possible with our direct contractual partners. We use this lever as a matter of priority in the supply chain by requiring our contractual partners to pass on our requirements to their partners.”
The sustainability requirements are described in the Volkswagen Group's new "Code of Conduct for Business Partners", which is binding for all companies in the supply chain. It refers to respect for human rights, compliance with occupational health and safety, environmental protection and the fight against corruption.
For almost a year now, the Volkswagen Group has been preparing its business partners for the Sustainability Rating with information, events and workshops. It is now being gradually introduced in the brands and into the regions. For the future it is planned to extend the Sustainability Rating to CO2 emissions in the supply chain and to include them in the awarding process as part of the decarbonisation process of the Volkswagen Group.