McLaren automotive collaborates with BMW to develop future powertrain technology

McLaren Automotive has announced a strategic project to design and develop technology for the next generation of powertrains. Working with a number of partners including BMW Group, the project will develop new combustion technology that will deliver a higher output per capacity than currently possible. It also aims to further facilitate CO2 reductions while simultaneously increasing engine output. The technology is destined for application in future McLaren engines.

The project, supported and part-funded by UK Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), will also improve the UK’s development and production capabilities of low-CO2 internal combustion engine technology. The project will be led by McLaren Automotive but involves a total of six partners. McLaren Automotive will work with its existing engine manufacturing partner, Ricardo, and BMW Group while Grainger and Worrall will deliver complex, lightweight casting technology. Lentus Composites will contribute knowledge in specialist composite structures. Completing the syndicate is the University of Bath who bring their advanced research and development capabilities in internal combustion engine systems efficiency.

Commenting on the collaboration, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive, Mike Flewitt, said: ‘This is an exciting project that plays to the strengths of all partners. McLaren Automotive has an exceptional reputation for building the world’s finest engines, as showcased by our M838T and its previous category wins in the International Engine of the Year awards. We will continue to independently design and build our own engines, and the benefits of this project will help us accelerate the development of our next generation of powertrain, as confirmed in our recently-announced Track22 business plan.’

About McLaren Automotive:

McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports and super cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey. For the past 30 years, McLaren has pioneered the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production and since introducing a carbon chassis into racing and road cars with the 1981 McLaren MP4/1 and 1993 McLaren F1 respectively, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis.

Following the global launch of McLaren Automotive in 2010, the groundbreaking 12C was revealed in 2011, the 12C Spider in 2012, and the limited-run McLaren P1™ went into production in 2013. In keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, the company unveiled the 650S, in Coupé and Spider form in 2014, while 2015 proved to be a year of unprecedented growth of the product portfolio with five new models launched across the full range. The strictly limited edition 675LT Coupé premiered at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the track-only McLaren P1™ GTR which, with 1,000PS, became the most powerful model ever produced by the brand. The much-anticipated Sports Series became the third – and final – model tier in the McLaren range with the 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé debuting in New York and Shanghai respectively, less than one month apart. The end of 2015 saw the launch of the fifth model, the 675LT Spider, which was as a direct response to customer demand. The year also saw the end of production for the first model in the Ultimate Series as the 375th McLaren P1™ was completed, closing what had become a defining year for the British brand. 2016 continued where 2015 had left off with the introduction of the 570GT – a second bodystyle for the Sports Series and the most luxurious car McLaren has ever built, as well as the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint track variants. 2016 also marked the introduction of the company’s new business plan, Track22, which sees the company investing £1B in Research and Development to deliver 15 all new cars or derivatives by the end of 2022, of which at least 50% will feature hybrid technology. The uplift in sales in 2016 also saw the launch of the second shift at the McLaren Production Centre as well as the company’s third year of profitability in just six years of trading.

McLaren Automotive Partners

To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative and highly acclaimed sports cars, McLaren Automotive has partnered with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise and technology including, AkzoNobel, Pirelli and SAP.

Source: cars.mclaren.press

Tata Motors plans to introduce premium dealerships

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Swaraj Baggonkar-Moneycontrol-As Tata Motors looks to up its ante in the passenger car segment the Mumbai based company is believed to be working on forming a premium line of dealerships on the lines of Nexa set up by arch-rival Maruti Suzuki.

The maker of light on pocket models like Tiago, Indica and Nano Tata Motors is working on a few premium products such as a premium hatchback, premium sports utility vehicle and an executive sedan as it aims to be number three in the market by 2019.

Presently the company sells all its products including its least priced model Nano starting at Rs 2.23 lakh and the premium SUV Hexa starting at Rs 11.99 lakh (both prices exshowroom,Delhi) from the same sales outlet. But as the company progressively enters new segments to fill product gaps it will explore an entirely new line of sales channel,
said company sources. “As we expand our product portfolio which will be completely overhauled in the next few years there will be a need to segregate the sales channels”, said the source.

At Maruti Suzuki the price gap between the entry product and the top end
product is not as wide as Tata Motors. Maruti Suzuki’s model range starts at Rs 2.5 lakh with the Alto while the Ignis priced at Rs 4.59 lakh (both prices exshowroom,
Delhi) is sold from the exclusive Nexa chain of outlets.

At the launch of Hexa, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicle Business Unit President Mayank Pareek said, “We are working on it”,when asked if there will be a need for a Nexa like
dealerships for Tata’s premium products. Presently Tata Motors’ product portfolio caters to less than 60 per cent of the market leaving other segments such as compact SUV, compact premium hatchback, luxury SUV, executive sedan, crossovers wideopen.

Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Fiat and Honda have already raced ahead in creating new segments. For instance the premium hatchback segment where there are products like Hyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been a runaway success. “We don’t have to wait for others to start a new segment. We have products that we believe will create new segments”, said Pareek in an interview to Moneycontrol.

Pareek was part of the team that worked on Maruti’s Nexa chain of outlets during his longstanding stint at the Delhi based company. While Maruti’s first product in Nexa, which was the S Cross, failed to impress buyers with its steep price tag, other products like Baleno and Ignis have gathered a strong momentum.

Tata Motors is presently populating the Budget segment with upcoming products like Kite 5 (codename for a compact sedan rivaling Maruti Suzuki Dzire) and Nexon (a compact SUV pitted against Maruti Suzuki Brezza).

Via MoneyControl

Tata Motors reshuffles senior management for a leaner structure; Reduces number of management layers to 5 from 14

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Tata Motors CEO MD Guenter Butschek

Mumbai: Tata Motors Ltd is reshuffling the roles of its top executives as part of a restructuring exercise it initiated a few months ago to make the firm more efficient, said three people aware of the developments. All of them declined to be identified.

Details of the new roles and responsibilities were shared by Guenter Butschek, managing director and chief executive, with employees in an office circular on 25 January, said the people cited above. In the first phase, the programme is aimed at reducing the number of management layers to improve speed of decision-making.

The former chief executive at plane-maker Airbus Group SA, who completes a year at the Tata group flagship on 15 February, has been tasked with turning around the fortunes of a company that has seen domestic passenger car sales and market share roughly halve in the past two years, with profit boosted mainly by its UK unit, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc. In his first interaction with reporters on  18  March,  Butschek  had emphasized on the need to make Tata Motors agile and “future ready”.

The new structure, which allocates roles based on product lines, will be effective from 1 April, and reduces the layers to five from the current 14, said the first of the three people, cited above.

Girish Wagh, who heads the project planning and programme management in the passenger vehicle (PV) business unit, will head the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (CV) business of the firm. Ramki Ramakrishnan, who is vice-president for the CV business, will become head of customer care and after-sales services for CVs. Anil Sinha, head of manufacturing operations for passenger cars, will head the quality function of the company’s CV business, he said.

Under the new structure, the top two levels (L1 and L2) of managers will be responsible for execution of strategies formulated by an executive committee, comprising the managing director, function and business heads. Tata Motors has picked close to 120 high performers for the L1 and L2 positions, said the third person.

Executive committee members Mayank Pareek (president, passenger vehicle business unit) and Ravi Pisharody (executive director of commercial vehicles at the firm) will become sole custodians for the PV and CV businesses, respectively, and will be responsible for the execution of strategies. Executives under both the PV and CV business, who are heading sales, marketing, product planning, product development, customer care and after-sales, will report to them. In addition, Pareek and Pisharody will also appoint operational heads, one each for the two businesses.

Wagh, who will become an L1 category employee on 1 April, will report to Pisharody.

“The idea is to have a more focused job evaluation approach rather than being hierarchical—it reduces time-to-marketing, and does away with bureaucracy,” said the third person cited above. “They will now go through an astronaut-type, on-board training session and then decide L3 and L4 below them, he added. The maker of the Tiago and Nano cars is also likely to announce the bifurcation of roles within the passenger vehicle units based on product lines, said the third person.

A Tata Motors spokesperson declined to comment on specific roles as it’s an “internal exercise and in progress”. He, however, confirmed the firm has finalized and recently announced the new management levels for L1 and L2.

This, he said, was done after conducting intense and extensive workshops for the past couple of months and the decisions were made based on a review of each individual considered for the placement of a particular role.

The new structure aims to further strengthen Tata Motors’ position in the CV business, particularly the medium and commercial heavy vehicle (MHCV) segment, where it enjoys a leadership position and has been the company’s cash cow, said the first person cited above.

But the company has ceded some ground to rivals in recent times. In the first nine months of this fiscal, Tata Motors’s market share in the MHCV segment dropped to 52.47% from 55.42% a year ago, according to lobby group Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

The Tata Motors’ spokesperson said the new structure will lead to synergies through optimal utilization of resources. “Through this exercise, TML (Tata Motors) is aiming to become a lean, agile organization, by empowering its business units with clear accountability, strengthening functional leadership and oversight, ensuring faster and effective decision making, and improving customer focus,” he added.

The structure seems an initiative of Butschek, drawing from his experience at Airbus, said an analyst at a domestic brokerage who declined to be identified. “It also signals the start of a leaner top leadership set up.”

Note: This story has been modified from its original version to clarify on responsibilties of Tata Motors’s executive committee members Mayank Pareek and Ravi Pisharody.

Source: Livemint

Nissan production, sales and export results for December 2016 and calendar year 2016

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced its production, sales and export figures for December 2016 and calendar year 2016.

“This was a record year for global sales and production,” said Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci, global head of marketing and sales. “Growth was led by robust demand for models such as the Rogue and Maxima in the U.S., and the Qashqai and Lannia in China.”

“In 2017, we will continue to benefit from an influx of new products in key regions. In Japan, sales of the new Note and Serena will help us maintain the momentum we’ve seen over the last few months. In Europe, initial responses to the new Micra compact car have been overwhelmingly positive, and in the U.S., we will reinforce our offerings in the crossover segment with the launch of the Rogue Sport this spring.”

1. Production
December
Nissan’s global production in December increased 5.8 percent year-on-year to 462,510 units, the eleventh consecutive month of increase.

Production in Japan increased 31.5 percent year-on-year to 97,057 units, the fifth consecutive month of increase.

Production outside Japan increased 0.6 percent year-on-year to 365,453 units, the twentieth consecutive month of increase and a record for the month of December.

In the U.S., production decreased 11.2 percent year-on-year to 67,883 units.

In Mexico, production increased 7.9 percent year-on-year to 56,651 units, a record for the month of December.

In the U.K., production increased 7.9 percent year-on-year to 30,131 units.

In Spain, production increased 3.1 percent year-on-year to 7,642 units.

In China, production increased 0.8 percent year-on-year to 140,753 units, a record for the month of December.

Production in other regions increased 5.1 percent year-on-year to 62,393 units.

Calendar Year 2016
Nissan’s global production in 2016 increased 7.5 percent year-on-year to 5,556,241 units, the seventh consecutive year of increase and a calendar-year record.

Production in Japan increased 8.9 percent year-on-year to 950,102 units, the first increase in four years.

Production outside Japan increased 7.2 percent year-on-year to 4,606,139 units, the seventh consecutive year of increase and a calendar-year record.

In the U.S., production increased 4.7 percent year-on-year to 1,007,321 units, a calendar-year record.

In Mexico, production increased 3.1 percent year-on-year to 848,086 units, a calendar–year record.

In the U.K., production increased 6.5 percent year-on-year to 507,447 units.

In Spain, production increased 15.8 percent year-on-year to 121,260 units.

In China, production increased 9.5 percent year-on-year to 1,320,687 units, a calendar-year record.

Production in other regions increased 10.6 percent year-on-year to 801,338 units.

2. Sales
December
Global sales increased 6.2 percent year-on-year to 559,361 units, the fifth consecutive month of increase and a record for the month of December.

Japan:
Sales including mini-vehicles increased 25.6 percent year-on-year to 46,785 units.

  • Vehicle registrations increased 36.2 percent year-on-year to 33,022 units.
  • Mini-vehicle sales increased 6.0 percent year-on-year to 13,763 units.

Sales outside Japan increased 4.7 percent year-on-year to 512,576 units, the seventh consecutive month of increase and a record for a single month.

In the U.S., sales increased 9.7 percent year-on-year to 152,743 units, a record for the month of December.

In Mexico, sales increased 23.2 percent year-on-year to 47,771 units, a record for a single month.

In Europe, sales increased 1.9 percent year-on-year to 64,192 units.

In China, sales increased 2.1 percent year-on-year to 162,473 units, a record high for a single month.

Calendar Year 2016
Global sales increased 2.5 percent year-on-year to 5,559,902 units, the seventh consecutive year of increase and a calendar-year record.

Japan:

  • Sales including mini-vehicles decreased 9.3 percent year-on-year to 534,392 units.
  • Vehicle registrations increased 2.0 percent year-on-year to 385,603 units.
  • Mini-vehicle sales decreased 29.4 percent year-on-year to 148,789 units.

Sales outside Japan increased 4.0 percent year-on-year to 5,025,510 units, the seventh consecutive year of increase and a calendar-year record.

In the U.S., sales increased 5.4 percent year-on-year to 1,564,423 units, a calendar-year record.

In Mexico, sales increased 15.6 percent year-on-year to 403,286 units, a calendar-year record.

In Europe, sales decreased 0.7 percent year-on-year to 755,599 units.

In China, sales increased 8.4 percent year-on-year to 1,354,552 units, a calendar-year record.

3. Exports from Japan
December
Exports in December increased 38.3 percent year-on-year to 64,692 units, the eighth consecutive month of increase.

Calendar Year 2016
Exports increased 8.1 percent year-on-year to 560,823 units, the second consecutive month of increase.

About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2015, the company sold more than 5.4 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 12.2 trillion yen. Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world’s best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan manages operations in six regions: ASEAN & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America and North America. Nissan has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault since 1999 and Mitsubishi Motors since 2016 under the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Source: Global Newsroom Nissan Motor Corporation

New Year Bonanza: Indian diamond merchant gifts 1,200 more cars to his employees!

Remember the famous Surat-based diamond merchant who showers his employees with cars, flats and expensive gifts every Diwali? He’s back. Savjibhai Dholakia, the owner of Hari Krishna Exports, just rang in the new year with a whole load of gifts for his employees. As a bonus to his employees, Savjibhai gifted 1,200 units of the Datsun Redi-Go hatchbacks.

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Savji is known for generous gifting every year. During Diwali 2016, Savjibhai gifted 1,260 vehicles from Maruti and Datsun to his employees. Before this event, the owner had gifted 491 Fiat Punto as a bonus. This time around the bossman gifted 1,200 units if Datsun Redi-Go as a bonus.

The gifted Redi-Go cars came with Indian tri-coloured stripes across the body of the vehicle.The grand ceremony was held inside the premises of the diamond exporting company. Only the employees who have no received any such bonus in the past were eligible for the new gift.

How does it work?

Savjibhai pays the down payment of all the cars, and the vehicles are taken on a loan for five years. The company will also pay the monthly installments for the cars, but all this comes with a caveat. If any employee who’s received the car parts ways with the firm within next five years, the EMI will be stopped.

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Datsun Redi-Go is a stylish hatchback from Datsun that comes with a 0.8-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine that churns out a maximum of 53.2 BHP at 5,678 rpm and 72 Nm of maximum torque at 4,386 rpm. The car comes with a 5-speed manual transmission.

While there’s no automatic transmission available with the vehicle yet, Datsun has plans of launching a bigger engined Redi-Go with a 5 speed automated manual transmission. This engine-gearbox combination is already available with the Renault Kwid, a car with which the Redi-Go shares parts and the production facility.

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Savjibhai also gifted few other gifts like flats and jewelry to the employees along with the cars. Dholakia started the trend in 2013 when he gifted the Chevrolet Beat vehicles to the employees. Savjibhai Dholakia is a very known personality in the city of Surat.

He is called ‘Kaka’ by his employees. Hari Krishna Exports has a sprawling business spread over 71 countries, and the annual turnover is said to be more than 6,000 crores annually.All said, now who wouldn’t want to earn a car as a bonus? It is as extravagant as it can get.

Source: Cartoq

General Motors To Shed 600 Jobs At Canada Plant As 2018 Terrain Production Moves To Mexico

After bitter negotiations and surrounding the Oshawa assembly plant between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor, the Ingersoll assembly plant will now be subject to layoffs

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After bitter negotiations and surrounding the Oshawa assembly plant between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor, the Ingersoll assembly plant will now be subject to layoffs.

Automotive News reports GM will cut up to 600 positions from the CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario as production of the 2018 GMC Terrain shifts to Mexico. The cuts will be “permanent in nature,” according to Unifor Local 88 President Dan Borthwick.

Unifor President, Jerry Dias, lamented the decision, saying the production shift “reeks of corporate greed.”

“It is not based on sales, it is an another example of how good jobs are being shifted out of Canada for cheaper labor in Mexico and Unifor will not let it happen without a fight,” Dias said in a statement. “The Equinox and Terrain are incredibly successful vehicles and given current market demand, there is no justification for layoffs at the CAMI facility.”

GM stated the 2018 Terrain would indeed be built in Mexico following its debut to make room for additional 2018 Chevrolet Equinox production capacity at its Canadian facilities. The CAMI facility will continue to build the current Equinox until July before that model is phased out.

“It was always known we’d have to phase out this older model [Equinox] and it only makes sense for CAMI, operationally, to focus on this vehicle. After July, they’ll focus on just one product line,” GM spokeswoman Jennifer Wright said. “This is just a natural course of business.”

The jobs could return, though, according to Wright. It largely depends on the success of the 2018 Equinox, as GM expects major growth in the segment.

Two years ago, GM announced it would invest $560 million into the CAMI facility to produce the 2018 Equinox. Those investments have all gone according to plan.

Via GM Authority

GM And Honda Pour $85 Million Into Joint Fuel Cell Manufacturing In Michigan

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General Motors and Honda have both leaned on one another regarding fuel cell development in an ongoing strategic partnership, but both automakers have tied the knot even further.

GM announced both automakers have invested $85 million total into a joint fuel cell manufacturing operation in Michigan. The operation, titled Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC, will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility site in Brownstown, Michigan. Both automakers are planning to mass produce fuel cells at the facility beginning in 2020.

Both GM and Honda will continue to share what it learned through its fuel cell engineering and operations and place the technology in future roadgoing vehicles. This work will ultimately lead to the next generation of fuel cells and hydrogen storage technologies and create a more affordable commercial solution for fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems.

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GM-Honda Fuel Cell

“The combination of two leaders in fuel cell innovation is an exciting development in bringing fuel cells closer to the mainstream of propulsion applications,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The eventual deployment of this technology in passenger vehicles will create more differentiated and environmentally friendly transportation options for consumers.”

GM and Honda have led the fuel cell technology space for years with 2,200 patents between both automakers. The upcoming operations are expected to add 100 jobs to the Brownstown battery facility.

Source: GM Authority