DriveNow now becomes wholly owned subsidiary of BMW Group

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Munich. With the acquisition of Sixt SE’s stake in DriveNow, the BMW Group continues its systematic development as a customer-centric mobility company. Today’s signing is subject to approval by antitrust authorities. With this move, the world’s leading provider of premium mobility is offering customers efficient, sustainable mobility solutions from a single source. The rapidly growing field of mobility services is one of the cornerstones of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, as evidenced by the BMW Group expanding its offering in the areas of on-demand mobility (DriveNow and ReachNow), parking (ParkNow) and charging (ChargeNow) in a sustainable way. The acquisition of the Sixt shares is therefore the next logical step in this strategy, following the acquisition of Parkmobile LLC in early January of this year, a move which made the BMW Group the world’s leading provider of digital parking solutions.

“We have achieved extraordinary success with DriveNow over the past seven years – thanks to the efforts of the DriveNow employees and the excellent cooperation with our joint venture partner, Sixt. Sixt will remain a strong partner for us in the future,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation BMW Group. “Our aim is to win 100 million customers for our premium mobility services by 2025. With DriveNow as a wholly-owned subsidiary, we have all options for continued strategic development of our services in our hands. Our experience with mobility services supports our development of future autonomous, electrified and connected fleets,” Schwarzenbauer continued.

Independently of the acquisition of the Sixt stake in DriveNow, the BMW Group and Sixt will continue their successful long-standing partnership through delivery of BMW and MINI vehicles for the Sixt fleet.

“The joint development of DriveNow impressively demonstrates the innovative strength of Sixt and the BMW Group. We would like to thank the DriveNow employees and the BMW Group for this success and look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with the BMW Group through our contracts for delivery of BMW and MINI brand vehicles”, said Alexander Sixt, member of the Managing Board of Sixt SE, responsible for Group Strategy.

DriveNow was founded in 2011 as a premium car-sharing joint venture between the BMW Group and Sixt SE. The service is already used by more than one million customers in 13 European cities. The fleet comprises more than 6,000 BMW and MINI brand premium vehicles across Europe. The electric BMW i3 is also available to users at all DriveNow locations.

“In 2017 our customers drove over eight million kilometres with the DriveNow electric fleet – that is equivalent to driving round the globe more than 200 times on electric power. DriveNow not only reduces traffic and improves the parking situation in urban areas, but it is also supporting the breakthrough of electromobility,” said DriveNow Managing Director Sebastian Hofelich. “We look forward to working with our franchise and city partners to continue actively shaping urban mobility in a sustainable manner,” he added.

The BMW Group seeks to improve quality of life in urban areas through its mobility offering. The company works with various partners and decision-makers in cities to help shape the sustainable mobility of the future.

  The BMW Group 

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2016 was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

Source BMW Press Release

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ASTON MARTIN TARGETS TRADE AND INVESTMENTS IN CHINA WORTH £620 MILLION

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  • Trade of over £600m driven by new Vantage and Aston Martin’s first SUV
  • Expanding dealer presence will see 10 new showrooms by end of 2018
  • Planned investment delivered on the back of 89% year-on-year growth in China

31 January 2018, Beijing, China:  Aston Martin, the British luxury car maker, is planning a five-year trade and investment drive in China worth over £600 million as part of its expansion in the world’s largest automotive market.

The five-year plan, which follows the company’s earlier announcement of a new dealership in Wuhan, was announced by Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer during a visit to China by a UK business delegation accompanying British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The export and investment drive follows a regional year on year growth rate of 89% propelled by the successful introduction of the DB11.

Speaking in Beijing, Dr. Palmer said: “Our impressive 2017 performance in China reflects increasing demand for our new and special vehicles. The continued roll-out of our new model pipeline, including the company’s first electric vehicle in 2019, will further improve Aston Martin’s market share in this key market, alongside investments we are making to strengthen brand visibility and sales performance. These investments reflect our confidence in the Aston Martin brand and the attractiveness of the Chinese market which was our fastest growing region in 2017.”

Future demand in China is expected to be enhanced this year by deliveries of the new Vantage and in 2019, with the introduction of the company’s first SUV.

The group has also announced a dealer investment and expansion programme in the Chinese market totalling over £20 million, to include a new concept city centre showroom in Beijing. By the end of 2018, Aston Martin will have strengthened its dealer network with 10 new and refurbished locations, to include showrooms in Wuhan, Tianjin, Nanjing and Ji’nan, taking the total retail footprint across China to more than 20 locations.

Aston Martin China, located in Shanghai, is further strengthening its presence in the region by opening a second office in Beijing in the coming months.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Thanks to the drive and innovation of UK business, backed by this Government, trade between the UK and China is already at record levels.

“This visit is an opportunity to further showcase the best of British and boost jobs and prosperity throughout the UK. I am proud to lead such a varied and strong delegation to China”

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Mercedes-Benz turns idea of employees into success stories

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  • Mercedes-Benz offers worldwide training courses for suppliers at the Mercedes-Benz Supplier Academy.
  • The project is the result of an entrepreneurial spirit of Mercedes-Benz employees in a worldwide cooperation.
  • More than 1400 participants from nearly 500 suppliers already took part in the training program during the year 2017.
  • Dr. Klaus Zehender, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Procurement and Supplier Quality: “The Mercedes-Benz Supplier Academy is a great opportunity, especially for start-ups and new suppliers without experience in the automotive industry.”

Stuttgart. Since the beginning of last year, Mercedes-Benz has been offering suppliers a special learning program. The Supplier Academy trains suppliers on topics such as quality assurance, processes and the requirements of Mercedes-Benz. There is no real building. The Supplier Academy is flexible and available worldwide – in the local language and directly with local suppliers in the US, Mexico, China or Europe. All suppliers can participate, regardless if they already work with Mercedes-Benz. “The Mercedes-Benz Supplier Academy is a great opportunity, especially for start-ups and new suppliers without experience in the automotive industry. For us in the procurement and supplier quality department of Mercedes-Benz, it is a valuable opportunity to ensure top quality for our vehicles from new players and to strengthen cooperation with existing suppliers. This is a win-win situation”, says Dr. Klaus Zehender, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Procurement and Supplier Quality. In the training courses, native-speaking trainers teach a maximum of 15 participants the expectations, procedures and standards of the Mercedes-Benz supplier management. This facilitates an efficient and successful entry into the cooperation. In 2017, more than 1400 participants from nearly 500 suppliers already participated in the program, which Mercedes-Benz runs together with its external partner German Automotive Business (GAB). This kind of training takes place almost every day somewhere in the world.

Founder’s vision within the company

The idea for the Mercedes-Benz Supplier Academy came from employees who are responsible for purchasing and supplier quality. “We at Mercedes-Benz have an increasing number of local suppliers worldwide whom we want to prepare for the top quality of Mercedes-Benz. Together with our colleagues at foreign purchasing locations, we have turned this idea into a successful project”, says Christoph Kania, one of the project initiators from Supplier Quality Management. Starting with the smallest possible effort and without any investment, the idea grew steadily through the interest of the suppliers.

Expansion to other areas planned

The initiative of his employees encourages purchasing manager Klaus Zehender: “The entrepreneurial spirit of our buyers and quality managers shows that they recognize challenges and find practical solutions.” So far, only one area of Mercedes-Benz’s purchasing department has been included in the training: quality assurance. Christoph Kania and his colleagues are planning to extend the offer of the Supplier Academy together with other departments. So other specialist areas such as logistics, development and IT systems could be on the timetable soon. To motivate even more suppliers to participate, online training courses are planned as well.

Via Daimler Global Media Site

Sales of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance in 2017

Renault Nissan Mitsubishi

  • Combined sales by Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors rise 6.5% to 10,608,366 units in 2017 one in nine passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold worldwide
  • Zero-emission leadership maintained with cumulative sales of 540,623 electric vehicles since 2010

PARIS/YOKOHAMA/TOKYO – Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the world’s leading automotive Alliance, today announced that its member companies sold a combined total of 10,608,366 units in the 12 months to December 31, 2017.

Growing demand for SUVs, light commercial vehicles and a rising number of zero-emission pure electric vehicles helped lift unit sales by 6.5 percent in 2017, the first full-year of Mitsubishi Motors’ membership of the Alliance.

Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, said:
“With more than 10.6 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold in 2017, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has become the number-one automotive group worldwide. This evolution reflects the breadth and depth of our model range, our global market presence and the customer appeal of our vehicle technologies.”

In 2017, the Alliance member companies sold vehicles in nearly 200 countries under ten brands (Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, Dacia, Renault Samsung Motors, Alpine, Lada, Infiniti, Venucia and Datsun).

Groupe Renault’s sales were up 8.5 percent to 3,761,634 units in 2017. It was a record year for Renault, the world’s leading French brand and number-two brand in Europe, and also for Dacia. Renault is seeking continued growth in 2018, buoyed by the development of its international activities and its renewed range, in line with its Drive The Future plan.

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. sold 5,816,278 vehicles worldwide, up 4.6 percent, and shared details of Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022, the company’s six-year strategic plan.
In the USA and China in 2017, the company achieved sales growth of 1.9 percent and 12.2 percent respectively. Infiniti sold 246,492 vehicles in 2017, an increase of 7 percent from the previous year.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation sold 1,030,454 vehicles in 2017, up 10 percent from 2016. The increase in volume was led by China, a key market for Mitsubishi Motors’ Drive For Growth plan. Annual sales rose by 56 percent, to 129,160 units. China became Mitsubishi Motors’ largest market thanks to strong demand for the locally produced Outlander. Performance in the ASEAN region was also strong with an increase of 17 percent to 242,224 units, thanks to the launch of XPANDER – a compact multi-purpose vehicle – in Indonesia. In Japan, sales increased by 7 percent as the marketing of kei-cars resumed.

Sustained leadership in electric vehicles

Since 2010, when the Nissan LEAF was first introduced, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has sold 540,623 electric vehicles worldwide through its different brands. Cumulatively, the Alliance continues as the global leader for 100% electric passenger cars and light commercial electric vehicles.

The Nissan LEAF, the first mainstream, mass-marketed electric vehicle, remains the world’s best-selling EV with more than 300,000 vehicles sold since its launch in December 2010.

During 2017, the new Nissan LEAF was unveiled and offers customers greater range, advanced technologies and a dynamic new design. It went on sale in Japan last year, and will be rolled out in other major markets during 2018. The new Nissan LEAF received over 40,000 orders globally including 13,000 orders in Japan; 13,000 reservations in the United States; and over 12,000 orders in Europe.

In addition to the LEAF, Nissan’s e-NV200, a light commercial vehicle sold mainly in Europe and Japan, has also recently been upgraded with an additional 100km of driving range in Europe.

In 2017 Renault remained, for the third consecutive year, the leader in Europe’s electric-vehicle segment with a market share of 23.8 percent and sales volumes increased by 38 percent. Renault ZOE was the best-selling EV in Europe, with sales increase by 44 percent.

Since 2011, Renault has sold more than 150,000 electric vehicles worldwide, including Renault ZOE, Renault Kangoo Z.E., Fluence Z.E. and Renault Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

In 2017, Renault unveiled Master Z.E. thus announcing a range of zero-emission light commercial vehicles unique in the world (Twizy Cargo, company-car version of ZOE, Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E.).

In 2017, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi sold 91,000 EVs, up more than 11 percent from 2016.

Alliance 2022 strategic plan

As part of Alliance 2022 strategic plan, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is forecasting that annual synergies will exceed €10 billion by the end of 2022. In addition, 12 new zero-emission electric vehicles and 40 vehicles with autonomous drive technology will be launched.

The introduction of new models and new technologies should lift the combined annual sales of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to more than 14 million units, generating revenues expected at $240 billion by the end of 2022.

Top 10 Alliance Markets

Country Total Sales Market Share
China 1,719,815 6.2%
U.S.A. 1,697,149 9.8%
France 759,598 29.8%
Japan 689,650 13.2%
Russia 578,082 36.1%
Mexico 412,029 27.0%
Germany 349,376 9.4%
United Kingdom 309,172 10.6%
Italy 293,362 13.6%
Brazil 267,835 12.3%

Top 10 Groupe Renault Markets

Country Total Sales*
France 673,852
Russia 448,270
Germany 228,046
Italy 215,901
Spain 185,760
Turkey 178,646
Brazil 167,147
Iran 162,079
United Kingdom 115,262
Argentina 115,243

*2017 full year (sales) excl Twizy

Top 10 Nissan Markets

Country Total Sales
U.S.A. 1,593,464
China* 1,519,714
Japan 590,905
Mexico 366,544
U.K. 167,379
Canada 146,677
Russia** 107,168
France 81,293
Brazil 78,823
Germany 76,133

*Including Venucia brand ** Including Kazakhstan

Top 10 Mitsubishi Motors Markets

Country Total Sales
China 129,160
U.S.A 103,685
Japan 91,630
Australia 80,674
Indonesia 79,885
Philippines 71,097
Thailand 69,737
Germany 45,197
U.K 26,531
U.A.E 24,497

Source Nissan Newsroom

Scania to use rail transport to ship cabs from Oskarshamn

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Scania’s cab factory in Oskarshamn has signed a letter of intent with its host municipality to increasingly utilise rail transport. The cabs produced there are shipped to Scania’s chassis assembly centres in Angers, France, Södertälje, Sweden, and Zwolle in the Netherlands.

Scania in 2016 inaugurated its state-of-the-art new cab production facilities in Oskarshamn, fully equipped with nearly 300 industrial robots for manufacturing cabs for the new generation Scania trucks that have been introduced in 2016–2017.

With 2016 as base year, Scania’s target is to halve its carbon emissions by 2025. Scania wishes the be perceived as the benchmark in sustainable transport and therefore cannot solely rely on road transport and is examining multimodal approaches. “To reach the target, Scania regards rail transport as the basis for establishing a world-class intermodal system making use of several means of transport,” according to the agreement signed with Oskarshamn Municipality.

Johan Uhlin, Head of Cab Assembly and Logistics, Oskarshamn. Photo: Gustav Lindh 2016

Although Scania is not directly involved in establishing the local rail combi terminal, it supports the idea as the basis for enabling a great share of transport on tracks. “Our intention is to utilise capacity at the planned rail combi terminal for receiving material from suppliers as well as shipping produced cabs to assembly plants in Europe.”

In parallel, Scania has underlined the importance of upgrading the road infrastructure to and from the cab factory and logistics centre. “The infrastructure as a whole is inadequate for our production volume and especially as we foresee increasing production,” says Johan Uhlin, Head of Cab Assembly and Logistics, Oskarshamn.

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Toyota & Chubu Electric join hands to commence EV battery recycle and reuse verification project

Toyota Chubu Electric Power Inc

Nagoya City, Japan, January 31, 2018―Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (Chubu Electric Power) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) today announce that the two companies have concluded a basic agreement with the aim of commencing a verification project that entails construction of a large-capacity storage battery system (Storage Battery System) that reuses electrified vehicle batteries (batteries), as well as examination of the recycling of used batteries.

Chubu Electric Power recognizes the importance of accurate management of fluctuations in its energy supply-demand balance caused by the recent large-scale introduction of renewable energy, and is promoting efforts toward further improving the operation of its electric power system.

Toyota is actively promoting the use of electrified vehicles, as per “Toyota’s Challenge to Promote Widespread Use of Electrified Vehicles” announced in December 2017, and is also pursuing the effective use of batteries and the development of social infrastructure that will support the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles.

Reuse of Batteries

Pursuant to the basic agreement concluded today, the two companies aim to reuse batteries collected from electrified vehicles manufactured by Toyota as a storage battery system for utilization in meeting various challenges posed by the electric power system.

When combined in large numbers, used batteries, even with reduced performance levels, can be repurposed for energy supply-demand adjustments, frequency fluctuation management, and voltage fluctuation management in distribution systems, all factors that accompany the widespread introduction of renewable energy.

Not only can these efforts serve as a solution to address the challenges within the electric power system, Chubu Electric Power and Toyota expect these efforts to have positive effects in the operation of thermal power plants.

Examples of using the Storage Battery System to solve challenges in the electric power system (illustration)

Utilization for energy supply-demand adjustment

Utilization for energy supply-demand adjustment

Utilization to counter frequency fluctuations

Utilization to counter frequency fluctuations

Utilization to counter voltage fluctuations in distribution systems

Utilization to counter voltage fluctuations in distribution systems

In FY 2018, Chubu Electric Power and Toyota will commence verification of the Storage Battery System. Based on the results of the verification test, the two companies aim to introduce power generation capacity of approximately 10,000 kW, equivalent to 10,000 batteries, in FY 2020.

The initial stage will involve nickel-metal hydride batteries, which are currently being used in large quantities, mainly in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). By around 2030, the plan is to include lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).

Recycling of Batteries

The two companies will consider establishing a mechanism to recycle reused batteries by collecting materials such as rare-earth metals and re-utilizing them.

Flow of reusing/recycling (illustration)

Both companies will continue to contribute to the further development of the region with an aim of achieving both a resource recycling society and a low-carbon society through initiatives such as the commercialization of battery reuse and recycling.

Source Toyota Newsroom