Automotive Purchasing News Review 28 July 2014 - page 29

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28 July 2014
automotive purchasing
Porscheexpands its
R&Dcentre
Jul 21, 2014
With an investment
totalling over $200
million, the German-
based iconic sports
car manufacturer has
officially opened its
expandedWeissach R&D
centre, including a brand
new design studio, wind
tunnel and electronics
integration unit. For
Automotive Purchasing,
Alex Kreetzer reports.
Porsche AG has
unveiled three new buildings at its
Weissach development centre (near
Stuttgart), the largest investment project
in the centre’s history. The $200 million
investment sees a new design studio with
concept car construction facility, a state-of-
the-art aero-acoustic wind tunnel and the
Electronics Integration Centre that focuses
on vehicle development engineered and
designed in Weissach.
"Weissach now stands more than ever
for top German engineering expertise and
pure Swabian inventive spirit," saidMatthias
Muller, Chairman of the Executive Board
of Porsche AG. "Intelligent engineering
leads to success not only in motor vehicle
manufacturing, but in architecture as well.
That's shown by these new buildings: our
creative developers are able here to work
hand-in-hand even more methodically than
before.”
The research and development centre
already boasts being the first Stuttgart
sports car manufacturer in the industry
assembling all R&D together in one
place: from concept to production car
development to the final test runs on
Porsche’s own road and off-road circuit.
Masters of innovation, all under one roof
The new studio provides its staff with
new aspects that allow the complete
process of vehicle design, creating the
exterior and interior, under one roof. Seeing
the first bright spark all the way through to
the finished vehicle, the architectural layout
of the new studio facilitates a maximum
level of communication which strengthens
interaction between the 'Preparation' and
'Flow Analysis' disciplines, as the staff and
designers work in the same building.
Next to the studio is the 'New Wind
Tunnel', which accommodates the daily
collaboration whilst also reducing the
time cycles between design and aero-
acoustic development. The wind tunnel is
used from the early stage of developing
concept car designs right through to
testing vehicles ready for full production.
The building and equipment for the wind
tunnel represent the largest element of
the sports car manufacturer's $200 million
plus investment.
The new Electronics Integration Centre
helps further collaboration between
the Porsche developers in the fields
of electrics and electronics, facilitating
a relationship of all components in
the vehicle. Before this, the individual
electrical and electronics departments
were spread across twelve different
buildings on the Weissach site, where
each work force would be separated. The
new EIZ looks to be extremely beneficial
in regards to assisting the development
process, making the EIZ a genuine
accelerator of innovation through great
collaboration.
The historic horse
Since 1971, the company has been
developing the sports cars of the future
in the Porsche’s development centre
in Weissach, which are rolling off the
assembly lines at the Zuffenhausen,
Leipzig and Osnabruck plants and which
are sold in more than 125 markets around
the globe. Over 6,000 employees from
Porsche (4,500) and partner companies
(1,500) are currently working at the centre
in research and development, motor
sports, purchasing and supporting fields.
TataMotorsappointsTML
Truckdistributor inRussia
Jul 21, 2014
Tata Motors has appointed LLC TML Truck
Rus as the official distributor of Tata Motors’
commercial vehicles intheRussianFederation.
As its official distributor, TML Truck will
work towards establishing the Tata Motors
brand in the Russian Federation, ensuring
the highest level of sales and service. It will
establish monobrand outlets in Moscow
& Saint Petersburg, a warehouse for spare
parts and 60 touch points in key regions,
over a period of five years.
Strong partnership
Through the new distributor, Tata Motors
will bring its range of light, medium and heavy
commercial vehicles to the Russian market.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Kazan,
RT Wasan, Head – International Business
(Commercial Vehicles), Tata Motors Limited,
said, “Though this signing we are committing
to a strong, long-term partnership with all our
customers in Russia with a range of world class
quality products from the Tata Motors portfolio
and backed by premium quality service and
parts support from TML Truck Rus.”
Specially configured
The portfolio of products planned has
been specially configured and developed
keeping in mind the requirements of the
Russian customer, Eduard Kasakin, General
Director, TML Truck, said. Headquartered in
Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, TML Truck will
import and distribute Tata Motors commercial
vehicles and original spare parts from TATA
Motors Limited.
J.D.Powerstudyfindsplenty
of APEAL
Jul 23, 2014
Porsche, Jaguar and Audi are the brands
that seem to delight new buyers the most,
says a new study released Wednesday July
23, 2014, by J.D. Power and Associates.
Chrysler Group LLC’s Dodge brand and
Volkswagen Group’s Porsche brand each
scored three segment leading awards
measuring new vehicle appeal.
Dodge topped segments for the
Challenger, Charger and Dart and Porsche for
the 911, Boxster and Cayenne in J.D. Power’s
2014 Automotive Performance, Execution
and Layout (APEAL) Study. Four brands
received two segment awards apiece: Audi
for the A8 (tie) and Q5; Ford for the F-150 and
F-250/F-350 Super Duty trucks; Mercedes-
Benz for the CLS-Class and S-Class (tie) and
Nissan for the Rogue and Quest.
J.D. Power says automakers who have cars
and trucks with high appeal can sell them
faster. Carmakers also can receive higher
prices for cars with higher appeal and tend to
have higher loyalty rates with customers.
Highest ranking
The 2014 APEAL study found the Porsche
brand as the highest nameplate for a 10th straight
year, followed by Jaguar, Audi, Land Rover and
BMW. Hyundai was the highest ranking non-
luxury brand and Lincoln was the highest ranking
American brand at No. 8, with Cadillac following
at No. 9. Mitsubishi finished last.
Overall, the average APEAL score in the
2014 study was 794 on a 1,000 point scale,
down 1 point from 2013. Fuel economy
was the only study category that posted a
gain from 2013. As Renee Stephens, vice
president of US automotive at J.D. Power, said
in a statement: “Manufacturers often look to
new features and technologies to keep their
vehicles fresh and attractive, but designing
systems that consumers find intuitive and
easy to use has been a challenge.
“Newly
launched
models
surpass
carryovers in impressing owners with the
look and feel of the vehicle. But as we also
see in our 2014 Initial Quality Study, owners
are not as comfortable with the functionality
of the features. To differentiate new models
from the pack, automakers must continue to
design systems that are not just attractive, but
also intuitive and easy to use.”
Industry average
General Motors received just one segment
award in this year’s study with the GMC
Yukon. Last year, it had four segment leaders.
The Ram brand finished above the industry
average while GM’s Buick, Chevrolet and
GMC brands finished just below average.
Dodge, Ford, Chrysler, Fiat and Jeep also
were below industry average.
This year’s study included responses
from more than 86,000 people who bought
or leased new 2014 cars and trucks. They
were queried during their first 90 days of
ownership. The study in its 19th year looks at
new vehicle appeal, especially around new
technologies and features and is based on
evaluations of 77 vehicle attributes.
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