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  • Skoda starts building new paintshop

    December 4, 2017

    Czech Republic – The facility at Mladá Boleslav is being developed at a cost of €214.5m ($253.8m) and will have capacity for 600 vehicle bodies per day, bringing the onsite total to 2,700 units including the existing paintshop. Operations are due to begin by mid-2019…

  • Audi to build electric SUVs at Ingolstadt

    December 1, 2017

    Germany – The model allocation was announced by CEO Rupert Stadler alongside confirmation of job security for all Audi AG employees until 2025. In total, the ‘Audi. Future’ agreement will see the OEM produce 20 electrified models by 2025, including more than ten pure electric vehicles (EVs)…

  • Government doles out £120m for EV batteries

    November 29, 2017

    UK – The money from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), equivalent to $160.9m, marks the next phase of a £246m investment in battery technology through the Faraday Battery Challenge, which is intended to develop suitable batteries for the next generation of electric vehicles. Business and energy secretary Greg Clark announced the recipients today at the Battery and Energy Storage 2017 conference…

  • BMW divests stake in carbon-fibre supplier

    November 24, 2017

    Germany – SGL Carbon SE will acquire the OEM’s 49% share in SGL ACF, comprising SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers (Germany) and SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers (US), according to an agreement signed in late November. BMW said the company would remain a key supplier, with procurement for the i3 and i8 remaining unaffected “into the next decade”…

  • Volvo Ghent starts XC40 production

    November 22, 2017

    Belgium – The company’s first small premium SUV is based on the Compact Modular Architecture which will underpin all new cars in the 40 series. Volvo has already taken more than 13,000 orders and deliveries will begin early next year…

  • Interview: Thomas Rennemann, MAN

    November 21, 2017

    From next year, the non-driven axle (NDA) production at MAN’s Salzgitter plant in northern Germany will double daily production volumes to 900 units. As part of a €30m joint project between the Volkswagen Group brands, a new assembly line is taking shape that will accommodate MAN’s existing NDA production alongside that of Scania. “We took a white piece of paper and came up with new methods of working, a comfortable working environment, lots of light; a state-of-the-art production line for 2018,” says plant manager Thomas Rennemann…

  • VW pours €22.8bn into production network

    November 20, 2017

    Germany – The OEM said the funds will be used to implement its Transform 2025+ strategy, focusing on “the further development of modular production, the continuation of the model offensive and further orientation towards e-mobility”. The investment, equivalent to $27 billion, will be spread over five years to 2022…

  • Gordon Murray joins seats project

    November 20, 2017

    UK – During its participation in the Manufacturability of Advanced Passenger Seats (MAPS) programme alongside Formaplex, the company will focus on reducing structural weight by using composite panels made from recycled carbon fibre, while maintaining high volume and controlling costs. The goal is to develop a seat frame which is 30% lighter than a conventional steel structure…

  • Editor’s note: High anxiety

    November 16, 2017

    We live in anxious times, if the headlines are to be believed. In the UK, Brexit has seemed to be less of a concern to the consuming public than it does to a nervous business community. But worries regarding what the future holds for the millions of diesel and petrol vehicles on the roads are now beginning to trouble their once-proud owners. The potential impact that the proposed ban on the sale of these vehicles might have on resale values, taxation and so on is now starting to weigh on the minds of motorists and potential new-car buyers, and certainly won’t help the recent slide in sales…

  • Added value

    November 16, 2017

    The use of additively manufactured parts in vehicles is now unexceptional, if not yet pervasive, at least at the high end of the market characterised by low volume and high purchase price. But there are other uses for additive techniques besides final part production and their original application area of rapid prototyping. One that has quietly been making headway for some time is the manufacture of production tooling, both handheld devices for shopfloor workers and attachments for equipment such as robots…