"We are honoured that BMW, one of our longstanding customers, has continued to rely on Gentherm to provide passenger comfort solutions with significant incremental content on their 2019 lineup. We are providing a broad range of heating, cooling and temperature control solutions that help enhance the driving experience on the X5, X7, 8 Series Coupé and 8 Series Convertible," said Phil Eyler, President and CEO of Gentherm. "The launch of our Climate Control Seat (CCS) on the X5, X7 and 8 Series and our newest neckwarmer on the 8 Series Convertible is a testament to our industry-leading expertise in passenger thermal comfort management."
The 2019 BMW X5 and all-new 2019 BMW X7 offer consumers a comprehensive suite of Gentherm passenger comfort solutions that help deliver a luxury driving experience. These technologies include heated front and back seats, ventilated seats, heated armrests, heated steering wheel and heated and cooled cup holders.
Returning to the US after 20 years, the 8 Series Coupé will feature an array of Gentherm technology including heated front seats, ventilated seats and heated armrest. The 8 Series Convertible will have Gentherm's newest neckwarmer. The new and compact neckwarmer design is seamlessly integrated into the front seats, where an invisible air inlet at the bottom side of the headrest provides controlled heating to vehicle passengers. The neckwarmer provides comfort after only two seconds. The sophisticated system's heating performance is controlled by a proprietary algorithm based on the state the vehicle is in. This ranges from if the vehicle's roof is open or closed to if the vehicle is moving at high or low speeds.
Building on its partnership with BMW, Gentherm continues to innovate passenger thermal comfort solutions for future models.
Haptronik is a technology company that specialises in software to control the motion of mechatronic products. Based in Dresden, Germany, the company develops algorithms that enhance motion control and the touch and feel of power systems such as doors and liftgates.
"This acquisition is about access to the vehicle and the experience we want people to have – both today and in the future, as the new mobility ecosystem continues to evolve," said John O'Hara, President of Mechatronics, Mirrors and Lighting. "The Haptronik team are experts in this field and will help Magna further strengthen our position as the go-to supplier for mechatronics products."
This cutting-edge technology bolsters and further differentiates Magna's power system product offerings, specifically enhancing its SmartAccess power door experience. Beyond the effortless smooth feel of the door, the software also allows for features such as anti-slam and virtual door check.
Pending standard closing conditions, the deal is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2019.
The new joint venture, named Faurecia (Liuzhou) Emissions Control Technologies Co., Ltd. and controlled equally by each party, further extends the bilateral cooperation to the Clean Mobility activity and targets annual sales of RMB600 million ($86.38 million) in 2023.
The JV will cover all emissions control systems business of Wuling Industry, integrating four plants located in Liuzhou Liudong, Liuzhou Hexi, Chongqing and Qingdao. Through this joint venture, Faurecia and Wuling Industry embark on a comprehensive strategic cooperation in the area of automotive emissions control systems, leveraging resources from both sides to develop innovative clean mobility solutions starting from SAIC GM Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd. and manufacturers which are subsidiaries controlled by SGMW in China.
In 2017, Faurecia and Wuling Industry established joint ventures for automotive seating and interiors businesses.
Christophe Schmitt, Executive Vice President Faurecia Clean Mobility, declared: "We're honoured to partner once again with Wuling Industry, extending our cooperation to all the three of our business activities: Seating, Interiors and Clean Mobility. The new joint venture will achieve synergy effects and further help enhance our relationships with leading Chinese OEMs. It will enable us to develop more innovative products and technologies responding to the demands of the China market towards zero-emission mobility."
Liuzhou Wuling Industry Co., Ltd. has accumulated 60-year experience in automotive design and manufacturing areas, focusing on parts, engines and special vehicle business. The company has business in Guangxi, Chongqing, Shandong and Guizhou in China as well as in Indonesia and India etc.
This is aimed for the establishment of a production system capable of responding to the business expansion of automobile filter products in China. The operation launched in October 2018.
With its production area that is 1.5 times larger than the previous location, the plant will be well equipped for an order increase in the future. A resin moulding facility that has been newly introduced that can achieve integrated production from parts to finished products for air cleaners and other air induction components, while strengthening competitiveness.
Furthermore, for creating a people- and environment-friendly plant, measures include installation of photovoltaic power generation panels and use of rainwater-absorbing concrete. It was the first time that countermeasures were taken against storm water overflow in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area.
This innovative power electronics solution, which first went into production in the Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid, is designed for application across the entire future EV line-up of the two British premium brands.
The power electronics is a key component of hybrid and all-electric powertrains. It supplies power to the electric motor, while also controlling the process of energy recuperation. So in terms of function, it acts as an interface between the high-voltage battery and the electric motor. Since the battery supplies DC power, but the motor runs on three-phase AC power, the power electronics must first convert the DC power using an inverter, before supplying it at the required current and frequency to the motor. It is these two electrical parameters that control the operation of the motor.
In recuperation mode, the power electronics converts the AC current produced by the electric motor into DC current, which is then used to charge the battery. It is the power electronics which determine whether the full potential of the electric powertrain can be realised. In other words, the power electronics is key to maximising the driving enjoyment associated with the high low-end torque and instant response that form an inherent feature of electric motors.
"In view of its key role in the electric powertrain, the power electronics is a component of major strategic importance. We have been engaged in development work in this field for a long time. Today, with the third generation of our power electronics technology, we offer solutions for vehicles in all power classes," said Christopher Breitsameter, Head of the High Voltage Electronics Segment at Continental's Powertrain division. "In designing the power electronics for the Jaguar I-Pace and the Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid, we worked closely with Jaguar Land Rover to maximise the potential of our current-generation system, with a strong focus on sporty driving and high performance."
The power electronics must be capable of supplying maximum current in fractions of a second, for example when accelerating at full throttle from standstill. The special challenge for the development team was to accommodate such very high load changes while at the same time meeting the requirements expected of automotive systems in terms of long cycle life and service life.
A further development goal was a high power-to-size ratio, in order to shrink space requirements to a minimum. That it was possible to achieve such an excellent combination of performance, long life and compact dimensions is largely down to the innovative IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) power modules which are a key component of the inverter. Sintered bonds on both sides of the chip meet much higher demands in terms of service life, reliability and thermal tolerance than conventional solder bonds, making this a solution particularly suited to the premium segment. Continental is the first company to use this sophisticated technology in an automotive electronics application
"Further notable features in addition to the double sided sintered technology include the use of special direct copper bonded substrates, known as DCB substrates, along with power semiconductors that have been built to order specially for Continental. The overall architecture of the power electronics, and the materials used, are optimised for maximum power and performance," said Project Manager Alexander Reich.
Another special feature of the newly developed power electronics technology is that the same system can be used in quite different types of vehicle. For example, the power electronics in the Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid and the Jaguar I-Pace are completely identical in terms of hardware, the only differences are in the software.
This investment is part of BASF's €400 million ($460 million) multi-step investment plan announced last year and builds upon initial battery materials production started in Harjavalta in 2018. Start-up is planned for late 2020, enabling the supply of approximately 300,000 full electric vehicles per year with BASF battery materials. The new plant in Harjavalta will utilise locally generated renewable energy sources, including hydro, wind and biomass.
Additionally, BASF and Nornickel have signed a long-term, market-based supply agreement for nickel and cobalt feedstocks from Nornickel's metal refinery. The agreement will establish a locally sourced and secure supply of raw materials for battery production in Europe.
The investment in the new plant in Finland reinforces BASF's support of the EU Commission's agenda towards a European battery production value chain. BASF is also evaluating additional locations in Europe for the construction of new production plants for battery materials.
"With the investment in Harjavalta, BASF will be present in all major regions with local production and increased customer proximity further supporting the rapidly growing electric vehicle market," said Kenneth Lane, President, BASF's Catalysts division. "Combined with our Nornickel cooperation, we are creating a strong platform that connects the efforts between industry leaders in raw material supply and battery materials technology and production."
The co-location of BASF's new plant and Nornickel's metal refinery in Harjavalta will enable unparalleled access to a local nickel and cobalt supply," said Jeffrey Lou, Senior Vice President, Battery Materials at BASF. "Our high-nickel cathode materials are key to deliver enhanced energy density and vehicle range to our customers. With this world-scale production facility, BASF will be able to serve the European e-mobility growth strategies of key OEMs and cell suppliers with reliable supply and close collaboration."
Sergey Batekhin, Senior Vice President, Sales, Procurement and Innovation at Nornickel, confirmed, "We are pleased to extend our alliance with BASF, one of our long-term strategic partners. The agreement is an important element of Nornickel's broader strategy to expand its presence in the global battery materials market and establish long-term cooperation with leading producers of cathode active materials."
Following the closing of the Transaction, CK Holdings will be renamed as Magneti Marelli CK Holdings. The combined businesses of Calsonic Kansei and Magneti Marelli will create the world's 7th largest global independent automotive components supplier based on total revenues.
The agreement represents a transaction value of €6.2 billion ($7.13 billion). The Transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019 and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The Transaction represents a unique opportunity to combine two successful businesses to create one of the leading global independent automotive components suppliers, with combined revenues of €15.2 billion (JPY1,975 billion, $17.48 billion). The combination is a decisive step towards both companies' strategic ambition to become a leading globally-diversified tier-one supplier.
The combined company will be well positioned to serve its customers around the world due to its enhanced scale, financial strength and the highly complementary nature of its combined product lines and geographic footprint. The new entity will operate out of nearly 200 facilities and R&D centres across Europe, Japan, the Americas, and Asia Pacific.
FCA has also agreed to a multi-year Supply Agreement that will further strengthen a mutually beneficial relationship for both Magneti Marelli and FCA's expanding model range and which will sustain Magneti Marelli's Italian business operations, positioning it strongly for continued growth and success in the future.
The combined company will be led by Beda Bolzenius, currently CEO of Calsonic Kansei, based in Japan. Ermanno Ferrari, CEO of Magneti Marelli, will join the Magneti Marelli CK Holdings board.
Commenting on the transaction, Mike Manley, CEO of FCA, said: "Having carefully examined a range of options to enable Magneti Marelli to express its full potential in the next phase of its development, this combination with Calsonic Kansei has emerged as an ideal opportunity to accelerate Magneti Marelli's future growth for the benefit of its customers and its outstanding people. The combined business will continue to be among FCA's most important business partners and we would like to see that relationship grow even further in the future. The transaction also recognises the full strategic value of Magneti Marelli and is another important step in our relentless focus on value creation."
Beda Bolzenius, CEO of Calsonic Kansei, said: "Our industry has gone through fierce change in recent years and the phase to come will be even more dynamic. It is exciting to form a strong platform for Calsonic Kansei and Magneti Marelli to work together and create a competitive automotive supplier which is extremely well placed among the global Top Ten. Together, we will benefit from complementary geographic footprints and product lines, while our respective customers will benefit from an increased investment in people, processes and innovative new products."
Ermanno Ferrari, CEO of Magneti Marelli, said: "This is a transformational day for both Magneti Marelli and Calsonic Kansei, creating as it does a global business of exceptional range, reach, expertise and future prospects. This is a moment of great opportunity for all our people to be part of a secure, growing and independent company of considerable scale that can look to the future with energy, ambition and confidence."
The Suzhou Plant began supplying 245/50R19 105W size tyres for the China-made X3 in May 2018.
The "Advan Sport V105" is a high-performance tyre developed by Yokohama Rubber primarily for use on high-power premium automobiles. The tyre delivers excellent driving performance combined with superior comfort and safety. The tyres being supplied for the new X3 were jointly developed with the BMW Group and bear the German automaker's star mark symbol of approval on the tyre sidewall.
Under its three-year medium-term management plan, GD2020, launched in February 2018, Yokohama Rubber has positioned the expansion of its presence in the premium tyre markets as the core goal for its consumer tyre business. One of the specific strategies for achieving that goal is the "premium-car tyre strategy", which aims to increase use of Yokohama tyres as OE on premium cars in Japan and abroad by making Yokohama Rubber the tyre maker chosen by automakers around the world in recognition of its technologies and quality.