Cooper Standard Names DeBest President, Advanced Technology Group, to Accelerate Material Science Innovations

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NOVI, Mich., Feb. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Cooper Standard (NYSE: CPS) today announced the appointment of Jeffrey A. DeBest to the newly created position of president, advanced technology group. Based at the Company’s global technology center in Livonia, Mich., he reports to Jeffrey Edwards, chairman and CEO. DeBest was also appointed a member of Cooper Standard’s Global Leadership Team.

In his new role, DeBest will lead the Company’s Advanced Technology Group, responsible for accelerating and maximizing the value stream of Cooper Standard’s material science innovations in non-automotive markets.

“With his extensive operations, engineering, portfolio management and leadership background, Jeff brings the unique skillset required to foster the success of our new Advanced Technology Group,” said Edwards. “Our material science advancements have the potential to transform products across many industries, with near term focus in the construction, wire and cable, and footwear markets, and I’m pleased that Jeff is onboard to lead this endeavor.”

Prior to joining Cooper Standard, DeBest served as chief operating officer of APM Terminals B.V., one of five companies within the Maersk Group of Copenhagen, Denmark. In that position, he had full operational responsibility for the company’s more than 100 terminals and depots, as well as managed its transition from a holding company into an operating company. While at APM Terminals, DeBest held numerous board positions with APM regional companies. He also served as a senior vice president of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, where he was a member of its Global Leadership Council.

From 1997 to 2014, he held a series of leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Johnson Controls, Inc. Most recently, he served as group vice president of the auto supplier’s worldwide interiors group. He started his career at Prince Corporation, later purchased by Johnson Controls, as the service parts manager.

DeBest earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing from Adrian College in Michigan, a Masters of Business Administration degree with a finance emphasis from Western Michigan University and an Executive Management Certificate from the University of Notre Damein Indiana. Since 2013, he has been a member of Adrian College’s Board of Trustees, currently servicing as vice chairman.

About Cooper Standard
Cooper Standard, headquartered in Novi, Mich., is a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry. Products include rubber and plastic sealing, fuel and brake lines, fluid transfer hoses and anti-vibration systems. Cooper Standardemploys approximately 32,000 people globally and operates in 20 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.cooperstandard.com.

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Covestro at the VDI Congress “Plastics in Automotive Engineering” in Mannheim

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Driven by new technologies, mobility is changing worldwide. Trends such as autonomous driving, connectivity and electrification require completely new vehicle concepts and technologies. Functional plastic solutions play a vital role in ensuring economic, safe and individual integration. 

“The value chains face enormous challenges,” explains Dr. Eckhard Wenz in a lecture about new plastic concepts for vehicles. The car expert from Covestro recognizes a clear focus: “Most of the future functionalities are derived from the electrical and electronics industry, whether it is about electric drive or battery technology, sensor technology, connectivity or artificial intelligence.” 

Key Material for future mobility
Polycarbonate has been used for many years in innovative applications in the electrical/electronics and automotive industries. Due to its outstanding properties, it can also serve as a key material for the new mobility. 

At the VDI Congress “Plastics in Automotive Engineering” on March 14 and 15 in Mannheim, Covestro presents new concepts based on polycarbonate. The focal points of the developments are integration of lighting and sensor technology, automotive glazing, a functional and individually designed interior, and the powertrain for electric vehicles. 

Example: seamless design
One example is the seamless glazing of injection-molded elements and the integration of vitreous body parts. The use of polycarbonate combines design freedom and functionality with the safety of passengers and other road users. For example, seamlessly integrated LED lighting concepts and front elements that are permeable to infrared radiation from LiDAR sensors also contribute to this. 

In car interiors, good thermal insulation of polycarbonate also ensures effective thermal management: The air conditioning system consumes less energy when heating and cooling, which leads to a longer range of electric cars. 

Hands-on materials
Especially in car interiors, the optical and haptic material properties play an important part. Covestro uses the exhibition at VDI Congress to show visitors a broad cross-section of its material solutions for future mobility. The Sample Bar gives visitors the chance to see and touch hundreds of samples – an ideal way to discover the fascinating characteristics offered by modern plastics.

Above all, they attract the interest of designers. They offer great freedom, especially in the functional and individual design of the car interior: Ambient lighting with LED technology, new plastic optics and displays can be seamlessly integrated into large plastic components, thus conveying a complete picture. 

Welcome to the “Automotive Night”
Together with the VDI, Covestro cordially invites participants of the congress to the “Automotive Night”, which takes place the evening before at the “Manufaktur Mannheim“. The get-together offers a good opportunity to talk to other participants, speakers and exhibitors before the event starts. 

About Covestro:
With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,600 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2016.

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Leoni beats sales and earnings forecasts in fiscal 2017

Sales reach best-ever EUR 4.9 billion – EBIT margin improved significantly to 4.6 percent (previous year: 1.8 percent)

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Nuremberg – Leoni, the leading European provider of cables and cable systems to the automotive sector and other industries, exceeded both its sales and profit targets in the 2017 financial year. Based on provisional calculations, sales were up by 11 percent to a new record figure of EUR 4.9 billion (previous year: EUR 4.4 billion). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose substantially to EUR 225 million, up from EUR 78 million in the previous year.

“Leoni returned to a successful course in 2017,” Karl Gadesmann, spokesperson for Leoni AG’s Board of Directors, emphasized. “We managed to improve substantially in operating terms and simultaneously to drive the Group’s strategic repositioning forward.”

The demand for Leoni’s products, systems and services was generally on an encouraging and rising trajectory during the year. With sales of nearly EUR 1.3 billion in the 4th quarter of 2017 (previous year: EUR 1.1 billion), the Company succeeded in boosting full-year income beyond its most recent forecast of EUR 4.8 billion. The bulk of this growth was generated organically.

Operating profit substantially improved

Provisional calculations put Leoni’s EBIT at EUR 225 million, meaning the Company likewise topped its projected figure of EUR 220 million and thus generated an EBIT margin of 4.6 percent (previous year: 1.8 percent). It should be noted with respect to the substantial year-on-year increase in EBIT of about 190 percent that the Company benefited in fiscal 2017 from two exceptional factors involving its disposal of a Business Group and an insurance compensation payout, which together boosted profit by about EUR 30 million. By contrast, restructuring expenses and a loss due to fraud totalling around EUR 70 million weighed on the 2016 financial year. Adjusted for the aforementioned effects, operating profit improved by nearly one third from EUR 148 million in the previous year to EUR 195 million now.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the additional profit contributions from the increased sales were offset by greater spending – especially involving advance and start-up costs relating to wiring system projects at new facilities as well as investment in digitalization.

A comprehensive report will be provided upon presentation of the final figures for the year at the balance sheet press conference as well as the analyst and investor conference on 20 March 2018. Leoni will then also issue a forecast for the current financial year.

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John Deere Golf Announces Expansion of PrecisionCut™ Fairway Mowers with the 6080A, 6500A and 6700A Models

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The 6080A, 6500A and 6700A PrecisionCut™ Fairway Mowers provide an economical mowing solution

SAN ANTONIO  – Building upon the success of the 8000A E-Cut™ Hybrid Fairway mower and its popular three-wheel platform, turf professionals will soon have additional fairway mower options with the John Deere 6080A, 6500A and 6700A PrecisionCut™ Fairway Mowers. The 6080A, 6500A and 6700A Models leverage all of the fairway mower technologies from the John Deere award-winning A Model family of Fairway, Rough and Trim & Surrounds Mowers. These new A Models were designed out of a customer need for improved budget control while still delivering a fairway mower truly designed for the rigors of fairway applications.

“With tight operating budgets and increasing labor costs, our customers needed a cost-effective solution to get the job done,” said Brad Aldridge, product manager, John Deere Golf. “With this in mind, we challenged ourselves to design a machine that boosts productivity and maintains quality of cut while keeping costs down, and we’ve done that with the 6080A, 6500A and 6700A Models.”

These three new models are true fairway workhorses with a powerful 24.7 HP (18.4 kW) diesel engine, three-wheel smooth tire configurations, and premium performance and comfort features.

Operators will immediately notice that these three models fall in line with existing John Deere A Models demonstrating exceptional cut quality, even on hills, thanks to standard LoadMatch™. The innovative eHydro transmission eliminates linkages between the pedals and the hydrostatic pump. All models feature hydraulic mow circuits, and provide all-day mowing with various width-of-cut options:

  • 6080A PrecisionCut Fairway Mower – 18-inch (45.72-centimeter) QA5 cutting units provide an 80-inch (2.032-meter) width of cut
  • 6500A PrecisionCut Fairway Mower – 22-inch (55.88-centimeter) QA5 cutting units provide an 100-inch (2.54-meter) width of cut
  • 6700A PrecisionCut Fairway Mower – 22-inch (55.88-centimeter) QA7 cutting units provide an 100-inch (2.54-meter) width of cut

Additionally, an eight mph (12.9 kph) mowing speed allows operators to mow more area in less time.

As with all A Model machines, the 6080A, 6500A and 6700A Models also feature the innovative TechControl Display with password-protected supervisory controls. TechControl allows turf managers or technicians to input a wealth of commands, including mow speed, turn speed, transport speed, and service timers, while also providing on-board service diagnostics – giving them complete control over cut quality and performance.

The 6080A, 6500A and 6700A Models also provide several features aimed at increasing machine and operator uptime, including internal hydraulic wet disk brakes that eliminate linkage adjustments and grease points in the brake system, along with a traction drive system requiring only one fluid type for maintenance. Finally, operators will appreciate the comfortable operator station with Command Arm mounted controls that adjust with the seat.

The 6080A, 6500A and 6700A Models provide an outstanding quality of cut in undulating terrain thanks to a rear-attaching yoke on the cutting unit. The trusted A Model Fairway Mower platform provides strength and durability. Combined with the standard GRIP all-wheel drive traction system, these additions climb hills easier without the worries of high side tire slippage.

The 6080A, 6500A and 6700A Models will each be available in 2019. For more information about the John Deere award-winning A Model family of Fairway, Rough and Trim & Surrounds Mowers, contact your local John Deere Golf distributor or visit www.JohnDeere.com/Golf for the latest news and product information.

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.

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GKN eAxle powers London Taxi

  • GKN’s award-winning coaxial-design electric axle powers LEVC’s new range-extended electric taxi, the TX eCity
  • Compact packaging of e-motor, gearbox and differential delivers a lightweight and highly-efficient driveline
  • Integrated design maximises space
  • Bespoke development of the eAxle first seen on Volvo T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid models

Redditch, UK: GKN Driveline’s expertise in efficient, high-performance electric vehicle systems is delivering zero-emissions capability for London’s new electric taxi. A unique development of GKN’s coaxial eAxle powers the rear wheels of the LEVC (London EV Company, formerly known as London Taxi Company)’s electrified TX model.

Designed to minimise packaging and maximise performance, GKN Driveline’s coaxial eAxle sets new standards in eDrive sophistication. The eAxle was launched in its first application across Volvo’s range of T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrids, picking up an Automotive News PACE Innovation Award in 2016. In these models, GKN’s system has an ‘axle split’ secondary drive role, with a 60kW e-motor providing motive power to the rear wheels – working in conjunction with a combustion engine that drives the front wheels.

In the LEVC TX, GKN’s eAxle is always the primary drive unit, and so uses a more powerful 120kW e-motor. A small petrol engine at the front of the taxi provides range-extended power to the battery pack only, which means the taxi is always powered electrically by the eAxle. The TX’s pure-electric driving range is around 80 miles, according to official test figures, whilst the petrol generator takes the total range up to 377 miles.

As with all GKN Driveline systems, the coaxial eAxle for LEVC has been uniquely engineered to achieve the desired characteristics for the vehicle’s dynamics. The core design of the eAxle is shared with Volvo’s plug-in hybrids, but its bespoke features meet a totally different set of driving requirements. The lightweight unit weighs less than 17Kg and has a mechanical efficiency of up to 97.5%.

Phil Swash, GKN Driveline Chief Executive Office, said: “London’s black cab is recognised worldwide, and we are immensely proud that a GKN electric driveline is helping to power a new generation of taxis capable of running with zero emissions. NOx reduction is a key target of global cities and developing cleaner, more efficient taxis will play a significant role in achieving that. “This project is another showcase for our scalable eAxle technologies, which are enablers of cost-effective plug-in hybrid and range-extended electric models. LEVC is the latest vehicle manufacturer to realise the benefits of GKN’s unique technologies and its expertise as a full systems integration partner.”

Components within GKN Driveline’s coaxial eAxle designs are tightly packaged, with the reduction gearbox, open differential, driveshaft section and e-motor sharing a connected housing. This level of integration has significant benefits when it comes to packaging the eDrive unit within the new taxi’s chassis.

As the range-extender combustion engine is never providing power directly to the rear wheels, the TX does not need a propshaft, which delivers further advantages for weight and packaging. Production of the electrified LEVC TX is already underway at a brand-new facility in Ansty, near Coventry. The new taxi meets stricter Transport for London licensing requirements that come into force on 1 January 2018, which mandate a minimum 30-mile zero-emission range and maximum CO2 emissions of 50g/km for new taxis on the road*.

*New licensing requirements from 1 January 2018 apply to taxis in London, defined as Transport for London-licensed ‘Hackney carriages’. Separate requirements come into force for Private Hire Vehicles in London at later dates.

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New Hella working environment opened

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Lippstadt, Germany, February 09, 2018. Lighting and electronics expert HELLA continues to invest in the workplace environment of its employees. An innovative office work concept was thus realized at the company headquarters in Lippstadt, providing employees with state-of-the-art workplace equipment and great flexibility in approaching their varied tasks. The modern and open design will make the workplace environment even more attractive to employees while further promoting collaboration inside the company.

“The market’s innovation speed is further accelerating and new players and their ideas are entering the industry all the time. This means for HELLA: we must increasingly favor open and flexible work methods. A workplace environment as we have created in Lippstadt will support us in communicating and collaborating even more across the various functions”, says Dr. Rolf Breidenbach, President and CEO of HELLA, at the occasion of the opening of the new HELLA working environment.

To begin with the new HELLA working environment was implemented on a single level of an already existing building. The new concept provides employees with 1,500 square meters of different work zones – ranging from individual workplaces where quiet concentrated working is possible, lounge areas with sofas and armchairs for creative exchange and spontaneous meetings to think tanks and meeting zones offering space for sustained collaboration in smaller and larger teams. An open working concept supports flexible project work throughout. Different project teams can thus spatially rearrange according to their requirements.

The new HELLA working environment was initially implemented at four departments with 112 employees from the functional divisions IT and Process Management, which jointly drive process standardization and improvement at HELLA. The spatial consolidation of those departments allowed HELLA to simultaneously create a “process house” for those employees who coordinate the internal company processes in the best possible manner and who harmonize all relevant business processes and implement them worldwide. Other existing spaces and newly planned buildings, such as the new visitor, administration and exhibition center near the company headquarters at the Rixbecker Strasse in Lippstadt are intended to follow the same principle.

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Gestamp appoints a new Finance Director

Gestamp, the multinational company specialized in the design, development and manufacture of highly engineered metal components for the automotive industry, has agreed to appoint Miguel Escrig as its Finance Director. With this decision, the Group strengthens the organization to continue to accomplish its future growth plans.

Miguel Escrig holds a degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from IESE Business School (Barcelona). He has spent most of his professional career at Telefónica where he was the Group’s Financial Director between 2010 and 2016. Prior to Telefónica he held several positions in the banking sector in companies such as JP Morgan, Banco Santander and Banco Popular.

Escrig replaces Francisco López Peña as Finance Director, who held the position since 2008 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gestamp last December.

Organizational changes announced in December 2017

Gestamp, which made its debut as a publicly listed company on April 7th 2017, announced the appointment of Francisco López Peña as its new CEO at the end of 2017. He has assumed the oversight of the industrial operations within the Group, finance direction and other corporate duties.

Francisco J. Riberas role as Executive Chairman of Gestamp remains unchanged. Mr Riberas focuses on the Strategy and Corporate Development, as well as key commercial relationships with Gestamp’s customers. He also leads Corporate Governance issues and institutional representation of the Group.

About Gestamp Automoción

Gestamp is an international group dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of metal automotive components. The Group specializes in developing innovatively designed products to achieve increasingly safer and lighter vehicles, thereby reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.

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