Daimler Buses acquires a 5.25% stake in IVU AG; strategic partnership for integrated mobility

Daimler Buses (EvoBus GmbH) is acquiring a 5.25% stake in Berlin-based software solutions provider IVU Traffic Technologies AG. The seller of the equity stake is the charitable foundation Gerlind & Ernst Denert-Stiftung established by IVU’s previous CEO, Prof. Ernst Denert. The transaction also involves a strategic partnership between IVU and... Read more →


FCA to invest $4.5B to expand production capacity in Michigan, electrify Jeep vehicles with PHEV, possible BEV models

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. will invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and will work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars develops blockchain prototype for sustainable supply chains

Mercedes-Benz Cars and Icertis, a leading provider of enterprise contract management solutions in the cloud, have developed a blockchain prototype for consistent documentation of contracts in the supply chain. Daimler requires its direct suppliers to pass on and control standards and contractual obligations with regard to working conditions, human rights,... Read more →


BMW Group and Daimler AG invest more than €1B in joint mobility services provider

The BMW Group and Daimler AG are pooling their mobility services to create a new global player providing sustainable urban mobility for customers. The two companies are investing more than €1 billion (US$1.13 billion) in total to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and... Read more →


NEVS and Koenigsegg form strategic partnership; electrification and hypercars

Swedish car makers NEVS AB and Koenigsegg AB are forming a strategic partnership, enabling the development of parallel vehicle models in slightly higher volumes with emphasis on electrification, as well as strengthening growth opportunities in the hypercar segment. NEVS is investing €150 million, thereby taking a 20% minority stake in... Read more →


Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading one-stop transportation platform, announced a new joint venture with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., an affiliate of BAIC. BAIC-Xiaoju New Energy Auto Technology Co. Ltd (JingJu) aims to combine the two companies’ strengths in new energy fleet operation and AI transportation solutions to develop next-generation connected-car... Read more →


Volkswagen Group Components to start series production of flexible fast charging station in 2020; replacing heat exchanger production

Volkswagen Group Components—the new brand within the Volkswagen Group that supplies components including engines, gearboxes, electric drive systems, steering systems and seats towards e-mobility—will begin series production of the flexible fast charging station (earlier post) from 2020 onwards. This station, based on the principle of a powerbank, can charge up... Read more →


Volkswagen, Ford launch global alliance starting with medium pickups and commercial vans; exploring EVs, AVs and mobility services

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company announced the first formal agreements in a global alliance. Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant... Read more →


Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the new 2020 Passat at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. Together with the Beetle (21.5 million units) and Golf (35 million units), the Passat is one of the three most successful Volkswagen models, with global sales of more than 29 million... Read more →


During its Capital Markets Day presentation, GM said that Cadillac will be GM’s lead electric vehicle brand and will introduce the first model from the company’s all-new global battery electric vehicle architecture (BEV3), GM’s foundation for an advanced family of profitable EVs. The mission of the new architecture is 1)... Read more →


Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys becomes Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH

As of January 2019, fully owned Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys GmbH will operate under the name of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH. Fuel cell technology is an integral part of our drive system strategy. Zero local CO2 emissions, long ranges and short refuelling times, plus a wide range of applications from cars... Read more →


The BMW Group and Daimler AG are planning the next steps for their joint mobility company (earlier post), following approval by the responsible authorities. The basis for this is the approval of the US antitrust authorities, which was received on 18 December 2018. All antitrust authorities involved have now given... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group is acquiring a 75.1% majority stake in the Swedish telematics specialist WirelessCar from Volvo with a view to making further advances in fleet connectivity. The sales price amounts to SEK 1.1 billion (US$122 million). Completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2019 and... Read more →


Volkswagen bundling all intelligent driver assistance technologies under new umbrella brand IQ.DRIVE; heading to autonomy

Volkswagen is bundling its entire range of intelligent driver assistance technologies under the new umbrella brand IQ.DRIVE. Before Christmas, Volkswagen will be launching a 360° marketing campaign for the new brand in Germany, consisting of TV commercial and posters as well as printed and online advertisements. Other European markets are... Read more →


Hyundai Motor outlines FCEV Vision 2030; $6.7B investment in fuel cells by 2030; 700K fuel cell systems annually by 2030

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), which includes automotive brands Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation, announced its long-term roadmap for hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology: FCEV Vision 2030. Aligned with the roadmap, Hyundai Motor Group (The Group) will boost its annual fuel-cell systems production capacity to 700,000 units by 2030... Read more →


Volkswagen brand to spend more than €9B on electrification over next 5 years; expansion of platform model

In total, the Volkswagen brand will invest more than €11 billion in e-mobility, digitalization, autonomous driving and mobility services from 2019 to 2023, of which more than €9 billion (US$10.2 billion) will be spent on Volkswagen’s electrification offensive. The brand currently has two fully-electric cars in its program. This number... Read more →


Audi plans to spend approximately €14 billion (US$15.9 billion) in electric mobility, digitalization and autonomous driving from 2019 until the end of 2023. This includes investments in property, plant and equipment as well as research and development expenditure. Overall, the company’s total projected expenditure for the planning period of the... Read more →


Groupe Renault partners with NEOLINE, designer and operator of cargo sailing ships; targeting two ships

During the Les Assises économie de la Mer maritime conference, Groupe Renault announced the signing of a three-year partnership with Nantes start-up NEOLINE to develop a more sustainable maritime transport service powered by wind, and to contribute to the environmental management of its logistics chain. Nearly 60% of the Group’s... Read more →


Working with Fermata Energy, a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems company, Nissan North America is launching a new pilot program under the Nissan Energy Share initiative which leverages bi‑directional EV charging technology to partially power its North American headquarters in Franklin, TN, and its design center in San Diego, CA. Bi-directional charging... Read more →


GM restructuring; changing product development, production; 5 NA & 2 international plants shutting next year; staff reduction

General Motors on Monday outlined a series of major restructuring steps that it said would accelerate its transformation for the future, building on the strategy it laid out in 2015 to strengthen its core business, to capitalize on the future of personal mobility and to drive significant cost efficiencies. These... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group is acquiring a 49% stake in diconium, strengthening its digital business capabilities. diconium will be a technology partner for the development of business models and digital added-value services in the nascent Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. The completion of the participation transaction is still subject to approval by the... Read more →


Over the coming five years to the end of 2023, the Volkswagen Group will be spending almost €44 billion alone on the e-mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization in its vehicles and at its plants. This represents approximately one-third of total expenditure for the 2019-2023 planning period and... Read more →


Daimler plans to build the Research and Development Tech Center China with a total investment of more than 1.1 billion RMB (approximately €145 million). This marks the further expansion of the company’s footprint in its single largest market and will be its second major R&D site in Beijing, following the... Read more →


Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi invests in Transit to advance multi-modal transportation

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has invested in the latest round of funding in Transit, a multi-modal transportation mobile app company based in Montreal, Canada. This marks the latest technology investment by Alliance Ventures, launched earlier this year to support start-ups, early-stage development and entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of next-generation systems for the... Read more →


Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi becomes lead investor in China autonomous driving company WeRide.ai

Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, has become the lead strategic investor of WeRide.ai (formerly JingChi.ai), China’s leading autonomous driving company focused on Level 4 (L4) self-driving technology, following completion of the company’s Series A funding. The investment in WeRide.ai is Alliance Ventures’ first in China and... Read more →


DOE, General Motors and MathWorks launch EcoCAR Mobility Challenge

The US Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors and MathWorks launched the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the latest DOE-sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC), revealed the 12 competing universities and named the Chevrolet Blazer as the vehicle platform selected for the competition. The headline sponsors are the US Department of Energy,... Read more →


Volvo Cars has acquired a stake in mobile EV rapid charging company FreeWire Technologies (earlier post) via the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. BP’s venturing business invested $5 million in FreeWire earlier this year. FreeWire is a San Francisco-based company that has been a pioneer in flexible fast-charging technology for electric... Read more →


Ford reorganizes Asia Pacific markets; establishes stand-alone China business

Ford Motor Company is reorganizing its Asia Pacific operations. As part of those actions, which include hiring a new President and CEO (Anning Chen) for Ford China, Ford China is elevated to a stand-alone business unit reporting to Ford global headquarters. Peter Fleet, president Ford Asia Pacific, will facilitate the... Read more →


Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (Brilliance), who earlier this year formed Renault-Brilliance-Jinbei Automotive Co., Ltd., a joint venture to manufacture and sell light commercial vehicles (LCV), signed a Strategic Cooperation agreement with Chinese officials from Liaoning Province to further accelerate growth of LCVs in China. Renault also... Read more →


Audi is the first automobile manufacturer worldwide to receive a certificate from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). With the Performance Standard certification, the ASI confirms that Audi meets the ASI requirements for industrial users of aluminum and sustainably designs and manufactures the aluminum components of the battery housing of the... Read more →


BMW Group extends JV contract with Brilliance to 2040, increases stake to 75%; €3B investment in plants

The BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. (CBA) announced the early extension of the joint venture contract for BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) and the further deepening of the existing successful collaboration. The extended contract is valid for 22 years (from 2018 to 2040). Furthermore, the BMW Group intends... Read more →


FASTLinkDTLA, Downtown LA’s transportation management-focused public-private partnership, and Daimler’s moovel launched a new ridesharing pilot that will complement the city’s public transit network. To ensure the service is available to all and grows to meet the needs of the community, FlexLA will charge a reduced fare during the pilot. In... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation and SoftBank Corp. agreed to form a strategic partnership to facilitate the creation of new mobility services. The two plan to establish a joint venture company, MONET Technologies Corporation, before the end of the 2018 fiscal year (April 2019). The objective of MONET is to help realize... Read more →


Ford, Uber and Lyft to share data through SharedStreets platform

Ford Motor Company, Uber and Lyft have committed to support to SharedStreets, a new data platform designed to make it easier for the private sector to work with cities around the world and leverage data to improve urban mobility. At the heart of SharedStreets is a linear referencing system which... Read more →


Ford approaches 1 billion pounds of aluminum recycled; 900M pounds back into Ford products

Ford’s Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan today makes America’s best selling vehicle—the Ford F-150—and started Ford’s industry-leading closed-loop aluminum recycling innovation (earlier post), which was then expanded to other F-150 manufacturing facilities including Dearborn Stamping, Kansas City Truck and Buffalo Stamping. Closed-loop recycling means that as hoods, tailgates, doors and... Read more →


Musk settles with SEC, to step down as Tesla Chairman; $40M in combined fines

Elon Musk, CEO and Chairman of Tesla, Inc., has agreed to settle the securities fraud charge brought by the SEC against him last week. (Earlier post.) The SEC also today charged Tesla with failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk’s tweets, a charge that Tesla has... Read more →


Entering into a strategic partnership, Volkswagen and Microsoft Corp. will collaborate to develop the ‘Volkswagen Automotive Cloud’, one of the largest dedicated automotive industry clouds for all future Volkswagen digital services and mobility offerings. With Microsoft as its strategic partner, Volkswagen is taking a decisive step in its digital transformation... Read more →


The Volkswagen brand has introduced a new production strategy—TRANSFORM.TOGETHER—which targets a 30% increase in productivity worldwide by 2025 compared to 2018. Production is therefore making a major contribution to achieving the profitability target of over 6% for the brand. We must invest heavily in our future. Electromobility, autonomous driving, new... Read more →


Volkswagen and Stanford University develop modified ALD process to increase Pt/C fuel cell catalyst efficiency, improve durability

Volkswagen and Stanford University have developed in partnership a new catalyst production process to reduce the comparatively high cost of automotive fuel cell technology. One of the biggest cost drivers for fuel cells is the use of the precious metal platinum as a catalyst to operate the fuel cell. The... Read more →


Porsche increases investment in start-ups by €150M; innovative business models in the field of mobility

Porsche has increased its total investment in venture capital activities by €150 million for the next five years. The objective of “Porsche Ventures” is to gain access to trends, new technologies and business models. The investment activities being undertaken by Porsche Ventures build in part on the company’s existing start-up... Read more →


Porsche officially drops diesel for future models

On Sunday, Porsche AG announced that it will in the future no longer offer diesel-powered models. By 2022, Porsche will have invested more than €6 billion (US$7 billion) in e-mobility, creating the basis for sustainable growth into the future. Interest in hybrid Porsche models is already taking off; 63% of... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Company has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy (H2E). Beginning in 2019 and over a five-year period, Hyundai Motor and H2 Energy will provide 1,000 heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks (earlier post) and an adequate supply chain for renewable hydrogen. The... Read more →


Daimler opens €200M Immendingen Test and Technology Center; alternative drive systems and autonomy

Daimler held an opening ceremony for its new €200-million Immendingen Test and Technology Center in the municipality northwest of Lake Constance. A particular focus is placed on the four strategic future areas of connectivity (connected), autonomous driving (autonomous), flexible use (shared) and electric drive (electric). Daimler has summarized these under... Read more →


Volkswagen has presented the chassis of its new electric model family ID to the public for the first time, and offered an initial look at its platform strategy for electric cars. The company says that the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) that serves as the foundation of the ID chassis... Read more →


Daimler invests in electric bus company Proterra; exploring electrification of Daimler’s Thomas Built school buses

Daimler Trucks & Buses is investing in the US company Proterra Inc. Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses, made the announcement at the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover. Proterra was founded in 2004 with headquarters in California... Read more →


Audi launches electrification offensive; 12 EVs by 2025; 4 e-platforms

With the world premiere of the Audi e-tron Monday night in San Francisco, Audi also marked the launch of its electrification offensive. By 2025 Audi will offer twelve automobiles with all-electric drive in the most important markets worldwide and achieve roughly one-third of its sales with electrified models. The SUVs... Read more →


TRATON AG and Hino to join forces in e-mobility, plan to establish procurement JV

TRATON AG—formerly Volkswagen Truck & Bus—and Hino Motors Ltd. announced new details on their strategic partnership, announced earlier this year (earlier post). Both partners have agreed on two strategic initiatives: to join forces in e-mobility and the plan to establish a procurement joint venture. In e-mobility, TRATON and Hino plan... Read more →


Volkswagen is launching its “Electric for All” campaign—a strategic effort to put attractive electric vehicles at affordable prices on the road, paving the way for the breakthrough of electric vehicles. Volkswagen’s electric offensive is based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB), a technology platform developed specifically for electric vehicles.... Read more →


With the opening of three new FAW-Volkswagen vehicle plants at three locations—in Qingdao, Foshan and Tianjin—as well as the Volkswagen FAW Platform Tianjin Branch component plant, the Volkswagen Group is strengthening its localization strategy in China. With the opening of a second vehicle production plant in Foshan, a mega plant... Read more →


Ford’s ride-sharing shuttle service Chariot launched its first European routes tailored for companies and campuses this week. Chariot, which began operating in London earlier this year, is a ride-sharing minibus service that connects commuters living and working in areas underserved by public transport with nearby transit hubs. Now, Chariot is... Read more →