Automotive News, May 2018

Automotive News, May 2018

The automotive industry can expect to achieve upwards of $160bn in annual productivity gains through the adoption of smart factory technology from 2023 onwards.  Almost half of all automotive business have invested more than $250m in smart factories, according to new research, more than any her sector.

 

The world’s top 10 automotive manufactures expect to realise an additional $4.6bn or 50% growth in operational profits – annually within five years of a full smart factory implementation.

 

The report, published by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, predicts that the average productivity growth of smart factories within the automotive sector will be 7% as of 2023, while an automotive manufacturer can expect to break-even within 12 months of executing the full potential of Its smart factories.

 

42% of automotive manufacturers accept they are not on track to realise the full potential of smart factories and are struggling with the technology move. This is the highest across all the manufacturing sectors studied. The report identified that those making the best progress are investing three-times more than the companies who are struggling.

 

The more advanced manufacturers are also investing in software such as advanced analytics and Al-based components, whereas those struggling focus too heavily on hardware-based components putting them on the back foot. A large proportion (46%) of OEMs have reportedly been successful in their smart factory, initiatives, less than a third of automotive suppliers (32%) claim to have been successful.

 

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A competition to find technologies for the zero-emission vehicles of the future will award companies up to £30m.The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), a collaboration between the Government and automotive sector, will fund the development or low-carbon technology with its 10th funding competition.

 

Money is available for projects developing everything from alternative propulsion systems such as electric or hydrogen, energy storage technology, lightweight vehicle or powertrain structures, and thermal propulsion systems, which manage Power delivery to wheels and recover waste energy, storing it chemically.

 

Previous APC-enabled technologies include a production process for the new Nissan Leaf’s high-capacity 40KWh battery, and low-emissions technology going into ford’s new 1L EcoBoost engine shortly.

 

The organisation hopes to find projects which will “significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve air quality,” supporting the UK’s long-term capabilities in the design and manufacture of zero-emissions vehicles. The competition is open to projects costing £5-£40m, lasting or 18-42 months. Entries are open until midday on 27 June.

 

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The 10.4% hike in registrations in April is seen as the market rebalancing following the disruption caused by the sharp rise in car tax last year, rather than any return to growth after month of falling figures.

 

Jaguar Land Rover did better than the market as a whole.  Its Jaguar vehicles enjoyed a 39.4% leap in sales to 2,414 in April, while Land Rover was up more than 22% to 5,027.

 

The West Midlands-based luxury carmaker, which makes its engines at the I54 site in Wolverhampton, did better than rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz which both saw sales fall in April. The SMMT figures show 167,911 new cars were registered last month.

 

Despite all this, the Ford Fiesta remains the UK’s favourite car, with the VW Golf and Nissan Qashqai in second and third place. Demand for petrol cars grew in April, up 38.5%, while diesel registrations continued the recent trend, declining 24.9%.

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