Friday, 28 February 2014

BMW completes model restructuring

BMW’s model line-up, which sees the latest 3 Series-based coupe and convertible become the 4 Series and the equivalent replacement 1 Series models transformed into the 2 Series, will be complete by the end of this year.

The 2 Series coupe goes on sale early in March and a convertible will be confirmed and shown in either concept or production form at one of the major auto exhibitions before year's end. BMW will also add a convertible 4 Series to its line-up next month.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

VW returns record 2013 sales

Volkswagen AG recorded a sales revenue of €197.0 billion (previous year: €192.7 billion), the Group's operating profit of €11.7 billion (€11.5 billion) exceeded the record prior-year figure.

"Despite the difficult competitive environment, we once again won over customers around the world with our products,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of VW AG.

Honda building cars, CVTs in Mexico

Honda has begun manufacture of the 2015 Honda Fit at the new and advanced plant of Honda de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (HDM).

The new plant increases Honda's ability to meet customer demand for fuel-efficient subcompacts from within the North American region.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

E-bikes: generating cash for automotive CVTs

 A growing market for E-bikes, especially in Europe, is helping generate cash for Fallbrook Technologies Inc. as it develops its NuVinci continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) for automotive, off-highway and industrial applications

Recognising that building up the 2,000,000km durability requirement expected – and demanded – by commercial vehicle manufacturers can take a long time, Fallbrook Technologies is adopting a four-pronged attack to the problem.

Dongfeng Peugeot: three into one?

China’s Dongfeng Motor Corporation Ltd, the Peugeot family and the French government are poised to control France’s largest vehicle business, and the second largest in European car sales.

But how well will China's Dongfeng Motor Corporation be able to drive a company, that if past history is anything to go by, has been difficult to steer in the right direction – the right direction being the ability to make profits and grow the business on a world-wide scale?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Navistar to shutter US engine plant

Troy Clarke, Navistar International’s chief executive officer, has bitten the bullet and ordered the closure of the Huntsville plant of Navistar Diesel of Alabama LLC with the loss of 280 jobs.

Production of the plant will be moved to Navistar’s Melrose Park facility which will add about 75 jobs.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Torotrak pioneers traction fluid R&D rig

A company developing traction drive infinitely variable transmissions (IVT) has developed what it claims is the world’s only traction fluid testing rig.

Even the most innovative traction drive transmission for passenger car and commercial road vehicle application is effectively useless – a laboratory toy – without a “perfect” traction fluid to ensure top-class performance and long-term durability.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Ricardo and CAP in dual-fuel deal

As Ricardo’s share price on the London Stock Exchange continues to power ahead, the UK-based company has clinched a deal with Clean Air Power Inc. to develop a dual-fuel engine for a South East Asian Market.

On 2 September 2013 the company’s UK share price was 407p; it has now risen to 725p – and increase of nearly 80 percent as the company continues to win major consultancy business in the car, truck, bus, military and urban transportation fields.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

More three cylinder engines

Peugeot and Renault are expected to reveal further details of their next-generation three-cylinder engines at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

With three cylinders now much in vogue, both French automakers will be vying for attention in the small-car stakes.

Land Rover raises Evoque’s output

Land Rover’s new Autobiography brand for the Range Rover Evoque now carries the upgraded 2-litre gasoline engine which delivers 285PS and 400Nm torque.

Engineers have further optimised the chassis for enhanced performance and sharper handling. The derivative retains the ZF nine-speed transmission.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Torotrak thwarted by ETBM delay

UK variable transmission specialist Torotrak plc has been thwarted by delays imposed by the European Truck and Bus Manufacturer (ETBM).

Licensed to use Torotrak’s transmission for on-highway use in commercial vejicles over 14 tonnes GVW, the ETBM has not confirmed its position regarding its manufacturing licence rights.

Opel/Vauxhall gives Adam a three-cylinder

Adam is the first car in the OpelVauxhall range to receive the new, all-aluminium three-cylinder 1-litre Ecotech direct injection turbocharged gasoline engine developed at the company’s International Technical Development Centre.

The engine comes in two power outputs: 90PS and 115PS. Both ratings deliver low-end torque of 166Nm from 1,800rev/min. Like the two new generation 1.6-litre mid-size units the company has launched recently, the1.6 Ecotech direct injection turbocharged gasoline engine and the 1.6 CDTi ‘Whisper Diesel’, the new 1-litre Ecotech is said offer “benchmark refinement with outstandingly low noise, vibration and harshness”.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

BMW downsizes from four to three

BMW has conceded finally to the wisdom of the pack. It has adopted front wheel drive for its new 2 Series Active Tourer.

It has also nodded in the direction of downsizing with its use of three-cylinder engines in the model line-up, a feature created by Sir Alec Issigonis..

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Dana set to commercialise truck CVTs

Industry insiders are awaiting the next stage in the development of the NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) transmission developed by Fallbrook Technologies Inc. of Cedar Park, Texas.

Developed originally for cycles, the company claims the transmission has applications in passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and certain off-highway duties.

Hotfire Job 1 set for January 2015

The first Hotfire engine from JaguarLandRover’s (JLR’s) state-of-the-art engine manufacturing plant at the i54 technology park near Wolverhampton is to roll off the line in January 2015.

Thus begins a new chapter in engine manufacture in the company. JLR has not produced an engine since manufactured stopped at Brown’s Lane Coventry and Solihull in the West Midlands over a decade ago.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Defender replacement to adopt Hotfire

One of the vehicles set to adopt JaguarLandRover’s (JLR) Hotfire engine from Wolverhampton will be the next generation Land Rover Defender.

The last Defender will roll-off the production lines of JLR’s Solihull factory in the West Midlands in December 2015.

Nissan LEAF sales float through the roof

Nissan claims that sales of the world's best-selling electric vehicle (EV), the all-electric LEAF, are at record levels. This year it will launch an all-electric light commercial.

Nissan sold 25 percent more units in 2013 than the next best seller in Europe. Last year the company sold 11,120 units of the vehicle in Europe. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

VW Beetle with 560bhp TSI

The Volkswagen Beetle will enter motorsports in the US this summer with a Rallycross Beetle featuring all-wheel-drive and a TSI engine that delivers more than 560bhp.

Volkswagen is partnering with Andretti Autosport to form the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, and is running two cars in the series for drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

Cummins/Nissan launch concept pickup truck

The US pickup truck market looks to be evolving further as Cummins and Nissan chose the Chicago Auto Show to unveil their ‘technical study’ known as the Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner.  

Following the decision by Chrysler to engine its Ram 1500 pickup truck with the VM Motori V6 diesel engine (using a compacted graphite iron (CGI) cylinder block) and the arrival of the new crown-bearing Ford F-150 pickup truck with a brand new 2.7-litre V6 gasoline engine (also with a CGI block), Cummins and Nissan have decided to cement their relationship further with the new ‘concept’ truck

Sunday, 9 February 2014

BMW to set up UK design base?

How soon before BMW sets up a London design office?

With Nissan already firmly established for years in its London design centre and its Infiniti brand soon to follow, London has become a centre of excellence in terms of vehicle design.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Renault-Nissan claims record car sales

The Renault-Nissan Alliance sold a record 8,266,098 vehicles in 2013, propelled by the car group's two largest markets, China and the United States.

Renault-Nissan's 2013 calendar-year sales, which include sales of Russia's AVTOVAZ, increased 2.1 per cent from 2012. This marks the fifth year in a row of sales growth. Renault, Nissan and AVTOVAZ account for one in ten cars sold worldwide.

Aston Martin and the case of the counterfeit parts

 Aston Martin produces some of the world's most highly engineered cars, and its reputation stands on the quality of those vehicles. That the company has to recall the majority of vehicles it has made since 2007 is a shock.

The recall is due to a faulty accelerator pedal arm, many of which have broken. Tests by Aston Martin have revealed the source of the problem: rather than made from PA 6 supplied by DuPont, as the company had specified, the part was produced from counterfeit plastic.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Kia launches Soul EV in Chicago

Kia Motors has used the Chicago Auto Show to unveil its “first mass-production” electric vehicle, the Soul EV.

Set to go on sale in the US in third quarter 2014, to be followed later by Europe and the UK, the Soul EV will be Kia's “first all-electric, zero-emissions car” to be sold in the US.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

JLR to meet top 200 suppliers in April

JaguarLandRover (JLR) is to collaborate more closely with its suppliers in a bid to further improve resource management – reducing both costs and environmental impact.

JLR will meet its top 200 suppliers in April to share ‘best practices’ on other priority commodities to extend the financial and environmental benefits of ‘circular economy’ thinking. JLR is looking to speed-up its all-round approach to design, development and manufacture as it collapses 'time to market' and shrinks its product life cycles thus making it easier to introduce more models with greater variety to keep pace with fast-changing markets.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

JLR to make XJ in India this year

JaguarLandRover (JLR) will start assembly of a third model at its factory in India by the end of this year.

Chief executive officer Ralf Speth said that the flagship Jaguar XJ will join the XF and Land Rover Freelander models already being made at the plant in Pune. 

Hotfire ‘moment of truth’ draws closer

The ‘moment of truth’ is fast approaching when Jaguar will unleash its BMW 3-Series basher, the new ‘baby' Jaguar, due to break cover this summer ahead of market launch in 2015.

The launch of the new car will see the arrival too of JaguarLandRover’s (JLR’s) new Hotfire range of gasoline and diesel engines that will gradually migrate across the company’s range of products, even hybrids in due coarse.

Taigun extends VW’s downsizing

Volkswagen has just launched an advanced version of the near-production concept of the Taigun sports utility vehicle (SUV).

The four-seat Taigun is powered by a new 1.0-litre turbocharged, direct injection gasoline TSI engine with an output of 81 kW (110 PS) at 5,000 rev/min.

Vauxhall grad heads for Detroit

Duncan Aldred, chairman and managing director of Vauxhall Motors and chief executive officer of Opel Ireland is to be based at GM’s headquarters in Detroit from 1 March.

Aldred is appointed US vice–president, Buick-GMC sales, service and marketing. This will be his first hands-on experience of life at GM in the US, no doubt paving the way for further senior roles within the corporation.

Ford to switch more pick-ups to ally by 2017

Ford has invested billions of dollars in engineering and manufacturing resources to develop its thirteenth-generation F-Series, which enters production in 3Q14 at Dearborn and Kansas City according to the Society of Automotive Engineers, (SAE).

The F-150 is the initial step in a larger strategy by Ford to convert all of its full-size trucks, including F-250/350 and the large Ford and Lincoln SUVs built in Louisville, to primarily aluminium construction by 2017, the engineers said.