This partnership provides a solution for cost-effective operations through a cross-sharing agreement allowing the strengths of each company to outperform a singular centric organisation. Their joint focus will be the automotive market for small lamps, which is rapidly growing based on autonomous driving, personal customisation and accent lighting.
"With this agreement, each company can maintain their individual identities while leveraging each other's capabilities in our jointly targeted markets and applications," said Geoff O'Brien, CEO of Proper Group International. "Taking a chapter from the Nissan/Renault alliance, we're establishing cross-company teams to manage key areas of engineering, product design, sales and marketing, program management and purchasing. These teams will provide best practices for use by each organization while designing and delivering advanced lighting solutions to the automotive market."
"Our customers are looking for new supply chain solutions to provide cutting-edge technologies and the global footprint of the large tier 1 supplier, packaged in a smaller more agile and responsive organization," said Clarence Martin, President of Eypex.
"This alliance allows us the flexibility to manufacture in North America and Asia for each respective market, with product development and testing resources in Suzhou and Detroit," said Robert Granata, CEO of Eypex. "Our strategy to efficiently service and supply our customers regionally elevates us above many of the independent, offshore small lamp suppliers who have struggled with recent supply chain and trade issues."
The temporary shutdown will begin the weekend of March 21 with all facilities planning to resume normal operations on or before Sunday, April 12. The company will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust response plans and activities as necessary.
The company has sufficient supply of product to meet customer demand and its distribution centres, plant warehouses and logistics teams will continue to fill orders, but is executing this temporary shutdown to align supply to the predicted demand in the market.
As the company carefully monitors the coronavirus situation, it is continuing to take action in all aspects of operations to ensure the health and safety of our employees while also addressing the needs of customers and the market.
The company expects these actions to facilitate prompt and efficient resumption of full production levels once market conditions allow. In response to these developments and given the uncertainty regarding the duration and severity of the crisis, Constellium plans to aggressively reduce costs and capital expenditures, optimise working capital, and manage the supply chain to minimise the financial impact on the business.
“Over the past few years, we have significantly strengthened our business and improved our balance sheet. We maintain strong, long-term relationships with our customers across a diverse and resilient portfolio of end markets. Our year-end liquidity position of €516 million ($554.65 million) was strong and is expected to improve further in the first quarter of 2020,” said Jean-Marc Germain, CEO of Constellium. “Responding to customer demand and employee safety, we are taking decisive actions. While the situation remains very fluid, I believe we are well positioned to manage through this uncertain time.”
Constellium has already implemented proactive measures to protect the health and safety of its employees, in compliance with public health guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and governmental and local regulations and recommendations. This includes increased cleaning and sanitisation at its facilities, business travel ban, social distancing, strict policies for visitors and suppliers, and a work from home policy for employees at corporate offices. Constellium will continue to closely monitor the situation.
Garrett’s Wuhan facility is expected to gradually return to full capacity in early May. The company’s Shanghai plant, which restarted production on February 10, is expected to be fully operational in early April.
“We are pleased to restart our Wuhan facility as anticipated and look forward to resuming normal operations at both of our plants in China over the coming weeks,” said Olivier Rabiller, Garrett President and CEO.
“Additionally, a large majority of our suppliers in China have restarted production in rapid fashion to meet the demand from domestic customers. Our team has worked hard to be one of the first companies in our industry to restart operations in the Wuhan area. Although conditions in China have demonstrated signs of stabilisation, we continue to monitor and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our focus remains on leveraging our flexible and resilient business model while prioritising the health and safety of all our employees and providing unwavering service and support to our global customers,” added Rabiller.
The extent of such negative impact remains to be seen. Autoliv has tapped $500 million from its revolving credit facility to pay down existing short-term debt and for general corporate purposes. Autoliv is continuously monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and proactively taking measures to minimise any consequences for customers and mitigate the impact on the company.
The COVID-19 outbreak is now impacting Autoliv's customers in Europe and there have been several announcements by its customers of plant closures in e.g. France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Based on the most recent information from customers, media and other sources, the company estimates that 63 customer plants in Europe will close or have already closed. A number of its customers announced shut down of all plants in the US as well as closures in other countries. How long these plants will be closed, or to what extent more will follow is highly uncertain.
In light of these events, Autoliv is taking cost reduction actions to mitigate the impacts and it will adjust its production in accordance with the development of the demand situation, and it cannot be excluded that temporary Autoliv plant closures may become necessary. Management focus is currently on strategic planning for various scenarios, which includes the potential there is a significant decline in light vehicle demand. In the event of such scenarios, the company will take corresponding actions. At this point, it is impossible to predict the overall operational and financial impact this pandemic will have on Autoliv although it will likely to lead to negative effects on our operations.
The actions to mitigate the effects of lower business activity include expanding existing structural efficiency programme, balancing labour force and the sourcing of direct materials, reducing discretionary spending and securing funding availability to support our business activities.
Additionally, the company has drawn down $500 million of its existing committed $1.1 billion Revolving Credit Facility. The Facility is with 14 international banks and matures in July 2023. The company intends to use $300 million of the draw down to pay existing short-term debt maturities for the next three months. Autoliv plans to use the remaining amounts for general corporate purposes. The remaining $600 million of the Facility is still available to the company for further potential drawdown. For the remainder of 2020, the Company's only major debt maturity is €100 million in December.
Since early February, Autoliv has been taking decisive actions at both the group and local levels to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, firstly to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees but also to establish the right balance of capacity and cost. It has been able to secure a well-functioning supply chain so far, and operations in China have gradually recovered over the past few weeks, and is well tuned to customer demand as it gradually recovers.
"I feel confident we have the experience, organization and people to navigate through this challenging situation," said Mikael Bratt, President and CEO. "Our task force for different workstreams, that initially was set up in January to manage the COVID-19 outbreak in China and later in South Korea and Japan, is now managing the situation on a global level, which has allowed us to act promptly as the situation continues to develop.
The Eaton Cummins Endurant XD series are purpose-built, high-performance automated transmissions designed for on-highway applications with high gross combined weight ratings, such as double and triple trailer trucks, and severe-duty on/off highway applications like dump and logging trucks.
The Endurant XD series has torque and horsepower capacity to cover all Class 8 North American engines, including the Cummins X15. Endurant XD transmissions will be available starting in 2021.
“The DNA of the Endurant platform is efficiency, light weight and low cost of ownership,” said Charles Masters, General Manager Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies. “We’ve taken that DNA and added the durability and unique features that customers demand from trucks operating in severe heavy haul and vocational applications to create the Endurant XD series.”
Because reliability is critical for customers, the Endurant XD series is currently going through an extensive development testing program that puts the transmission through evaluations under extreme conditions.
The Endurant XD series has 18 forward speeds, making it highly versatile and allowing it to be utilised in many applications and driving scenarios. It is designed for ease of use, with impressive low-speed maneuverability, up to six reverse gears and optimised software that makes smart shift decisions to instill confidence in difficult conditions. The Endurant XD series features provisions for bottom 8-bolt and rear 4-bolt high-capacity power take-offs, and a transmission oil cooler provision is available when required.
Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies is a 50/50 joint venture between Eaton and Cummins, Inc. The global joint venture produces industry-leading heavy-duty automated transmissions for the commercial vehicle market.
All employees, including DENSO’s customer service team, are available and can be contacted on their usual e-mail addresses and phone numbers; however, regretfully, the company’s sales and technical staff are not permitted to undertake customer visits at this time.
A DENSO spokesperson said: “With recent World Health Organisation and Government announcements, it is clear that the COVID-19 situation is set to have a profound impact on everyday life in the UK and Ireland, as well as across the globe in the short to medium-term at least. Whilst we are determined to protect our own staff and mitigate the risk of contracting the virus as much as possible, we have always prioritised customer support at DENSO and will continue to do so in these uncertain times.”
DENSO will release further updates as the situation develops, but, in the meantime, customers can contact the company if they have any questions.
Volkswagen’s Passat is the world’s first midsize car to sell over 30 million units. This midsize sedan is a dynamic vehicle that is known for its high quality and performance with a wide and spacious interior plus an available advanced driver-assistance system.
The N'FERA AU7 is an all season, premium ultra-high performance (UHP) tyre developed for luxury sedans, with significantly improved wear capabilities and braking performance on wet surfaces. It provides reliable performance in diverse weather and road conditions across North America and fulfills US standards on wet grip and braking. The tyre offers a premium driving experience by applying enhanced design standards for noise and vibration.
The N'FERA AU7 also received numerous prestigious awards including the If Design Award and the Red Dot Award from Germany, as well as the IDEA Design Award from the United States, in recognition for its performance and design.
Nexen Tire operates four major global R&D and production networks – newly renovated and expanded R&D centres in Europe and the US, the recently opened ‘NEXEN univerCITY’, the company’s central research institute, in Seoul, Korea in 2019, and the recent launch of its European manufacturing plant. Through these establishments, Nexen Tire will continue to gain a competitive edge by increasing production capacity, bringing superior quality and expanding sales in the global market.
On the screen, the technology displays three-dimensional scales, pointers and objects, for example displaying a stop sign warning in the driver’s line of sight. No special glasses are required to see the three-dimensional warning signal. Instead, Continental uses parallax barriers – slanted slats that divide the image for the viewer – as if looking at real objects, two different, slightly offset views reach the right and left eye, resulting in the three-dimensional image.
Continental’s interior camera, which detects the driver’s line of sight and adjusts the 3D views to their precise head position, plays an essential role. To prevent drivers from focusing their attention on the 3D screen for too long, the camera also employs attention detection to identify potential moments of driver distraction or fatigue. With the 3D visualisation of the instrument cluster, Continental is focused on ensuring the driver is not overloaded with information provided by advanced driver assistance systems, conventional displays, communication services and infotainment applications.
“With our volume-production display featuring autostereoscopic 3D technology, we are raising human-machine interaction to a whole new level and laying the foundations for intuitive communication in the connected cockpit of tomorrow,” said Dr. Frank Rabe, Head of the Human Machine Interface business unit at Continental. “To ensure that this gain in safety and comfort does not come at the expense of a lean electronics architecture, we integrated various displays in the centre console or dashboard into our Cross Domain Hub.”
In the future, to reduce complexity and save weight and space, only a small number of control units will be required for all the in-vehicle input and output devices. The Cross Domain Hub is a high performance computer and the basis for Continental’s 3D display being used in the HMC Genesis. It marks a further milestone in the transformation of modern E/E architecture. The intention is to move away from numerous individual control units to a few high performance computers.
In the next generation of Continental’s cross-domain solution, all displays are integrated into a single unit. The driver will be able to distribute content across multiple displays, for example by means of gesture control, dragging navigation maps from the front passenger’s display onto their own screen and arranging exactly where they want to place them. In automated driving mode, the displays merge across the entire width of the cockpit and offer all the services and apps that are otherwise only available on the front passenger’s side.
To ensure that the front passenger and occupants in the rear seats can also enjoy the three-dimensional experience, Continental is currently developing a new 3D display based on the natural 3D Lightfield Technology from Silicon Valley based Leia Inc. With this technology there is neither the need for cameras detecting head movement nor 3D glasses. As a result, the Natural 3D Display not only saves weight, space and costs, but also opens up an entire world of digital services to all the passengers in a connected car – from video conferences and online shopping to augmented reality games and 3D movies.
Instead of the parallax barriers described above, this system relies on Diffractive Lightfield Backlighting (DLB) technology from Leia. An optical waveguide with diffraction grating and nanostructures beneath the display panel creating a natural 3D effect by bending the light. Continental is adapting this technology for use in vehicles. The system is planned for production by 2022.