Automotive Purchasing Weekly 7 December 2015 - page 8

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Mercedes-Benzplant inSindelfingen
produces its20-millionthvehicle
4 December 2015 | OEM
The jubilee car, an S500 Plug-In Hybrid, was received by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of
the Board of Management of Daimler and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and by Markus
Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes Cars, Production and Supply
Chain Management.
“The 20 million cars from the Mercedes-
Benz plant in Sindelfingen would stretch
two and a half times around the world. For
Mercedes-Benz, this jubilee is an historic
number. Each of these 20 million vehicles
stands for a satisfiedMercedes-Benz customer
– that is a great evidence of the trust placed in
our brand. At the same time, it obliges us to
continue in the same way and to not reduce
our efforts,” stated Zetsche.
Mercedes-Benz has also reached the
number of 20 million Facebook fans, giving
it the biggest fan community in the history of
the Mercedes-Benz brand. “We thank our loyal
customers and fans as well as our employees,
who have done a fantastic job in all those
years and continue to do so. Without them, we
couldn’t have achieved this historic jubilee,”
continued Zetsche.
In the global production network of
Mercedes-Benz Cars the Sindelfingen
plant is the competence centre for upper
range and luxury-class vehicles. The plant
celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
After an eventful history, which began in 1915
with the production of airplanes and airplane
engines and continued with the production
of vehicle bodies, Mercedes-Benz started to
manufacture complete cars in Sindelfingen in
1946. The current S-Class and its predecessors
have been built at the Sindelfingen plant since
the Mercedes-Benz 220 was launched in the
spring of 1951. The S-Class sedan is the world’s
bestselling luxury sedan.
“We are confident that we will produce
the next 20 million cars a lot faster. By 2020,
we will invest a total of €1.5 billion in an
ultramodern and flexible production facility
here in Sindelfingen. This will allow us to
offer our customers even more options for
individualisation and to safeguard our top
quality,” said Schäfer. “Our focus continues to
be on our workforce – we are reducing the
degree of automation. At the same time, we
are applying modern robots that work hand in
hand with our employees without a protective
fence, and which assist them with strenuous
tasks.”
In the future, fans and Mercedes-Benz
employees will have the opportunity to shape
the ongoing history of the jubilee car: The
obsidian black S 500 e will be used for special
occasions. The resulting stories, films and
photos will attract further attention, especially
in social media.
Growing hybrid portfolio
The S 500 e has certified fuel consumption
of 2.8 litres per 100 km (65 grams of CO2
per km). Systematic hybridisation is a fixed
element of the powertrain strategy of
Mercedes-Benz. Plug-In Hybrid drive will be
the successful technology for at least the next
decade. Hybrid vehicles account for a growing
share of the total unit sales of Mercedes-Benz.
In 2017, there will be ten Plug-In Hybrid models
on the market. At present, five Plug-In Hybrids
are available: The S 500 e was launched in
late September 2014, followed in March 2015
by the C 350 e as a sedan or a station wagon.
These are now supplemented by the new SUV
models: the GLE 500 e 4MATIC and the GLC
350 e 4MATIC.
Legendary automobiles from Sindelfingen
Legendary products have been produced
in Sindelfingen for a long time. They include
the Mercedes-Benz 170 with the safety-
enhancing new swing axle before 1946 and
the so called ‘Großer Mercedes’ which was
the preferred conveyance of several popes
and monarchs. The Mercedes-Benz Type K
compressor sports car ushered in the era of
elegant and comfortable automobiles. The
260 D was also produced in Sindelfingen,
the first diesel car with a power output of 45
horsepower. The first automobiles completely
produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in
Sindelfingen also include the 170 S Cabriolet A,
which was built between 1949 and 1951. Other
legendary cars are the 300 SL ‘Gullwing,’ the
190 SL and the ‘Ponton,’ the first Mercedes-
Benz with a self-supporting body. In the recent
past, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG attracted
great attention as a gullwing and a roadster,
followed by the Mercedes-AMG GT in 2014.
Dr. UlrichHackenbergstepsdown
fromBoardofManagement of Audi
4 December 2015 | OEM
Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg has reached a
mutual agreement with the Supervisory
Board of Audi AG to step down as Member
of the Board of Management for Technical
Development.
The new Chairman of the Audi
Supervisory Board, Matthias Müller, praised
Hackenberg’s significant impact on the
Technical Development divisions of the entire
Volkswagen Group: “Above all, the modular
toolkit system is inseparably connected with
the name of Ulrich Hackenberg. He had that
idea already in the early nineties at Audi.
Today, the entire Group profits from it.”
Audi’s Board of Management Chairman
Rupert Stadler underscored his lifetime
achievements: “In the 30 years that he was
active in the VW Group, Ulrich Hackenberg
was involved in crucial strategies and model
decisions. The highly flexiblemodular system
resulted in flexible modular production.
Both systems helped us to produce very
efficiently and with high quality. Numerous
car models from Audi, VW and Bentley were
significantly affected by his commitment
and expertise. On behalf of the entire Board
of Management, I thank him for his many
years of commitment and his professional
passion.”
After
graduating
in
mechanical
engineering at Aachen RWTH University,
Ulrich Hackenberg was employed as an
assistant at the Institute for Motor Transport
from 1978 until 1985. Amongst other
positions there, he was the head of research
into vehicle dynamics, developed lectures
in motorcycle technology and gained a
doctorate in 1985 on the stability properties
of the ‘rider-motorcycle-road’ system.
Hackenberg moved to Audi in 1985,
where he took over the position of Head of
Concept Development in 1989 and later led
the technical project management for the
entire product range. That included the Audi
80, A2, A3, A4, A6, A8 and TT models as
well as numerous concept studies and show
cars, the technical conception of the modular
toolkit strategy and the development of a
simultaneous-engineering structure.
He was active in the VW Group from 1998
until 2002. There, he was head of the Body
Development department and additionally
responsible as of late 1998 for Concept
Development.
From 2002 until January 2007,
Hackenberg once again worked for Audi and
was in charge of the Concept Development,
Body Development, Electrics and Electronics
departments. During that time, he developed
the ‘modular longitudinal toolkit.’
On February 1, 2007, he became Member
of VW’s Brand Board of Management with
responsibility for the Technical Development
division. He pushed forward with the further
development and complete renewal of the
VW product range and the development
of the modular transverse toolkit. Further
highlights were the XL1, the first series-
produced ‘one‑litre car,’ and the entry of the
VW Brand into motorsport.
As of July 1, 2013, he was the Board
of Management Member for Technical
Development of Audi. In addition, he
was responsible for coordinating the
development of all the brands of the VW
Group.
EuroNCAP’Sstar cars
2 December 2015 | OEM
Euro NCAP has released the seventh batch of results of the year. Of the 15 cars, 11 achieved
five stars, two got four stars, one was awarded three stars and another only two stars.
Almost all new cars in this release not only
offer low and/or high speed autonomous
braking (AEB) systems, either as an option
or standard, but also have incorporated
more advanced restraint technology on the
rear seats to cope with the newest full-width
frontal crash test. This is reflected in the high
proportion of five stars cars.
Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP
Secretary General said: “In less than two
years, since Euro NCAP started its campaign
to encourage car manufacturers to focus on
AEB systems, we have noticed an increasing
number of manufacturers responding to
our call. Some of the systems are already
capable of braking for pedestrians which
will be the next test in Euro NCAP’s rating
scheme in 2016.’
The BMW Z4 is the third and last roadster
tested this year and the one that has been
out on the market the longest. The sports car
received a facelift in 2013, but it has not kept
up with the advancements in Euro NCAP’s
rating scheme. Lacking crash avoidance
technologies such as AEB, lane assist and
speed assist systems that are so common on
other popular BMW models, the Z4 received
a three star rating.
With only two stars, the Lancia Ypsilon
disappoints in important areas of the
assessment, such as adult occupant
protection and safety assist. In terms
of safety, the new Ypsilon does little to
maintain the legacy of a once famous brand
in Europe. Safety critical consumers can
certainly find much better choices in this
segment nowadays.
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