Technologies Point to New Possibilities for Automotive…

Technologies Point to New Possibilities for Automotive…

Mar 3, 2017

“Technologies Point to New Possibilities for Automotive Manufacturing” By Design-2-Part Magazine Divergent 3D’s environmentally efficient manufacturing platform and Toyota’s wireless EV charging system receive special recognition at R&D 100 Awards  OXON HILL, Md.—A manufacturing platform that reduces the amount of capital, materials, and energy needed to build vehicles, and a wireless electric vehicle charging system that enables batteries to be charged while driving were among the technologies awarded special recognition at the 2016 R&D 100 Awards, announced in November by R&D magazine. In selecting what are judged to be the “100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year,” the international awards competition recognizes excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, materials science, and biotechnology.     Divergent 3D, a Los Angeles-based startup with a radical new approach to automotive manufacturing, took top honors in the Special Recognition: Green Tech category, receiving the Gold Award for its environmentally efficient Divergent Manufacturing Platform™. Meanwhile, Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America, headquartered in Erlanger, Kentucky, received the Bronze Award in the Special Recognition: Green Tech category for the Wireless Power Transfer Based Electric and Plug-in Vehicle Charging System. Toyota co-developed the technology with a team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and support from Cisco Systems and the International Transportation Innovation Center. Divergent 3D is attempting to greatly reduce the materials and energy used to manufacture vehicles, along with the associated costs and pollution, through a software-hardware platform known as the Divergent Manufacturing Platform. The platform is said to enable people to design and build a strong, very light chassis for vehicles ranging from a two-seat sports car to a pickup truck.  Its key building blocks are 3D-printed metal Node™ connectors, aluminum-alloy joints that connect pieces of aerospace-grade carbon fiber tubing to form the chassis. The Nodes reduce the amount of time, material, and actual 3D printing required to build the chassis, making it much lighter and far less costly and energy-intensive than those used on traditional vehicles. And instead of making expensive changes to hard tooling, manufacturers can use the software to rapidly iterate the hardware design. Divergent 3D is hoping that small entrepreneurial teams will use its manufacturing platform...

Toyota Announces $600M Expansion, Hiring 400 New Jobs…

Toyota Announces $600M Expansion, Hiring 400 New Jobs…

Jan 25, 2017

“Toyota Announces $600M Expansion, Hiring 400 New Jobs In Indiana” By Andy Szal, Manufacturing.net Toyota on Tuesday announced plans to invest $600 million and add 400 new jobs to its auto plant in Princeton, Ind. The project, which includes retooling as well as new equipment and advanced technology, is scheduled to begin in late 2019. It will enable the southwestern Indiana facility to manufacture an additional 40,000 additional Highlander SUVs per year. The Princeton facility churned out a record 400,000 Highlanders last year, company officials said. “The Highlander has been a great vehicle for our plant and we are excited to deliver even more of them to our loyal customers,” Toyota Indiana president Millie Marshall said in a statement. Numerous automakers made investments in U.S. plants in recent months in an effort to bolster production of trucks and SUVs, which have higher profit margins and are selling well amid low gas prices and improved fuel efficiency. Some vehicle makers are also shifting production of lower-margin small cars into Mexico, which drew repeated criticism from President Donald Trump. The Princeton project is part of $10 billion in planned investments in Toyota’s U.S. plants over the next five years....

GM to Invest $1 Billion in U.S. Manufacturing Operations

GM to Invest $1 Billion in U.S. Manufacturing Operations

Jan 17, 2017

By David Welch and Sohee Kim, Bloomberg Markets General Motors Co. announced a $1 billion U.S. investment plan involving new models and plant updates long in the works, becoming the latest automaker to answer to pressure from Donald Trump to create jobs. The nation’s top automaker will add or retain about 7,000 salaried and hourly workers, including almost 2,000 in domestic factories, spokesman Pat Morrissey said. Made days after Trump urged GM to follow Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in detailing U.S. spending plans, the announcement includes product updates, manufacturing changes and a lending expansion all decided before the president-elect’s public appeals to invest. Earlier Tuesday, Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. said they’ll increase U.S. investment over the next five years and consider building a new plant in the country. Trump praised Ford and Fiat Chrysler last week for plans to spend on U.S. factories after threatening for months to slap Mexico-built vehicles with a 35 percent import tax. The president-elect is taking credit mostly for expenditures companies would’ve made anyway, according to Maryann Keller, an independent auto industry consultant. “This is the normal course of business,” Keller, who’s based in Stamford, Connecticut, said of GM. “All they’re doing is announcing investments that they would have made anyway.” Carmakers are eager to cooperate with the incoming administration as they prepare to ask for favors including weaker fuel economy rules and lower corporate taxes. And the auto industry isn’t alone: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will create about 10,000 retail jobs, the country’s largest private employer said Tuesday. “Thank you to General Motors and Walmart for starting the big jobs push back into the U.S.!” Trump wrote on Twitter. ‘Big Stuff’ Less than two minutes into his first formal press conference since the election on Wednesday, Trump highlighted Ford’s decision to cancel a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and expand an existing plant in Michigan. Fiat Chrysler committed $1 billion toward making three new Jeeps in the U.S. and enabling a Michigan facility to manufacture a Ram pickup now produced in Mexico. He told reporters he hoped GM would follow. “With all of the jobs I am bringing back into the U.S. (even before taking office), with all of the new auto plants coming back into...

Ford Sees Trump Delivering Tax Reform to Help U.S. …

Ford Sees Trump Delivering Tax Reform to Help U.S. …

Jan 9, 2017

“Ford Sees Trump Delivering Tax Reform to Help U.S. Manufacturers” By Keith Naughton, Bloomberg Ford Motor Co., fresh from canceling a Mexico factory Donald Trump criticized, expects the incoming president to deliver on promises of tax reform that will benefit U.S. manufacturers. “The environment is probably the best it’s been in quite some time to actually have tax reform,” Mark Fields, Ford’s chief executive officer, said Friday at CES, formerly the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas. “There’s going to be a more favorable business environment for U.S. manufacturing because of Donald Trump.” Fields has been trying to make peace with Trump after the president-elect made Ford a frequent target on the campaign trail. On Tuesday, Ford canceled plans to build a $1.6 billion car plant in Mexico and said it will expand a Michigan factory and add 700 jobs. After having turned his ire toward General Motors Co., Trump tweeted words of praise for Ford and later scolded Toyota Motor Corp. for a planned factory south of the border. Fields said he is looking for Trump to deliver a more competitive tax code, which would alter Ford’s investment decisions. He rejected the idea that the incoming president is disrupting the auto industry. “A more positive environment for the manufacturing industry is good for the economy,” Fields told reporters following his remarks. “We’ll see if he can deliver on that. But we’ve delivered our early vote of confidence.”...

Ford to scrap Mexico plant, invest in Michigan; CEO cites…

Ford to scrap Mexico plant, invest in Michigan; CEO cites…

Jan 3, 2017

“Ford to scrap Mexico plant, invest in Michigan; CEO cites Trump policies” By FoxNews.com Before he’s even taken office, President-elect Donald Trump has proven to be quite the job creator. Ford Motor Company announced Tuesday it will cancel a $1.6 billion plant planned for Mexico and will instead invest $700 million in a Michigan assembly plant, directly tying the decision to “pro-growth policies” championed by President-elect Donald Trump. Trump had previously been critical of Ford’s plans to build in Mexico. After the announcement, Trump tweeted a link to a story about the Ford decision and then added in a subsequent message: “Instead of driving jobs and wealth away, AMERICA will become the world’s great magnet for INNOVATION & JOB CREATION.” Fields said Ford would have gone ahead with the decision whether or not Trump was elected president, however, he did say that he alerted both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence ahead of the announcement on Tuesday. The Ford news was the latest in a string of pre-inauguration successes for Trump in the manufacturing sector. In early December, air conditioner and furnace maker Carrier agreed to stay in Indiana after weeks of negotiations headed by Pence. The decision reportedly saved about 700 jobs that would have been shifted to Mexico. Later in the month, wireless provider Sprint and Internet company OneWeb announced they would be adding thousands of jobs in the U.S. Both companies are controlled by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, who had previously met with Trump. Earlier Tuesday morning, Trump took aim at another auto giant: General Motors. “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!” Trump tweeted. GM, however, quickly pushed back on Trump’s assertions. “GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.” a statement said. The investment in the Flat Rock Assembly Plant is set to create 700 jobs, according to Fields. The money, which was taken from the $1.6 billion earmarked for the Mexico plant, will be used to open a new factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles as...