Automotive Purchasing Weekly 2 May2016 - page 4

Mercedes-Benz invests€580million
inKecskemét plant
29 April 2016 | OEM
The Hungarian Mercedes-Benz plant
Kecskemét will produce the next generation
of compact cars.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét
will produce the next generation of
Mercedes-Benz compact cars. By 2018,
Daimler will invest around €580 million
in the technological development and
the expansion of the location. In addition
to a new body shop, money is invested
in efficient and innovative equipment.
Furthermore, the factory’s capacities will be
expanded once again. “Kecskemét is and
will remain a cornerstone of the compact
vehicle production compound. Its expansion
for the next generation of compact vehicles
will further strengthen this role within the
international production compound,” said
Michael Göbel, Head of Compact Vehicle
Production at Mercedes-Benz Cars, at
the groundbreaking of the new body
shop. During the ceremony, Péter Szijjártó
(Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs),
Klaudia Szemereyné Pataki (Mayoress
of the city of Kecskemét), Christian Wolff
(CEO and Site Manager of Mercedes-Benz
Manufacturing Hungary Kft.) and Michael
Göbel buried various items of symbolic value
in a time capsule along with the foundation
“This investment is a clear sign of our
commitment to this location, and offers
good future prospects for the employees
in Kecskemét,” said Christian Wolff. “We
will also invest in the improvement of the
ergonomic and working conditions, as well
as in the qualification of the workforce.”
Around €250 million are spent on the
new body shop, which is equipped with
state-of-the-art technology. It is being built
on an area of 99,000 square metres and
has been designed to let in as much daylight
as possible in order to create a bright and
pleasant working condition. Other parts
of the plant, for example the press shop,
will also be expanded as part of the total
investment. Moreover, the production line
will receive various adjustments and robots
for surface treatment. In the final assembly
section for the next generation of compact
vehicles, materials will now be brought to
the assembly line in pre-picked baskets
of goods. This will be done completely
autonomously by driverless transport
vehicles with prepared baskets of goods
from the logistics and picking zones. Not
only does this eliminate the need for workers
to go get the materials themselves but it also
helps them to determine if all components
have been installed since a look into the
baskets at the end is all that’s needed – yet
another simple and effective way to improve
quality assurance. This is just one of the
innovations that Mercedes-Benz will apply
to other plants in the global production
network as well.
Fordexpands first-ever factory-installed
strobewarningLED lightstoF-150
29 April 2016 | OEM
Ford is making strobe lights available to
F-150 fleet customers for the first time.
The strobe light kit is designed for use
by utility, road construction and municipal
crews that need enhanced vehicle visibility
while working on-site to warn motorists and
others that workers may be present and to
proceed with caution.
Already available on 2016 F-Series Super
Duty, the lights now are available for all
2016 F-150 models – making the toughest,
smartest, most capable and safest F-150
ever an even better tool for work. The kit
uses weather-resistant, durable, low-power
LEDs, and is specifically designed to work
with the F-150 high-strength, military-grade,
aluminum-alloy body.
The front- and rear-mounted amber lens
strobe lights can be seen from as far away
as 1,000 feet during the day and a mile
at night. Forward-facing signals are high
mounted at the rear edge of the hood for
maximum visibility. Rear-facing signals are
mounted on either side of the centre high-
mounted stop lamp, and provide up to 180
degrees of illumination. Customers can
program the flash pattern to meet specific
fleet requirements.
“Ford designed the first-ever factory-
installed LED warning light kit based on
fleet customer input,” said Kent Bock,
Ford commercial accessory business
development Manager. “Because it comes
directly from Ford, customers can trust that
this light kit is Built Ford Tough. Ordering
is as easy as checking a box, and the truck
is delivered to your dealer with the system
The no-drill option has a Ford limited
warranty of three years or 36,000 miles, and
is not susceptible to corrosion issues that
can be a result of aftermarket installation.
The strobe lights are serviceable at any
of the more than 3,000 Ford dealerships
ElioMotorscompletes final stageof
engineering for E-Seriesvehicleswith
29 April 2016 | OEM
Engineering data complete for build of E-Series vehicles; ‘real-world,’ crash testing next to
meet vehicle validation requirements before commercial production.
Elio Motors, the startup vehicle
manufacturer planning to launch a three-
wheeled vehicle that will get up to 84
MPG with a targeted base price of $6,800,
has completed its fourth and final stage of
engineering for its E-Series vehicles with
the completion of its chassis design. The
vehicles will be used to complete real-world
vehicle validation and ride dynamics testing
and calibration, as well as safety validations,
in advance of commercial production.
“This achievement, which is the final step
in our engineering process for the E-Series
of vehicles, further validates the flexibility
and agility of our Elio Motors-supplier
product development process,” said Paul
Elio, founder and CEO of Elio Motors.
“Roush (American automotive company
involved in the engineering, development
and manufacturing of high performance
components), which joined the team in
January, has done a tremendous job on the
design of the chassis and suspension, as
well as managing the overall engineering
process working at what seems like lightning
Jeff Johnston, Vice President of
Engineering for Elio Motors, said the
work that’s been done on the E-series
design to this point by the Chassis
Product Development Team, including
the geometry development, noise,
vibration and harshness refinements
and finite element analysis, has been
prolific and has prepared it for some real-
world testing.
“Once our E-Series vehicles emerge from
the pilot build, the Chassis team will conduct
ride and handling development tuning to
refine the vehicle’s driving characteristics
prior to commercial production,” Johnston
said. “When this real-world and destructive
testing is complete, the team will be charged
with continual chassis and suspension
development for model-year updates.”
Johnston said the Elio has an independent
suspension consisting of unequal upper and
lower control arms, incorporating a coil-
over shock absorber design in the spirit of
some of the world’s leading performance
vehicles. This provides a low profile for
better aerodynamics and lower weight than
MacPherson struts, one of the most common
suspension types for light vehicles. The rear
suspension utilises a swing arm, also with
a coil-over shock
Impact of the2016Kumamoto
29 April 2016 | OEM
Honda will resume production in stages,
depending on the ongoing circumstances.
Honda has decided to partially resume
operation from May 6 at its Kumamoto
Factory (Ozu-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto
Prefecture), which has been halted until April
28 due to the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake.
Due to severe damage to some part of
buildings and equipment at the Kumamoto
Factory, Honda expects recovery to be
completed in mid-August.
Regarding other production facilities,
Yachiyo Industry, a subsidiary company
producing mini-vehicles for Honda, has
shifted to limited production since April 22
and is planned to be fully operational in
six months. Other production facilities are
operating normally.
“Honda is fully committed to continue
its effort cooperating with the people of
Kumamoto for a rapid recovery.”
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