LIGHTYEAR a Dutch startup introduces energy positive solar car! Yes Energy Positive

Energy Positive means the car produces more energy than it consumes

The company is founded by alumni of Solar Team Eindhoven which built Stella and Stella Lux to participate in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

“The Lightyear One is a statement to show that electric cars are ready for every corner of the planet”, Lex Hoefsloot clarifies. “It is the first step in our mission to make electric cars available for everyone”. Since the car does not require any charging points, it is especially well suited for area’s where the adoption of electric cars is held back by the lack of charging points. The attractively shaped four-wheel drive sedan will even handle rough terrain, so you can take it almost anywhere.

The company’s mission is to help the world in faster adoption of electric vehicles by eliminating the limitations of adoption of electric vehicles. The limitations they are trying to address are

  1. Availability of charging stations
  2. Faster recharging of the car
  3. Range on one complete charge
chain-solar-car
Lightyear is trying to address these issues by developing a car that continuously charges itself using solar power and doesn’t require external power source for months to refuel it. The car is designed to be very light, aerodynamic and so efficient that it is energy positive!

The Car

The first vehicle, the Lightyear One, is an electric four-wheel drive car that can handle rough terrain and has a battery range of 800 kilometers, charged by the sun. Production of the car together with industry partners will start from 2019 onwards. Of this first version, a limited number of models will be produced. Pricing starts at 119,000 Euro excluding tax; reservations start today.

“You can think of the Lightyear One as being as an electric car redesigned from the ground up to combine the best of solar cars and electric cars.”, says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. “It’s a revolutionary step forward in electric mobility because we are able to combine a great look with extreme efficiency. This first model makes science fiction become reality: cars powered using just the sun”. At night or on a cloudy day the Lightyear One can drive up to 800 kilometers on a fully charged battery, depending on your battery configuration.

In sunny climates, Lightyear One is able to drive for months without charging

The integrated solar cells on the roof of the car will generate enough power to recharge the battery during the day and will render charging virtually unnecessary. In sunny climates, like most parts of the US and the south of Europe, the car can drive for months without charging. For very long trips an overnight-charge using an ordinary power socket will suffice – no need for electric car charging infrastructure.

Media Contacts:

Company Name: Lightyear
Full Name: Tessie Hartjes
Phone: +31 612 849 937
Email Address: tessie.hartjes@lightyear.one
Website: www.lightyear.one


Source & reference links

  1. Press Release Jet
  2. Lightyear
  3. World Solar Challenge
  4. Solar Team Eindhovan

GM Fleet and MapAnything partnered to improve fleet productivity

MapAnything Live will combine OnStar connectivity and real-time Salesforce data to automate key business processes for GM Fleet customers.

Detroit — General Motors Fleet’s customers can spend more time interfacing with clients thanks to a strategic agreement with MapAnything, Inc., the “Where” Company and leader in geo-productivity and intelligence for business.

MapAnything, a Salesforce Ventures Portfolio company, has launched MapAnything Live to GM Fleet customers – a new connectivity solution that combines telematics fleet management and customer relationship management (CRM) software to streamline routes and automate critical business processes. The solution is available by subscription, and is powered through GM’s OnStar embedded hardware.

“In-vehicle 4G LTE is fueling double-digit annual growth in the multi-billion dollar market for fleet management software, and it’s helping Chevrolet and OnStar win new business. We are expanding our relationships with technology companies because customer interest is so high,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet. “The reasons are simple and compelling. Inside the data streams are the critical insights fleet managers need to help their drivers stay safe and productive, and their operating costs as low as possible.”

Nearly a third of sales managers estimate their representatives spend less than half their time actively selling, due to time lost to scheduling and commuting to customer meetings, according to data from a survey conducted by MapAnything and Selling Power.

MapAnything Live, powered by OnStar, aims to increase active selling and/or service time for sales representatives, field service and delivery drivers by helping fleet managers optimize fleet and field team productivity through:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • Automate key business processes including work order creation, case status changes and invoice creation based on the vehicle’s proximity to a customer.
  • Enable geo-productivity intelligent routing and scheduling based on Salesforce and telematics data.

Telematics

  • Track vehicle use and diagnostics such as vehicle location, idle time, fuel tank capacity, speed, ignition state, hard braking/acceleration and more.
  • Optimize routes based on traffic, time of day, business priorities, etc.

“By coupling our geo-productivity expertise with General Motors’ extensive fleet scale and vehicle connectivity, we’re bringing our solutions to even more businesses,” said MapAnything CEO John Stewart. “Using MapAnything Live, they’ll be able to harness their fleet location within CRM to unlock new levels of efficiency.”

MapAnything Live is another example of how GM Fleet has the most comprehensive offering of fleet connectivity services in the industry. Last month, GM Fleet announced an AT&T connected car data plan for business customers that includes data pooling, unlimited data and corporate billing. For more information on GM Fleet’s full portfolio of vehicle connectivity and telematics offerings, please visit GMFleet.com/ConnectedServices.

This strategy agreement comes on the heels of MapAnything’s $33.1 million dollar funding round in February, as well as a strategic partnership and full integration with ServiceNow, announced in May. MapAnything also recently released a suite of new geo-productivity products, including MapAnything Guide, which allows companies to manage scheduled visits for sales or field service personnel. To learn more about how geo-productivity applications can improve your business, visit www.mapanything.com.

About General Motors

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

About OnStar

Launched in 1996, OnStar is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM Holdings LLC (“GM”) and offers emergency, security, navigation, connections and vehicle manager services in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel and Vauxhall models. Totaling more than 12 million customers in North America, Europe, China and South America, OnStar offers a range of standard, subscription and a la carte services such as Advanced Diagnostics, Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, OnStar Smart Driver, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and the AtYourService marketplace. For more information about OnStar services and features, visit www.onstar.com.

About MapAnything

Combine today’s global economy with a mobile workforce, and you get a lot of moving parts. CRM alone can’t help you answer the critical business questions: Where is my business? Where do I need to go? Founded in 2009, MapAnything is an innovator and pioneer in Geo-Productivity Software. With more than 1,800 customers globally, ranging from Large Enterprises to Small Business, we believe that “Where Matters.”

MapAnything is a Salesforce Gold App Innovation Partner, and a ServiceNow Technology Partner. They have received Ventana Research’s 2016 Technology Innovation Award for Location Analytics and been named a Customer’s Choice – Highly Reviewed App by users of Salesforce. To learn more, visit www.mapanything.com.

Via: MapAnything

Toyota Mobility Foundation begins Bus Service, and Park & Ride System to promote multi modal transportation in Vietnam

Danang, Vietnam (June 30, 2017)―Today, the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) and Danang People’s Committee (DPC) started the operations of the TMF Bus Service and associated TMF Park & Ride system, marking the occasion with an opening ceremony.

The city of Danang, resting at the center of three UNESCO World Heritage sites, is the entrance of the Indochina East-West Economic Corridor that commercially connects the countries of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Because of this location and the vision of the city officials, the population of Danang is increasing, with rapid and sustained economic growth. With this growth come concerns regarding future traffic congestion and the changing mobility needs of the public.

Anticipating these potential issues, TMF offered to support the DPC in developing a more robust public transportation network through the Project on Urban Transit Corridor Improvement. This project uniquely aims to prevent a future congestion problem by promoting the behavior change of citizens. The project encourages the people of Danang to shift from singular, private modes of mobility to multiple transportation modes integrating private and public transportation. The DPC is the grantee of the project that runs from July 2015 to March 2019, with a budget of 320 million Japanese Yen (about 2.9 million USD) sponsored by TMF.

TMF Bus Service

This feeder bus service links to the larger Danang city bus route. The TMF Bus Service has two routes: a shorter route covering the urban center, and a longer route connecting a residential area to the urban center. To present the bus as an efficient solution and promote its usage, the service has the following features

  • First year free travel
  • Comfortable and clean facilities
  • Hospitality and professionalism in service
  • Punctuality per a fixed timetable
  • Safety as the fundamental priority

TMF Park & Ride System

Located at the TMF bus terminal at the intersection of Bui Duong Lich and Tran Thanh Tong Streets, the Park & Ride facilitates easy access to the bus services. It is equipped with an auto-gate, camera surveillance system, and an IC card to ensure the security and safety for the bus passenger. In addition, there is no charge for parking when the service is launched.

On-Road Parking Management Pilot on Bach Dang Street

Most developing countries face parking crises as a result of rapid, dense urbanization and motorization, making parking policy an important component for sustainable transport management. This pilot model of mobile parking management on Bach Dang Street applies advanced technology such as time-based parking, fee collection software, and parking vacancy advisories, in order to reduce traffic congestion. This pilot model intends to illustrate the benefits of parking management, and help formulate an ideal transport management policy.

Mr. Dzung, the Vice Chairman of the DPC, said “It is important to establish a multi-modal transportation system in Danang in order to improve the quality of life of our citizens in the mid- to long-term. The TMF Bus, Park & Ride System and the on-road parking management pilot are significant steps forward for our city. The TMF Bus and Park & Ride Services, which are linked to our city bus services that were initiated last year, help improve the mobility options for citizens. We thank TMF for this great contribution to the current and future development of Danang.”

Osamu Nagata, President of the TMF Secretariat and Executive Vice President, Member of the Board of Directors of Toyota Motor Corporation, said “This project could only be initiated with the great support from the DPC and many other stakeholders, including Hai Chau District, Almec, and Toyota Motor Vietnam. TMF seeks to find mobility solutions by using our experience and know-how and partnering with the ownership and skills of local communities across the world. We would like to learn from Danang’s citizens and continuously improve service based on actual customer experiences, ultimately leading to a more mobile society with opportunities for all.”

Mr. Toru Kinoshita, President of Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) said “Participating in this project to promote multi-modal transportation is a significant opportunity for us to contribute to the city of Danang in addition to the traffic safety programs we conduct across the country. For this project, we donated two 28-seater vans to serve as the TMF buses, and we will also provide maintenance to ensure their safe operation. We hope Danang’s citizens experience our vehicles and recognize them as their transportation solution. We are happy to extend our support to supplement the activities of TMF and the DPC.”

About Toyota Mobility Foundation

TMF was established in August 2014 to support the development of a more mobile society. The Foundation aims to support strong mobility systems while eliminating disparities in mobility. It utilizes Toyota’s expertise in technology, safety, and the environment, working in partnership with universities, governments, non-profit organizations, research institutions and other organizations to address mobility issues around the world. Programs include resolving urban transportation problems, expanding the utilization of personal mobility, and developing solutions for next generation mobility.

Via: Toyota Global Newsroom

Toyota Motor Corporation announces executive and personnel changes

Toyota City, Japan, June 30, 2017―On July 1, Toyota Motor Corporation will make changes to executives’ areas of responsibility, as well as personnel changes at the sub-executive managerial level.

toyota-motor-corporation-japan-global-newsroom-mymotorwheels

  1. Managing Officers’ Areas of Responsibility
Name Current New
Hiroaki Okuchi
  • Frontier Research Center
  • Advanced R&D and Engineering Company
    (Executive Vice President, in charge of Model Based Development and Battery)
  • Frontier Research Center
  • Advanced R&D and Engineering Company
    (Executive Vice President, in charge of Model Based Development and Battery)

    • Electronics Control System Development Div. (concurrent General Manager)
Yoichi Miyazaki
  • BR Product・Cost Planning Reform Promotion Dept.
    (concurrent General Manager)
  • Corporate Strategy Div.
  • Business & Operation Planning Div.
    (concurrent General Manager)
  • Marketing Div.
  • East Asia & Oceania Region (CEO)
  • BR Product・Cost Planning Reform Promotion Dept.
    (concurrent General Manager)
  • Corporate Strategy Div.
  • Business & Operation Planning Div.
    (concurrent General Manager)
  • Marketing Div.
  • East Asia & Oceania Region (CEO)
    • East Asia & Oceania Div.
      (concurrent General Manager)
  1. Personnel changes at the sub-executive managerial level effective
Name Current New
Koichi Shirozu Electronics Control System Development Div. (General Manager), Advanced R&D and Engineering Company Strategic Top Executive Meeting Office (Project General Manager)
Masakazu Yoshimura East Asia & Oceania Div. (General Manager) Strategic Top Executive Meeting Office (Project General Manager)
Naoaki Nunogaki
  • Corporate Citizenship Div.
    (General Manager)
  • Community Relations Dept. (General Manager), Corporate Citizenship Div.
Corporate Citizenship Div.
(General Manager)
Jun Wakabayashi Temporary External Transfer to Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. TPS Promotion Center (Project General Manager)
Shoji Kimura
  • Vehicle Logistics Div. (General Manager), Logistics Field
  • Strategy Planning & Administration Dept. (General Manager), Vehicle Logistics Div., Logistics Field
Vehicle Logistics Div. (General Manager), Logistics Field
Shinya Kono Japan Rental & Leasing Business Div. (General Manager)
  • Japan Rental & Leasing Business Div. (General Manager)
  • Sales Promoting Dept. (General Manager), Japan Rental & Leasing Business Div.
Akihiko Ootuka MS Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Div.
(General Manager),
Mid-size Vehicle Company
  • MS Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Div.
    (General Manager),
    Mid-size Vehicle Company
  • Vehicle Dynamics Development Dept. (General Manager), MS Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Div., Mid-size Vehicle Company
Tetsu Yamada
  • Engine Design & Engineering Div. (General Manager), Powertrain Company
  • Engine Development Management Dept. (General Manager), Engine Design & Engineering Div., Powertrain Company
Engine Design & Engineering Div. (General Manager), Powertrain Company

Via: Toyota Newsroom

Volkswagen to use pWLAN (Public Wireless Local Area Network) technology for car-to-car and car-to-x communications.

  • From 2019 on, Volkswagen will start fitting the first models with pWLAN technology
  • Information on traffic risks arising at short notice will be sent to other vehicles and the local environment within a few milliseconds

Wolfsburg – Connectivity between different vehicles as well as between vehicles and transport infrastructure in the vicinity is another important step towards connected motoring that aims to reduce road accidents or minimize their consequences. As from 2019, Volkswagen will therefore start fitting its first models with pWLAN as standard in order to serve as an additional communication technology for the exchange selected information relevant to traffic between cars made by different manufacturers. This will involve information being exchanged both between vehicles (car-to-car), as well as between vehicles and the transport infrastructure (car-to-X)*. This will, for example, enable information about the current traffic situation, accidents and other situations relating to traffic conditions to be shared with the local environment, within a radius of approx. 500 m, even faster than has been possible in the past.

The technology used by Volkswagen is based on the IEEE 802.11p (pWLAN) standard, which the automotive industry has standardized and tested for direct, non-proprietary inter-vehicle communication as well as between vehicles and transport infrastructure and in international markets.

Using this technology, specially developed and validated for the requirements of automotive applications, it is possible to share information about the current traffic situation, warnings or even sensor data with the local environment within a few milliseconds. This extends the vehicle’s coverage by several hundred meters, virtually making it possible to look round the corner.

This gives customers an added advantage, as it uses a special frequency band intended for road safety and traffic efficiency. Thanks to the localized nature of data exchanged using this band, no data is stored centrally, meaning that there are no ongoing communications costs and it does not rely on mobile phone network coverage.

The strategy that Volkswagen is pursuing is to include pWLAN technology in the basic specifications of its models as standard, in addition to mobile phone connectivity. “We want to increase road safety with the aid of networked vehicles, and the most efficient way of achieving this is through the rapid roll-out of a common technology”, explains Johannes Neft, Head of Vehicle Body Development for the Volkswagen brand: “What matters most is that the technology is used consistently, and by as many manufacturers and partners as possible.”

When it is launched in 2019, the system will be based on warnings and information on local traffic risks that arise at short notice. Within the limits of the system, the new technology is capable of identifying potential traffic hazards. Examples would include a car making an emergency stop or the on-board sensors detecting black ice. Within a few milliseconds, this information can be shared with the local environment, allowing other road users to react to this risky situation appropriately.

As the effectiveness increases through a large number of users, Volkswagen is cooperating with authorities, ministries of transport and other automobile and transport industry partners, working on projects to accelerate the spread of the technology through to its inclusion in serial production.  At the same time, joint efforts are being undertaken with the partners to find ways of meeting the high requirements placed on data protection (i.e. the processing of personal data).

Once police forces and emergency services are also equipped with pWLAN technology, it will be possible for drivers to receive advance information on how far away approaching emergency vehicles are and the direction they are travelling in – often long before the vehicle can be heard or seen.

In addition to this, transport infrastructure operators in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria have announced plans to equip trailers used to block off roadworks with pWLAN technology, in order to reduce the risks of rear-end collisions in the area of roadworks on motorways.

In its push towards automated and cooperative driving, Volkswagen is working on enabling other transport infrastructure components (e.g. traffic lights) and other road users to be integrated in future, in order to improve road traffic safety with the aid of pWLAN technology.


* The exchange of information between vehicles (car-to-car) and between vehicles and transport infrastructure (car-to-X) presupposes that vehicles and transport infrastructure are equipped with pWLAN communication technology and use the same message format.


About the Volkswagen brand: We make the future real.

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is present in more than 150 markets throughout the world and produces vehicles at over 50 locations in 14 countries. In 2016, Volkswagen produced about 5.99 million vehicles including best-selling models such as the Golf, Tiguan, Jetta or Passat. Currently, 196,000 people work for Volkswagen across the globe. The brand also has 7,700 dealerships with 74,000 employees. Volkswagen is forging ahead consistently with the further development of automobile production. Electric mobility, smart mobility and the digital transformation of the brand are the key strategic topics for the future.

Via: Link

Drive.ai raises $50 million in new funding

logo_dark

SAN FRANCISCO — Self-driving startup Drive.ai said on Tuesday it raised $50 million in a second round of funding as the Silicon Valley company prepared to deploy its technology in pilot vehicles later this year.

The company, one of a handful of startups building fully autonomous systems for cars, also said it had added to its board Andrew Ng, a prominent figure in the artificial intelligence industry.

Ng formerly led AI projects at Baidu and Alphabet’s Google. Ng is the husband of Drive.ai’s co-founder and president Carol Reiley, a roboticist.

The latest round of funding — led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc., GGV Capital and existing investor China-based Northern Light Venture Capital — came as investor interest in autonomous vehicles continued to intensify.

Drive.ai is aiming to build an after-market software kit powered by artificial intelligence to turn traditional vehicles operated by businesses into self-driving models.

The company said existing business fleets would deploy its kits in pilot tests by year-end.

Drive.ai plans to distinguish itself through the team’s expertise in robotics and deep learning, a subset of AI in which massive amounts of data are fed into systems until they can “think” for themselves.

Drive.ai, which received $12 million in an initial funding round last year, also named to its board the head of Asia for New Enterprise Associates, Carmen Chang.

Reblogged from Automotive News

 

Chinese auto major Geely selects Qualcomm Automotive Platforms for their next generation infotainment systems

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), and Geely Auto Group (Geely), today announced at Mobile World Congress Shanghai that Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ automotive platforms were selected for inclusion in the next-generation of infotainment systems in Geely Auto Group vehicles. These systems include the world’s first-announced infotainment offering with an integrated 4G LTE modem using the Snapdragon 820Am automotive platform. Geely vehicles featuring Snapdragon automotive platforms are expected to be available from 2020 onward, in addition to Geely’s connected cars featuring telematics applications already available using Snapdragon LTE modems.

“Geely is one of the fastest-growing automakers worldwide, fueled by remarkable growth in China, the acquisition of beloved global brands such as Volvo and the iconic London Taxi Company, and the recent launch of our premium global brand, LYNK & CO” said Mr. Feng Qing Feng, chief technology officer, Geely Auto Group. “Qualcomm Technologies invigorates this momentum, helping us to provide consumers with the cutting-edge infotainment and connected car experiences they demand, thanks to the high-performance processing and superior connectivity delivered by Snapdragon automotive platforms.”

Geely is committed to scientific innovation and R&D to deliver high-quality products that meet the demands of different consumers in different regions and segments. The automaker expects to use Snapdragon automotive platforms on upcoming generations of its iNTEC technology package. This includes G-Netlink, a system that allows drivers to interface with their vehicles through a myriad of ways, including remote control via app to lock, unlock or the vehicle, turn on heating and cooling, and also provide in-car Wi-Fi; and G-Pilot, and intelligent drive technology designed to support a high degree of driving comfort, assistance and autonomy over the next decade.

Future generations of Geely’s iNTEC are planned to take advantage of the high-performing multimedia and graphics capabilities of the Snapdragon 820A platform, Qualcomm Technologies’ most advanced automotive grade solution designed to support immersive in-car experiences, including music and video streaming, 3D navigation, support for multiple high-resolution displays, and superior GPU performance for rich 2D/3D graphics. At the heart of the platform is Qualcomm Technologies’ custom-built system-on-chip (SoC) using a highly-optimized heterogeneous computing architecture based on a 14nm FinFET advanced process node. The SoC features Qualcomm Technologies’ custom 64-bit Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU, Qualcomm® Adreno™ 530 GPU and Qualcomm® Hexagon™ 680 DSP Vector eXtension. The platform’s hypervisor support offers integration of multiple in-car visual experiences, including instrument cluster and infotainment displays. The Snapdragon 820A platform is also designed to allow infotainment systems to be upgradable through software updates, allowing vehicles to be upgraded with the latest features and differentiation.

Select Geely models are expected to use the Snapdragon 820Am variant of the platform with an integrated X12 LTE modem, supporting up to 600 Mbps downlink and 150 Mbps uplink speeds, designed to provide exceptional in-car cloud connectivity to support key features, such as over-the-air updates, navigation with real-time updates, news and local information, emergency assistance and diagnostics.

“China is emerging as a source of automotive innovation, not only benefiting Chinese customers but also the rest of the world, by quickly adopting and commercializing leading-edge car technology,” said Patrick Little, senior vice president and general manager for automotive, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are pleased to work with Geely and the Chinese automotive ecosystem to help define the future of connected car experiences and use our industry-leading technologies to accelerate its realization.”

For more information, please visit the Qualcomm booth during Mobile World Congress Shanghai (W5.E90), or visit www.qualcomm.com/automotive.

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm’s technologies powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people. We pioneered 3G and 4G – and now we are leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our products are revolutionizing industries, including automotive, computing, IoT, healthcare and data center, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, our QCT semiconductor business.

About Geely Auto Group

Geely Auto Group is a leading auto manufacturer based in Hangzhou, China. Geely Auto Group consists of two brands, Geely Auto and LYNK & CO.

Geely Auto Group was founded in 1997, and has rapidly grown over the years. The Group is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and saw its sales volume increase to 765,000 units in 2016 with 2017 sales goal set at one million units. In the first five months of 2017, Geely Auto Group sold a combined 441,854 units, an increase of 89% over the same period in 2016 and completing 37% of the groups 2017 sales goal of one million units.

The controlling shareholder in Geely Auto is Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH), which is also the parent company of Volvo Car Corporation in Sweden and the London Taxi Company.

Via: Qualcomm Press Release

US Tire Manufacturers Association asks Department of Commerce(DOC) to exclude certain types of steel from tariff investigations

ustma_us_tire_manufacturers_association

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is investigating the national security implications of steel imports, and the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has testified consumers, as well as the U.S. military, depend on tires and the availability of certain imported steel is critical.

The USTMA, the new name for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, has asked that specific types of tire cord-quality steel wire rod, tire cord and bead wire be excluded from the DOC tariff investigation since domestic suppliers cannot meet volume and quality needs for this vital tire component.

“Tire manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy,” testified Tracey Norberg, USTMA senior vice president and general counsel. “Tires manufactured by USTMA members safely transport millions of Americans and millions of tons of goods each day throughout the United States. In addition, the U.S. military depends on the tire manufacturing industry to supply tires to protect our national security.”

Virtually all of the steel wire rod used to manufacture high tensile tire cord and bead wire that is consumed in U.S. tire manufacturing plants is sourced from foreign suppliers due to the stringent performance and quality requirements of tire manufacturing, as well as quality and supply limitations of domestic steel wire rod suppliers.

“A disruption in tire manufacturing in the U.S. would harm the U.S. economy, since consistent tire supply is critical to the nation’s shipping and commerce needs, and (it would) threaten national security, since the U.S. military relies on the tire industry to provide high performing and durable tires to aid in our national defense,” Norberg said.

President Donald Trump in April ordered the DOC to investigate whether steel imports were a threat to U.S. national security. While anti-dumping and countervailing investigations are common, The Washington Post reported that investigations studying the connection to national security are quite rare.

Norberg said the production process used by domestic steel mills is unable to manufacture tire cord-quality steel wire rod necessary to make tires for military and civilian applications by domestic tire producers. Tire manufacturers use this steel wire in a tire’s steel belts and in the bead.

“Tariffs or quotas on these products would significantly disrupt the production of tires in the United States, due to quality and supply limitations in domestically producing tire cord-quality steel wire rod to replace imported products,” Norberg said.

Read her complete testimony here.

Source: Link