Monday 3 June 2013

VW confirms EA888 has CGI cylinder block

Volkswagen AG has confirmed that the latest version of the EA888 engine, production of which has just started at the company’s which new engine factory in Silao, Mexico, does have a cylinder block cast in compacted graphite iron (CGI).

Wolfsburg officials decline to name the foundry but most likely it is Tupy SA, in Joinville, Brazil, the world’s leading supplier of CGI cylinder blocks. Tupy already sources CGI blocks to Audi, a VW subsidiary. Tupy SA uses SinterCast's CGI process control technology to achieve high standards of materials consistency and quality. For this contract, Tupy will source the CGI castings from its foundry in Saltillo, Mexico where SinterCast installed two of its lines earlier this year.

Officials at the German automaker also remain tight-lipped as to just how many of the engines it is currently building at the brand new plant.

A spokesman said: “I have been informed by our Wolfsburg colleagues that we will not be revealing current production numbers at Silao.  Please understand that this is as frustrating for us as it is for you.”

He added: “This is a new version of the engine, but not the same version as that in the Golf GTI Mk7.  Production officially started on 16 January this year.  I can confirm the block does indeed use CGI. I do know that Silao is producing the EA888 engine specifically for the North American and Mexican plants.”

This is the first time that CGI has been used in four-cylinder passenger car production-line engines and as such marks a huge step forward for the technology. The EA888 paves the way for other engine manufacturers to follow suit in their bid to save weight and improve fuel economy.

On 15 January 2013, Volkswagen Group officially opened the new engine factory in Mexico which is not currently producing a version of the engine that is fitted in the new Golf 7, but rather a version for Beetle, Jetta and, in future, US-sourced Passat.

The Silao engine facility is the 100th factory worldwide within the Volkswagen Group. This was a significant event for Volkswagen and made even more so by the attendance of the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña, who was on hand with the governor of the state of Guanajuato, Miguel Marquez, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, to officially start production at the new facility.

The Silao facility will initially produce 330,000 engines a year for the North American region. However the plant can be expanded to build upwards of 1 million engines each year.

This figure is confirmed by a report in the 29 October 2012 issue of Foundry Management & Technology which, reporting on SinterCast's new order from Tupy SA, claimed production would reach 300,000 cylinder blocks a year. At the time, SinterCast reported it would be the world's highest volume production programme for CGI engine cylinder blocks. VW's name as the customer was not revealed.

The first two engines to be produced are the all-new EA888 1.8-litre TFSI and 2-litre TFSI. Officials at the plant say that they could easily produce 2-litre TDI engines as well, so there is quite a bit of room for expansion.

This new facility also helps localize production in the North American region and these engines will be utilized in products built at Volkswagen’s Puebla and Chattanooga facilities as well as Audi’s forthcoming new factory in San José Chiapa, Mexico.

Volkswagen will replace the 2.5-litre inline five-cylinder engine in the Jetta and Beetle with the new 1.8-litre TFSI that delivers 170hp.

Expect also to find the 1.8-litre TFSI will go into the Golf 7 when it arrives in early 2014. As for the Passat, Volkswagen is making a final decision whether or not to use the 1.8-litre TFSI or 2-litre TFSI as the new base engine. Either way, the Passat’s 2.5-litre in-line five-cylinder will be replaced some time later this year.

The 2-litre TFSI found in the current Jetta, GLI and Beetle Turbo will be replaced with the newer version produced in Silao later this year and horsepower will increase to the 210hp mark.

Improvements in fuel economy can be expected across the board with these new engines (final EPA testing is still not quite complete yet).

Overall, Volkswagen is laying the ground work to localize production in North America as much as possible. The new engine facility will be able to supply a healthy number of engines to both VW and Audi and help push Volkswagen Group brands towards their 1 million cars per year sales goal in 2018.


Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn commented at the opening: “With this new plant we are driving our ambitious major North American offensive forward. Over the next three years the Volkswagen Group will be investing more than US$ 5bn in North America alone. Silao is thus also a strong symbol of our uninterrupted growth trajectory and the Group’s continuing internationalization.”

Strengthening VW’s market position in North America is an essential component of the group’s global growth strategy. In this context, the company is planning annual sales of one million vehicles in the US alone from 2018, based on models such as Jetta and Beetle, as well as the new US Passat tailored to the demands of US customers and which are produced at the North American plants with a high degree of localization.

With the start of engine production in Silao, Volkswagen is continuing its success story in Mexico that already spans almost 60 years. Along with the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, the MAN commercial vehicles plant in Querétaro and the planned Audi vehicle plant in San José Chiapa scheduled to begin production in 2016, the Group remains a key growth driver for Mexican industry.

Silao will supply the North American vehicle plants in Puebla und Chattanooga with the latest generation of fuel-efficient TSI engines. The plant is designed for a medium-term annual capacity of 330,000 units. The aim is to reach a target of 1,500 engines a day by the end of the year.

Investment runs at US$ 550 million. Volkswagen will be creating over 700 new jobs at the 60 hectare plant in Silao in the medium term. Further jobs in the region will also be created at suppliers and in the service sector.

Engine production in Silao meets the high environmental standards of the Volkswagen brand’s “Think Blue” factory programme. The aim of this is to make more efficient use of resources and to achieve a sustained reduction in production-related emissions at all Volkswagen plants.

As a result, all manufacturing equipment in Silao complies with the latest energy efficiency standards, thus achieving a significant reduction in the environmental impact of each produced engine. Special roof lights in the production halls, for example, combined with energy-efficient lighting throughout the facility ensure optimum natural light levels and simultaneously absorb the heat generated by the lighting system. The improved-performance TSI engines (EA 888) from Silao combine fuel economy and improved emissions with lower weight.

The chief executive officer of Volkswagen de México, Andreas Hinrichs, drew attention to the Mexican automotive industry’s growth path in 2012 and to Volkswagen’s contribution. VW’s output consisted of over 600,000 vehicles produced in the country.

“For us, Silao is a big step towards the future. Volkswagen is once again generating strong momentum for growth and employment in the Mexican automotive industry.”

Volkswagen de México currently builds four models for world markets at the Puebla plant. These are the Volkswagen Jetta, Golf Estate, Beetle and Beetle Cabrio. A total of 604,000 vehicles were manufactured in Puebla in 2012.

Production of the US Passat developed specifically for the American market began in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2011. Over 150,000 vehicles already left the assembly line there in 2012.                                                  


Unknown said...

Congratulations John, you made a genuine SCOOP. For owners of Sintercast shares it had been more than a year of frustrating wait.

I think this will be very big when the other OEMs will try to copy the engines.

Lewis carroll said...


Very nice and informative blog..

Anonymous said...

My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right.

This post

truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this
information! Thanks!

Feel free to visit my blog post - homes for deal
in Dolores Spain ()

Anonymous said...

I'm extremely impressed with your writing skills
and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
Anyway keep up the nice

quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

my page Costa Blanca Information ()

Anonymous said...

Very well written story. It will be valuable to everyone who utilizes it,
as well as yours truly :).

Keep doing what you are doing - i will definitely read more posts.

Also visit my site - property for sale near Almoradi ()

Anonymous said...

Good info. Lucky me I came acroses youur site by chance (stumbleupon).
I ave book-marked it for later!

my blog post supercars japan