Automotive News, March 2017

Toyota Motor Europe has announced that it will be investing a further £240m in its Derbyshire site to improve plant competitiveness and promote UK supply chain efficiencies.


Starting this year, Toyota’s Burnaston facility is expected to be progressively upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems to enable the production of vehicles on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The investment programme also includes (subject to due diligence) up to £21.3m support from the UK government for training, research and development, and further enhancements of the plant’s environmental performance.


President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, Dr Johan van Zyl explained: “We are very focused on securing the global competitiveness of our European plants. The roll-out of TNGA manufacturing capability is part of this plan. His upgrade of [Toyota Manufacturing UK] is a sign of confidence in our employees and suppliers and their focus on superior quality and greater efficiency. Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.”


Toyota has launched a global programme to upgrade its manufacturing sites to produce TNGA based vehicles, with the expectation that by 2020, the majority of Toyota’s global models will be built using TNGA platforms. TNGA already underpins the new, fourth generation Prius and the all new, Toyota C-HR crossover, which is manufactured in Turkey.





US automotive manufacturer Ford Motor Company has announced plans to begin testing the production of large-scale parts using 3D-printing. To do this, Ford is partnering with Stratasys, one of the US’s largest 3D printing manufacturers.


Ford will use a Stratasys Infinite Build 3D-printer in order to print a large number of parts, some more than a meter in size. The printer itself is designed for commercial and Industrial use, able to print objects of almost infinite length out of lightweight thermoplastic. The company believes that into the future this technology will help them speed up their manufacturing process and allow for innovative new designs Ford believe that the new 3D-printed car parts would be able to be used as prototypes to test a number of designs in mass market vehicles. It also sees 3D-printed parts being used extensively in limited-run and more high-end vehicles produced by the company.


In the short term, Ford believes parts like spoilers could be one of the first applications of this 3D printing technology.





Volume production of a new, all-electric sports car is set to take place at Detroit Electric’s Leamington Spa facilities following the signing of a joint venture agreement.


The deal with China’s Far East Smarter Energy Group has helped secure a total investment of $1.8bn for the development and production of electric vehicles over the next three years.





The joint venture will invest $370m into Detroit Electric’s European operations over the next four years with initial funds directed at completing the final homologation phase of its two-seater SP: 01 sports car and the start of volume production at the company’s Leamington Spa facilities.  According to Michigan, USA-based Detroit Electric, this will include the creation of 120 new engineering jobs and 100 new manufacturing jobs. Series production of the SP: 01 is planned to start later this year.


In parallel to the SP: 01 activities In the UK, the new joint venture will establish a R&D, testing and production facility. The focus of this new technical and manufacturing centre will be the development of a family of Detroit Electric vehicles for future launches. Including an electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) that will enter production in late 2018. A third model is planned for launch in 2020.




VW and Tata agreed to form a strategic partnership to help both companies boost economy car sales in India and emerging markets.

VW’s Skoda unit will lead the project to develop components and vehicles.

VW is looking for new markets following the issues around its diesel emissions scandal. VW will be investing in self-drive vehicles and greener technology such as electric cars and wishes to have a better presence in the Indian market.

In November last year Volkswagen announced plans to cut its workforce by 30,000 with about 23,000 of the losses to be borne in Germany.





The French company that owns Peugeot and Citroen has struck a 2.2bn euro (£1.9bn) deal to buy General Motors’ European unit, Including Vauxhall.


PSA Group and GM announced the sale ahead of a press conference in Paris.


GM Europe has not made a profit in over 15 years and the deal has raised fears about job losses at Vauxhall’s UK factories, which employ 4,500 people.  With GM’s Opel and Vauxhall operations, PSA would become Europe’s second largest carmaker, behind Volkswagen.


In a statement, Carlos Tavares, chairman of PSA’s managing board, said: “we are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees.’  The deal includes PSA buying GM Europe’s financial operations for 900m euros in a joint deal with bank BNP Paribas. PSA said it would return Opel and Its Vauxhall Brand to profit, and expected to make savings of £1.47bn per year by 2026, with most of the cuts made by 2020.

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