Volkswagen Truck & Bus and Hino Motors agree to enter into full strategic partnership

Hino Motors, Ltd. and Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH signed a Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement (SCFA) aiming to build a mutually beneficial strategic long-term partnership. Both companies will further explore each other’s capabilities to cooperate in logistics and traffic solution research, existing and new technologies as well as in procurement.... Read more →


Toyota Mobility Foundation awards 10 grants for hydrogen research initiative

The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) has selected ten researchers to receive grants from the research program to support innovative hydrogen energy solutions launched last year. (Earlier post.) The Hydrogen Research Initiative started in July 2017 to support innovative research to reduce the output of carbon dioxide and/or the cost of... Read more →


The BMW Group and Daimler AG have signed an agreement to merge their mobility services business units. Subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities, the BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to combine and strategically expand their existing on-demand mobility offering in the areas of CarSharing, Ride-Hailing,... Read more →


Nissan aims to sell 1 million electrified vehicles (BEV or e-POWER) a year by FY2022

Nissan is aiming to sell 1 million electrified vehicles—either pure electric models or those with e-POWER (earlier post) electric powertrains—annually by fiscal year 2022. The target is part of the new Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022 midterm plan. As part of Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022, the company also intends to: Develop... Read more →


Volkswagen held the world premiere of its new, third-generation Touareg SUV in China—its largest market. Worldwide sales of the previous two generations amount to nearly one million units; the largest markets for the new Touareg—which serves as a technology flagship for the automaker—are China, Europe and Russia. Volkswagen will be... Read more →


SEAT to introduce 500 km MEB-based EV, Leon PHEV in 2020

SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, will introduce its first fully electric vehicle in 2020. Built on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, the new EV will feature a range of 500 km (311 miles). The EV launch comes as part of a product offensive, in which SEAT will launch... Read more →


Porsche will invest more than €6 billion (US$7.4 billion) in electromobility by 2022. The money will be spent on derivatives of the Mission E (earlier post), hybridization and electrification of the current model range, as well as on developing a charging infrastructure and smart mobility. Plans for derivatives of the... Read more →


Ford management gave an update on its product line plans, touting that by 2020, the company will offer “North America’s freshest lineup among all full-line automakers,” with its average showroom age dropping from 5.7 to 3.3 years as it replaces three-quarters of its lineup and adds four new trucks and... Read more →


Volkswagen Group to expand EV production worldwide to 16 sites by end of 2022; partnerships with battery manufacturers

The Volkswagen Group is expanding its production of electric vehicles to 16 locations around the globe by the end of 2022. This was announced by Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, at the Group’s Annual Media Conference in Berlin. The Group currently produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in... Read more →


Audi begins initial engine testing of Global Bioenergies, Fraunhofer e-gasoline

Audi remains convinced of the potential of the fuels e-gas, “e-benzin” (e-gasoline) and e-diesel and is continuing to pursue its e-fuels strategy. (Earlier post.) Audi and its development partners Global Bioenergies S.A. (earlier post) and the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical Biotechnological Processes (CBP) now report that they have for the... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation and JapanTaxi Co., Ltd., jointly with KDDI Corporation and Accenture, have developed a taxi dispatch support system that predicts demand for taxi services, combining data from taxi service logs with predictions of demographics made by location-based big data from smartphones as well as event information. The companies... Read more →


Expanding its strategic footprint in the field of New Energy Vehicles (NEV) in China, Daimler has acquired a 3.93% stake in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV), a BAIC Group subsidiary. In June last year, Daimler and BAIC signed a framework agreement on further strengthening collaboration through investment for New... Read more →


The BMW Group is in advanced discussions to ramp up the global success of its MINI brand through a new joint venture in China. A key element of the brand’s continued strategic development will be local production of future battery-electric MINI vehicles in the world’s largest market for electromobility. To... Read more →


Nissan’s global crossover and SUV sales increased more than 12% in 2017 to more than 2 million vehicles (more than 34% of total Nissan sales for the year), driven by the all-new Nissan Kicks small crossover, the Rogue, X-Trail and Qashqai compact models, a refreshed Armada full-size SUV and the... Read more →


Volkswagen will stage the world premiere of the new third-generation Touareg SUV—which the brand is calling its flagship—on 23 March 2018 in Beijing. China is the world’s strongest growing SUV market and Volkswagen’s largest individual market. The SUV C-segment is currently one of the fastest growing segments in global automotive... Read more →


Porsche plans to invest more than €6 billion (US$7.5 billion) in electromobility by 2022, focusing on both plug-in hybrids and purely electric vehicles. The decision was made by the Porsche AG Supervisory Board at its most recent meeting. The planned spending will double the company’s expenditure on electromobility from around... Read more →


Cummins Inc. has acquired Johnson Matthey’s UK automotive battery systems business, a subsidiary of Johnson Matthey that specializes in high-voltage automotive grade battery systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. As part of the acquisition, Cummins and Johnson Matthey also agreed to collaborate on the development of high energy battery materials... Read more →


FAW’s luxury brand Hongqi to intro 15 BEVs by 2025; first one this year

China FAW Group Corporation (FAW), a major state-owned automaker, recently released a new development strategy for its Hongqi luxury brand. FAW seeks to boost Hongqi’s annual sales to 100,000 vehicles by 2020 and 300,000 and 500,000 vehicles by 2025 and 2035, said Xu Liuping, Chairman of FAW Group. According to... Read more →


On the heels of an quarterly report marked by an underwhelming profit, and amid a general “lack of fitness” according to CFO Bob Shanks, Ford Motor announced that it is accelerating and expanding its activities in 2018 to deliver a broad suite of mobility products and services to personal vehicle... Read more →


Moody’s: Automakers fully engaged on BEVs, but transition will pressure returns; need to invest in multiple technologies

Auto manufacturers are fully engaged in the global movement toward battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as part of their efforts to comply with emission requirements, but the transition will pressure their returns, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s expects BEVs to represent approximately 7%-8% of global new... Read more →


Via Motors, Geely to co-develop medium-duty extended-range electric truck for China and Americas

VIA Motors International is partnering with China-based Zhejiang Geely New Energy Vehicle Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Commercial Vehicle Group, to co-develop a medium-duty extended range electric truck. The truck will incorporate VIA’s proprietary vehicle software and systems control technology, for launch in China and the Americas in... Read more →


Volkswagen gearing up for next-gen Golf with supplier selection; investing $2.2B in family; 75 weeks and counting

The Volkswagen brand is gearing up for the production of the next generation of the Golf family—the Golf 8. Volkswagen plans to invest €1.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) in the model family. In 75 weeks, the eighth generation of this bestseller in the compact segment will roll off the production lines... Read more →


Volkswagen founds mobility services company in Rwanda; to begin local assembly of Polo and Passat

The Volkswagen brand has founded “Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda”, a company based in Rwanda. The objective is to provide modern integrated mobility services in Africa in future. As part of its worldwide regionalization strategy, Volkswagen is planning to expand its business presence significantly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Going forward, the brand... Read more →


With the intention of becoming a key volume supplier in North America, Volkswagen will invest more than $3.3 billion in the region over the next three years. Some $1.2 billion of this will go toward projects in the US. The aim is for the Volkswagen brand to achieve a break-even... Read more →


New Renault-Nissan-Mitsubish venture fund to invest up to $1B over five years; 1st investment in Ionic Materials for solid-state electrolyte

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi launched Alliance Ventures, a new corporate venture capital fund that plans to invest up to $1 billion to support open innovation over the next five years. In its first year, the fund expects to invest up to $200 million in start-ups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs focused... Read more →


Applications open for ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship for innovative electrochemical research; alignment with Toyota’s needs

ECS (The Electrochemical Society), in partnership with the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), is requesting proposals from young professors and scholars pursuing innovative electrochemical research in green energy technology. Electrochemical research has already informed the development... Read more →


Ford outlines China expansion strategy; SUVs, EVs and connected vehicles; 50+ new Fords and Lincolns by 2025

In Shanghai, Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Hackettoutlined the next phase of the company’s China expansion strategy, focused on SUVs, electric and connected vehicles, a streamlined business structure and closer connections to Chinese customers. To enable future growth in China, Ford will contain structural cost in... Read more →


Volkswagen Group and JAC explore JV for multi-functional vehicles; internal combustion and new energy vehicles

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Volkswagen Group China and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co., Ltd. (JAC) plan to undertake research and development on multi-functional vehicles (MFVs) together. The three parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore potential joint venture models. The new cooperation will be another milestone in the companies’ relationship, after they... Read more →


BMW Group investing €200M over four years in new Battery Competence Center; Gen 5 electric drivetrain in 2021; 700 km range

The BMW Group will invest €200 million (US$233 million) over the next four years in its new BMW Group Battery Cell Competence Center in Munich. This interdisciplinary competence center aims to advance battery cell technology and introduce it into production processes; the center will open in early 2019. In the... Read more →


Audi starts employee training campaign for big data and artificial intelligence

Under the “data.camp” slogan, Audi has started an employee training campaign focused on big data and artificial intelligence. Expertise in these areas is an essential basis for the development of cars driving in piloted mode, intelligent robots and digital mobility services. One important element here is Audi’s cooperation with the... Read more →


Toyota Financial Services issues first Euro-denominated Green Bond allocated specifically to the sales of low-emission vehicles; €600M

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) issued its first euro-denominated unsecured Green Bond today, expanding its commitment to the sale of environmentally friendly vehicles. The €600-million (US$704-million) bond will be used to fund the acquisition of new retail finance contracts and beneficial interests in lease contracts for Toyota and Lexus vehicles that... Read more →


Toyota Motor revealed T-HR3, the company’s third-generation humanoid robot. Toyota’s latest robotics platform, designed and developed by Toyota’s Partner Robot Division, will explore new technologies for safely managing physical interactions between robots and their surroundings, as well as a new remote maneuvering system that mirrors user movements to the robot.... Read more →


As part of a projected €22.8 billion (US$26.9 billion) investment in its plants worldwide, the Volkswagen Group will invest about €1 billion (US$1.2 billion) into its Zwickau, Germany plant to convert it into a pure-play e-mobility facility. As the Group announced earlier (earlier post), the Zwickau site is being remodeled... Read more →


Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has entered into an agreement to acquire Terrafugia, a US-based company developing practical flying cars.Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by five MIT graduates; since then, the company has delivered a number of working prototypes. Terrafugia aims to deliver its first flying car to the market in... Read more →


Opel’s PACE! plan calls for electrification of all carlines by 2024

The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA was finalized at the beginning of August. The Opel/Vauxhall management team set to work on a plan for the future, now announced as its PACE! strategic plan. Under PACE!, all of the... Read more →


Audi is systematically building on its e-fuels strategy. (Earlier post.) Together with the partners Ineratec GmbH (earlier post) and Energiedienst Holding AG, the company has plans for a new pilot facility for the production of e-diesel in Laufenburg, in Canton Aargau (Switzerland). For the first time, the energy needed will... Read more →


Ford and Zotye forming JV in China for EVs; Ford’s third JV in the country

Ford Motor Company and Zotye have agreed to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co., Ltd., a new 50:50 joint venture that will offer a range of stylish and affordable all-electric vehicles for consumers in China under a new indigenous brand. The two companies had signed a memorandum of understanding back in... Read more →


Volkswagen Group to support Hamburg, ITS Germany in hosting of 2021 World Congress for ITS; projects beginning now

The Volkswagen Group will support Hamburg and ITS Germany in 2021 for hosting the World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) as a main partner and chair of the Host Organizing Committee. ERTICO (ITS Europe), organizer of the World Congress, announced the decision to stage the event in Germany with... Read more →


Volume production of Tesla Model 3 pushed back to late Q1 2018; battery module problems; record loss in Q3 2017

In its third-quarter 2017 financial results update, Tesla Motors reported that it is delaying its expected start of volume production—defined here as 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week—to “late Q1 2018”. The company was earlier targeting that milestone for “some time in 2017”. (Earlier post.) As first emerged in early... Read more →


BMW Group adopts new approaches for a more sustainable battery cell supply chain; focus on cobalt

Cobalt is one of the key components in production of electrified vehicles and is used in significant quantities in high-voltage batteries for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The challenge facing companies that work with cobalt as a raw material is that risks related to environmental standards and human rights cannot... Read more →


BYD unveils North America’s largest electric bus factory; capacity for up to 1,500 vehicles annually

BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, unveiled its expanded battery-electric bus manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California—North America’s largest. The growth of BYD Coach and Bus reflects a rapid transition to electric transportation and will allow BYD to build up to 1,500 battery-electric buses annually. The opening celebration was... Read more →


Renault’s new 2017-2022 plan: 8 EVs, 12 electrified models, 15 autonomous models

Groupe Renault announced “Drive The Future,” a new six-year plan to deliver annual revenues of more than €70 billion and achieve a group operating margin of more than 7% by the end of the plan, with a floor at 5%, and positive free cash flow every year. Drive The Future... Read more →


Asahi Glass (AGC) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) have jointly started development of a new glass structure they call the “Ceiling-mounted Double Skin System.” This glass unit is designed to enhance energy savings of buildings such as car showrooms, capable of being flexibly opened or closed in response to weather... Read more →


In New York yesterday, Ford Motor Company provided a strategic update to investors; the presentation follows a four-month deep dive into Ford’s strategy and business operations led by President and CEO Jim Hackett and Ford’s senior leadership team. Hackett said Ford will improve its operational fitness, refocus capital allocation and... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz to set up EV production in US, battery plant; $1B investment in Alabama

Mercedes-Benz will set up electric vehicle production in the United States. The company plans to produce EQ-branded SUV models at MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz US International), its Tuscaloosa, Alabama facility. At the time being launched, the EQ models will feature the latest status of automated driving—always under the premise of safety and... Read more →


Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi 6-year plan sees 12 pure EV models launched on common platforms, 40 models with autonomous drive

The Alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi announced their six-year plan—Alliance 2022—which sets a new target to double annual synergies to €10 billion by the end of the plan. To achieve this, said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer of the Alliance, the three automakers will accelerate their collaboration... Read more →


Mahindra and Ford to explore strategic cooperation to drive profitable growth in India and other emerging markets

Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company have agreed to explore a strategic alliance designed to leverage the benefits of Ford’s global reach and expertise and Mahindra’s scale in India and successful operating model. The agreement between the two companies will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period... Read more →


Volkswagen Group new Roadmap E: 50 BEV, 30 PHEV new Group vehicles by 2025, €50B battery tender; €20B capex earmark

At the Volkswagen Group Media Night ahead of the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, the Volkswagen Group announced what it called the most comprehensive electrification initiative in the global automotive industry. Under the new “Roadmap E”, Volkswagen will have electrified its entire model portfolio by 2030 at the... Read more →


Jaguar Land Rover seeking to increase the amount of aluminum from scrap for new vehicle production; 3-year, £2M REALITY project

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive is expanding the use of recycled aluminum in its car bodies to cut waste and reduce carbon emissions. A £2-million (US$2.6-million) project, called REALITY, will work to enable the closed-loop recycling of aluminum from end-of-life vehicles back into high-performance product forms for new vehicle body manufacture.... Read more →


BMW Group to offer 25 electrified vehicle models by 2025, 12 fully electric

By 2025, the BMW Group will offer 25 electrified vehicle models—12 of them fully electric, said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, in a preview briefing before the opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show next week. BMW Group will deliver 100,000 electrified vehicles to customers... Read more →