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What Should the Auto Industry Do About New European Data Rules?

In just nine months — May of 2018 — the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect and many car-related companies, like those in other industries, may not be ready for this substantial overhaul of data protection laws.

Software and data increasingly help define today’s vehicles and will certainly drive the industry when autonomous cars arrive in large numbers in the future, so new regulations like the GDPR matter. Just consider the fact that the law’s new consent rules, broadened European privacy rights, and call for stricter procedures and public disclosure requirements.  In cases of data breaches, they can translate to enormous fines of up to billions of euros for those not in compliance. For the most serious data breaches, the fines can be the equivalent of 4% of a company’s annual (global) turnover.

Yet too many companies aren’t paying attention. An IDC Research survey revealed that three-quarters of small- and medium-sized operations in Europe were either not aware or unsure of the impact of the new rules.  Cars today include software, networks and use data and analytics so the GDPR should be top of mind.

This all comes during a positive time for the car industry in Europe, with sales up to a nine-year high, or 6.5%, with 15.1 million new vehicles being sold in the region’s key markets in 2016.  The data produced by cars and data driven services such as infotainment are important competitive and represent the early stages of new revenue streams for car companies.  However, potential security issues can pop up involving the applications which could allow a user’s car to be hacked or personal data to be compromised, causing breaches of GDPR.

The GDPR also includes a data erasure element, meaning that personal data must be removed and never disseminated. Technology and data models need to fully consider how to digitally hunt down and remove personal data, photos and videos wherever they might reside within a car and the far-flung networks the vehicle uses.

So what should auto companies and the many other services and businesses in this industry do to ensure compliance with GDPR?  A few key steps can make a difference:

1. Make a well-reasoned location choice
Firms doing business in Europe can avail of a  “one-stop-shop” compliance framework in which data companies will be regulated in the first instance by the supervisory authority in the country where they have their “main establishment.”  In that country where the data controller has his/her central administration, the decisions on the purpose and means of data processing are taken.  For example, if a car gathering data located its data establishment in Ireland then this simplifies the approach to Europe’s 27 jurisdictions and 600 million people.

2. Learn from the data giants
A critical requirement for such a location should be a powerful, proven track record in managing complex data oriented business.  Ireland has emerged as a data and business hub in Europe for leading data companies such as Facebook, Yahoo!, Google,  LinkedIn  and others.  Great thought went into the location decision for these data giants, who searched for countries with a well-educated workforce that has technology expertise, business-friendly government policies such as openness to immigration and other advantages.

3. Is there an existing data security regime?
Given the provisions within the GDPR promoting accountability and governance, countries that already take data seriously have a big edge.  One way of determining this is whether the country has already well established and tested rules and regulations related to data protection in place — ideally, under the control of a skilled, effective, independent regulator and with a strong body of knowledge in industry.  A firm but consultative approach is essential as is access to experienced professional service firms

4. Look for strength in related areas
Countries with a strong track record in areas related to data such as building cloud infrastructures, running successful inside sales operations for data-oriented businesses and strength in the networking arena are key. The latter means designing and building networks that operate with a pan-European model.  In the increasingly data-led future, another optimal strength will be attracting the kind of forward-looking companies that make the software and electronic systems being built into cars, such as vision systems, chips for safety and navigation controls, autonomous driving systems and more.

5. Consider the future
The GDPR will mean that auto industry companies need to make corporate investment to plan for the new rules. Companies need to factor in where the auto industry is going in the march toward autonomous vehicles at the same time they’re choosing the best operating location to comply with the new rulings.  It’s all about data, whether it’s used for mapping, analysis of driving patterns, the all-important issue of safety or data as the foundation of lucrative new services. 

What this means is that software and technology represent the future much more than manufacturing so the proper gathering, sending, analyzing and storing of data should be the focus areas for companies in the automotive industry. Considering that, it’s not so surprising that the EU has created its strict new regulations to protect its citizens against the misuse of personal information.  The most forward-thinking companies will see the rulings as advantageous, with better access to consolidated, cleaner data that can lead to fewer security breaches and happier customers through improved service in a more customer-centric world. 

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Article source: http://www.iotevolutionworld.com/smart-transport/articles/434511-what-should-auto-industry-about-new-european-data.htm

Disruptions in the global automotive industry: Solutions from India …

 

Traffic moves along a busy road in New Delhi January 11, 2011. Auto sales in India grew a record 31 percent in 2010, driven by a burgeoning middle class in Asia's third-largest economy, but tougher comparisons, a likely hike in interest rates, and rising fuel and vehicles costs are expected to slow sales growth this year. REUTERS/B Mathur (INDIA - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS) - GM1E71B1JH001/

When Henry Ford unveiled the moving assembly line in 1913, it transformed the automotive industry. Over the last 100 years, the industry has been disrupted by many innovations—electronic control units (ECUs) in automobiles and their takeover of several human tasks, driverless car prototypes, and more recently, changes to the mobility paradigm with autonomous vehicles, ride sharing, shared business models, increased connectivity, and more.

With significant automotive sales, a very large user base, and an increasing appetite for innovative mobility, how can India play a disruptive role in the industry? The answers lie in the challenges of the present.

What is making the automotive industry lose sleep?
The automotive revenue base is expected to expand drastically; between 2015 and 2030 it is projected to expand by 100% and grow to over $6 trillion. Research by McKinsey points out that most of this growth will not come from vehicle sales, but will be a result of new business models, such as shared mobility and services built around data and insights. The big question on everyone’s mind is whether shared mobility revenue will overtake that of vehicle sales. By 2020, it is estimated that one in 10 cars will be used for shared mobility. So, automakers ponder the role they can play in this change, and how they can stay relevant.

Currently, there are several regulatory hurdles slowing down the adoption of innovations, such as self-driving cars, for instance. While traditional players can use the cushion of regulation to buy more time, this may not necessarily be wise. There is the very real risk of lagging behind in advancements and getting commercially overtaken

We have traditionally seen electric vehicles receiving an encouraging response from critics but not from consumers; adoption is still slow. However, Tesla and Faraday Future could excite consumers to wait in long queues to pre-order vehicles. Will vehicles like these eventually turn category killers? There is an imminent price drop but what factors will drive further adoption?

Another concern is that traditional adversarial roles are changing, and competitors are turning into collaborators. In this evolving scheme of things, automotive executives are having to rethink their role.

All these market dynamics are the basis for any disruption that might take place.

How innovation and disruption are manifesting in India
First, a lot of frugal innovation is seen in India in the form of localising global big ideas—be it swappable batteries for electric two-wheelers and auto rickshaws, ride-sharing concepts extended to all forms of transport, or augmented reality apps that try to replicate the capabilities of driver assistance systems, or connectivity options for heterogenous needs.

The second interesting facet of the Indian automotive landscape is that certain government regulations and schemes are helping the industry. While lithium-ion batteries are conventionally expensive, indigenously made Li-ion batteries will lower the cost of EVs. The ‘Make in India’ initiative can be encouraging in this regard. The ‘Niti Aayog: India Leaps Ahead’ program lays greater emphasis on electric transport. It will augment the FAME [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid ) Electric Vehicles in India] scheme of the Indian government. State governments are embracing alternative fuel technologies and providing incentives to people to adopt EV vehicles.

The Indian automobile industry is moving from Bharat Stage IV to Bharat Stage VI (skipping Bharat Stage V), and is gearing up to meet new emission standards. The need to comply with these higher emission norms is driving advanced engineering and innovation at a component or system level. Another instance is the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways making it mandatory to have an emergency button and vehicle tracking system (VTS) in all public transportation vehicles—these standards are calling for advanced specifications. So, while regulation is typically seen as a bottleneck, in India it is helping to spur further innovation. But are we doing enough?

An Indian Approach
We are seeing some original ideas, methods, and products in automotive technology being incubated in India. A leading automobile manufacturer has announced its EV 2.0 platform roadmap for electric vehicles. This is a wholly Indian approach to crack the battery challenge. The key projects in this roadmap include a heavy, high-capacity Li-ion battery with a very high range of almost 400km, and new power trains that could achieve a top speed of 150-200 kmph.

While millions of dollars are being spent worldwide on image processing algorithms in vehicles, an app has been developed for driving safety—the ‘iOnRoad’ augmented reality app can do most of the work that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) do. One can just move one’s phone to the center of the dashboard and the app performs terrestrial detection and other functions with 80-90% accuracy, like an algorithm would. The current wisdom in America or Europe is that an approach like this would never work, so this completely Indian method is promising with its expected effectiveness.

Paving the way for innovative indigenously developed vehicles, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has worked with a software and technology company to develop the prototype of India’s first autonomous car. The pilot project was successfully demonstrated early this year. Bikes, too, will see a new avatar with in-built GPS and music systems integrated in upcoming models.

The other move that is fueling innovation is a collaborative approach rather than a competitive approach that includes non-traditional players. Three Indian auto giants—conventionally competitors—are coming together to build an electric bus. Similarly, big IT companies are now entering the mobility space through their software and platforms.

What the Indian industry can do
India is poised to introduce impactful innovations in this landscape, by realigning the approach taken. We need to stop thinking only in terms of frugal innovation and instead, conceptualise ideas, which can really disrupt the market.

Further, Indian business models are trying to extract a service in most cases. We need to move from a service-based approach to a product-based business model. Until it is predominantly product-based, it can’t really disrupt the industry.

And finally, it’s time we relooked at the direction of new solutions. Most often, we adopt technologies and products developed for other markets and make them our own. India brings an enormous scale, in terms of the number of vehicles on the road, or number of people who will use an app or solution. India’s challenges require scale to be a part of the solution. Logically, any product that is designed for this scale is in a better position to be adopted by the rest of the world, than the other way around.

I truly believe that we can orient our automotive industry and ecosystem along these pillars to come up with some disruptive solutions for the international industry, and be the site for the global idea and execution pipeline of our century.

By Ravi Pandit, Co-founder, Chairman and Group CEO of KPIT Technologies Ltd

Article source: http://www.forbesindia.com/blog/technology/disruptions-in-the-global-automotive-industry-solutions-from-india/

The Great Powertrain Transition and what it means for the auto industry

The hot topic is electrification – but what does the shift towards EVs and greener tech mean for auto industry recruitment and those working on ICEs? By Ashley Wickham

Since its first development by Karl Benz back in 1879, the modern car has essentially been based around its powertrain system, the main components that generate power and then deliver it to the road.

All in all, this approach has worked out rather well. The global automotive market is colossal in size; over 77 million cars are expected to be built in 2017 and, according to the last count, the industry employs over 8.4 million professionals. However, the arrival of the Great Powertrain Transition has launched a major disruptive period which will create significant challenges for both employers and employees.

Here’s what the future holds….

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Article source: https://www.automotiveworld.com/analysis/great-powertrain-transition-means-auto-industry/

Disruptions in the global automotive industry: Solutions from India?

 

Traffic moves along a busy road in New Delhi January 11, 2011. Auto sales in India grew a record 31 percent in 2010, driven by a burgeoning middle class in Asia's third-largest economy, but tougher comparisons, a likely hike in interest rates, and rising fuel and vehicles costs are expected to slow sales growth this year. REUTERS/B Mathur (INDIA - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS) - GM1E71B1JH001/

When Henry Ford unveiled the moving assembly line in 1913, it transformed the automotive industry. Over the last 100 years, the industry has been disrupted by many innovations—electronic control units (ECUs) in automobiles and their takeover of several human tasks, driverless car prototypes, and more recently, changes to the mobility paradigm with autonomous vehicles, ride sharing, shared business models, increased connectivity, and more.

With significant automotive sales, a very large user base, and an increasing appetite for innovative mobility, how can India play a disruptive role in the industry? The answers lie in the challenges of the present.

What is making the automotive industry lose sleep?
The automotive revenue base is expected to expand drastically; between 2015 and 2030 it is projected to expand by 100% and grow to over $6 trillion. Research by McKinsey points out that most of this growth will not come from vehicle sales, but will be a result of new business models, such as shared mobility and services built around data and insights. The big question on everyone’s mind is whether shared mobility revenue will overtake that of vehicle sales. By 2020, it is estimated that one in 10 cars will be used for shared mobility. So, automakers ponder the role they can play in this change, and how they can stay relevant.

Currently, there are several regulatory hurdles slowing down the adoption of innovations, such as self-driving cars, for instance. While traditional players can use the cushion of regulation to buy more time, this may not necessarily be wise. There is the very real risk of lagging behind in advancements and getting commercially overtaken

We have traditionally seen electric vehicles receiving an encouraging response from critics but not from consumers; adoption is still slow. However, Tesla and Faraday Future could excite consumers to wait in long queues to pre-order vehicles. Will vehicles like these eventually turn category killers? There is an imminent price drop but what factors will drive further adoption?

Another concern is that traditional adversarial roles are changing, and competitors are turning into collaborators. In this evolving scheme of things, automotive executives are having to rethink their role.

All these market dynamics are the basis for any disruption that might take place.

How innovation and disruption are manifesting in India
First, a lot of frugal innovation is seen in India in the form of localising global big ideas—be it swappable batteries for electric two-wheelers and auto rickshaws, ride-sharing concepts extended to all forms of transport, or augmented reality apps that try to replicate the capabilities of driver assistance systems, or connectivity options for heterogenous needs.

The second interesting facet of the Indian automotive landscape is that certain government regulations and schemes are helping the industry. While lithium-ion batteries are conventionally expensive, indigenously made Li-ion batteries will lower the cost of EVs. The ‘Make in India’ initiative can be encouraging in this regard. The ‘Niti Aayog: India Leaps Ahead’ program lays greater emphasis on electric transport. It will augment the FAME [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid ) Electric Vehicles in India] scheme of the Indian government. State governments are embracing alternative fuel technologies and providing incentives to people to adopt EV vehicles.

The Indian automobile industry is moving from Bharat Stage IV to Bharat Stage VI (skipping Bharat Stage V), and is gearing up to meet new emission standards. The need to comply with these higher emission norms is driving advanced engineering and innovation at a component or system level. Another instance is the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways making it mandatory to have an emergency button and vehicle tracking system (VTS) in all public transportation vehicles—these standards are calling for advanced specifications. So, while regulation is typically seen as a bottleneck, in India it is helping to spur further innovation. But are we doing enough?

An Indian Approach
We are seeing some original ideas, methods, and products in automotive technology being incubated in India. A leading automobile manufacturer has announced its EV 2.0 platform roadmap for electric vehicles. This is a wholly Indian approach to crack the battery challenge. The key projects in this roadmap include a heavy, high-capacity Li-ion battery with a very high range of almost 400km, and new power trains that could achieve a top speed of 150-200 kmph.

While millions of dollars are being spent worldwide on image processing algorithms in vehicles, an app has been developed for driving safety—the ‘iOnRoad’ augmented reality app can do most of the work that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) do. One can just move one’s phone to the center of the dashboard and the app performs terrestrial detection and other functions with 80-90% accuracy, like an algorithm would. The current wisdom in America or Europe is that an approach like this would never work, so this completely Indian method is promising with its expected effectiveness.

Paving the way for innovative indigenously developed vehicles, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has worked with a software and technology company to develop the prototype of India’s first autonomous car. The pilot project was successfully demonstrated early this year. Bikes, too, will see a new avatar with in-built GPS and music systems integrated in upcoming models.

The other move that is fueling innovation is a collaborative approach rather than a competitive approach that includes non-traditional players. Three Indian auto giants—conventionally competitors—are coming together to build an electric bus. Similarly, big IT companies are now entering the mobility space through their software and platforms.

What the Indian industry can do
India is poised to introduce impactful innovations in this landscape, by realigning the approach taken. We need to stop thinking only in terms of frugal innovation and instead, conceptualise ideas, which can really disrupt the market.

Further, Indian business models are trying to extract a service in most cases. We need to move from a service-based approach to a product-based business model. Until it is predominantly product-based, it can’t really disrupt the industry.

And finally, it’s time we relooked at the direction of new solutions. Most often, we adopt technologies and products developed for other markets and make them our own. India brings an enormous scale, in terms of the number of vehicles on the road, or number of people who will use an app or solution. India’s challenges require scale to be a part of the solution. Logically, any product that is designed for this scale is in a better position to be adopted by the rest of the world, than the other way around.

I truly believe that we can orient our automotive industry and ecosystem along these pillars to come up with some disruptive solutions for the international industry, and be the site for the global idea and execution pipeline of our century.

By Ravi Pandit, Co-founder, Chairman and Group CEO of KPIT Technologies Ltd

Article source: http://www.forbesindia.com/blog/technology/disruptions-in-the-global-automotive-industry-solutions-from-india/

Slovakia’s worker shortage threatens growth of auto industry

International Edition

Article source: https://www.ft.com/content/edbe4a56-5826-11e7-80b6-9bfa4c1f83d2

ACEA: CO2 targets for cars: European auto industry sets out post-2021 framework

Before the European Commission reveals its proposal on CO2 targets for cars post-2021 later this year, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) laid out the industry’s pathway to future CO2 reductions at the Frankfurt Motor Show today.

Regarding the timeframe and ambition level for the new targets, ACEA proposes a 20% CO2 reduction for passenger cars by 2030, compared to 2021. “This is a steep reduction,” stated ACEA President, Dieter Zetsche. “It’s also in line with what is expected of other industry sectors, as well as the EU Climate and Energy Framework and the global Paris agreement.”

This target should be conditional on the real market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles and the availability of charging infrastructure for alternatively-powered vehicles – which are crucial to achieve any significant CO2 reductions beyond 2020 levels. Concretely this means that, based on a mid-term review in 2025, this target could be adapted either upwards or downwards.

“In our opinion, this conditionality principle links Europe’s long-term climate objectives to the reality of the market,” Zetsche explained. “Currently the reality is that the market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles is low – and this is not due to lack of availability and choice.”

The latest ACEA data show that in the first half of 2017 electrically-chargeable vehicles made up 1.2% of total new car sales. Alternative powertrains will undoubtedly play an increasing role in the transport mix, and all ACEA’s members are investing heavily in them. However, equally important is that all EU member states start delivering on their commitments to step up investments in the necessary recharging and refuelling infrastructure.

In the interim, modern diesel technology will continue to play an important role in the gradual transition to low-carbon vehicles. Zetsche: “The latest generation of diesel vehicles is a very effective lever to achieve climate goals in the near future, because they emit 15-20% less CO2 than equivalent petrol vehicles.”

“Our industry is committed to being part of the solution when it comes to decarbonising road transport, while at the same time reducing pollutant emissions,” said Zetsche. Indeed, modern diesel vehicles now also deliver very low pollutant emissions on the road under the new real driving emissions (RDE) test that came into effect earlier this month.

ACEA also calls on the European Commission to consider the most cost-effective solutions and to take into account the social implications of the transition to low-carbon vehicles.

*Automotive World is not responsible for the content of this news release.

Article source: https://www.automotiveworld.com/news-releases/acea-co2-targets-cars-european-auto-industry-sets-post-2021-framework/

As German Election Looms, Politicians Face Voters’ Wrath for Ties to Carmakers

“I’m just as angry about the fraud as you,” Ms. Merkel said in an interview with the magazine Der Spiegel published Sept. 2, illustrating her newly critical attitude toward the industry. But she has not completely abandoned the industry. Ms. Merkel is scheduled to speak at the opening ceremony for the International Motor Show in Frankfurt on Thursday.

Why Diesel Became So Popular in Europe

Over the last 20 years, diesel cars have taken a strong hold on the European market, thanks in large part to regulations that made them cheaper to fill up than gasoline-powered cars.

For decades, the German government has been a crucial ally for carmakers, operating as a de facto lobbyist for the industry.

With the active support of officials, automakers used their political clout in Brussels to block stricter emissions regulations and to promote subsidies for diesel. German leaders, including Ms. Merkel and her predecessor, argued against tough emissions rules and pushed for better terms for the country’s carmakers abroad.

Most recently, Germany led a group of auto-producing countries in weakening European emissions testing procedures that were designed to prevent the kind of deception committed by Volkswagen. New cars must pass road tests. Previously, they had to pass only laboratory exams, which Volkswagen and other carmakers were able to game. But, at German insistence, cars can emit double the legal limit of nitrogen oxides and still be approved.

German political leaders and automakers have worked together to promote diesel technology since the 1990s. Ms. Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, was proud to be known as the “auto chancellor.”

Germany has taxed diesel fuel at a lower rate than gasoline since the 1980s, originally to make truck transport, which is predominantly diesel, less expensive. The goal, according to a 2011 study by Transport and Environment, an advocacy group in Brussels, was to lower costs to help German manufacturers compete internationally.

In the 1990s, the auto industry preserved the subsidies by convincing politicians that diesels were better for the environment than gasoline engines, a dubious claim given the other pollutants that diesel spews. For years, environmentalists’ calls to raise diesel taxes have met opposition from the country’s largest political parties, including Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

Photo

Backlash against automakers has been building since 2015, when United States regulators uncovered widespread emissions cheating by Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker.

Credit
Carsten Koall/European Pressphoto Agency

Those tax breaks have ensured that diesel is significantly cheaper at the pump, leading to a steady rise in the popularity of diesel-powered cars. Until recently, they outsold their gasoline-powered counterparts around Europe.

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German carmakers and politicians engaged in a similar battle in Brussels, fighting for years to bat away tougher emissions rules. In 2013, Germany used its clout as the European Union’s largest economy to intervene when the bloc’s executive arm wanted to tighten limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

Matthias Wissmann, head of the German Association of the Automotive Industry and a former transportation minister, wrote a letter to Ms. Merkel, warning that the new standards would hurt sales of German luxury cars. In that letter, he addressed Ms. Merkel as “du,” the informal German word for “you” normally used only between close friends.

Ms. Merkel then personally called Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland, who held the rotating presidency of the European Council, and persuaded him to delay a decision. The standards were eventually watered down.

German leaders campaigned for carmakers farther afield, too. On a trip to California in 2010, Ms. Merkel complained about the state’s strict limits on nitrogen oxides during a meeting with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“She said, ‘Your nitrogen oxide limits are too strict, and that is hurting our German diesels,’” Mary Nichols, the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board and an attendee at the meeting, said in testimony to the German Parliament in March. “She was there, it seemed, as spokeswoman for the auto industry.”

Engineering a Deception: What Led to Volkswagen’s Diesel Scandal

In September 2015, Volkswagen was accused of evading emissions standards in the U.S. The scandal has hit the company hard.


The bond between politicians and automakers persisted even after the Volkswagen scandal erupted.

Stephan Weil, prime minister of Lower Saxony, home of Volkswagen, conceded in August that he had allowed company lobbyists to vet a 2015 speech about the emissions deception. The state of Lower Saxony owns a 20 percent stake in Volkswagen, and Mr. Weil sits on the carmaker’s supervisory board.

Mr. Weil, a member of the Social Democrats, denied making significant changes to the speech after it was shown to Volkswagen. Thomas Steg, head of government relations for the carmaker, said Volkswagen looked only for factual errors.

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The case, first reported by the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, helped spur a turnaround in public perceptions of diesel, once a point of national pride.

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The diesel engine, like the automobile, was a German invention, and the country’s carmakers leveraged their know-how to achieve dominance in the European luxury car market. The auto industry, including suppliers, currently employs about 2 percent of the German work force, according to Commerzbank.

Against that backdrop, deep political ties were forged.

German carmakers have often recruited government insiders to represent their interests. Mr. Steg of Volkswagen was once a spokesman for Ms. Merkel. Eckart von Klaeden, responsible for Daimler’s relations with governments worldwide, served under her as a junior minister.

All of the country’s main parties, even the environmentalist Greens, have long histories of amiable relations with the auto industry. Joschka Fischer, a former foreign minister who for many years was standard-bearer for the Greens, now works as a consultant to BMW, though the carmaker says he does not do any lobbying.

Photo

Stephan Weil, left, the prime minister of Lower Saxony, home of Volkswagen, in 2013 with Martin Winterkorn, who was the chief executive of Volkswagen at the time.

Credit
Nigel Treblin/Volkswagen, via European Pressphoto Agency

While money plays a much smaller role in election campaigns in Germany than in the United States, the auto companies nevertheless make their presence known. Daimler, for example, contributed 100,000 euros, or about $120,000, each to Ms. Merkel’s party and to the Social Democrats, according to documents filed at the German Parliament. The carmakers also help to finance party events and loan cars for free to elected officials, activities that they are not required to disclose.

BMW said in a statement that it had tightened its rules on interactions with politicians, ensuring, for example, that parties report the use of vehicles as a financial contribution. Daimler did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Steg, the Volkswagen lobbyist and former aide to Ms. Merkel, said a close relationship between carmakers and politicians was of common interest. Others argue that lobbying helps auto executives understand the workings of government, and public officials understand the car business.

“The government has its own positions,” said Mr. Wissmann, the head of the auto industry association. “It has not simply followed the positions of the auto industry blindly.”

Since the end of World War II, Mr. Steg said, “politicians have always had a huge interest in the well-being of the industry and the creation of jobs.”

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As the scandal’s focus expanded, German officials have found themselves on the defensive.

The government’s own study last year showed that virtually all makers of diesel cars had flouted emissions limits, but Ms. Merkel’s ministers did not impose penalties. Germany now faces a lawsuit by the European Commission over failures to enforce the bloc’s clean air rules.

The German government has also rejected calls to require carmakers to install better emissions equipment in older diesel vehicles. Britain and France have promised to ban internal combustion engines starting in 2040, but Germany has not done the same.

“They take the line of industry,” said Julia Poliscanova, manager of clean vehicles and air quality at Transport and Environment, an advocacy group in Brussels, “instead of citizens and public health.”

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/13/business/germany-diesel-election.html

With Help from Volkswagen, 3D Printing Digs Deeper Into the Auto Industry

3D printing is helping the aerospace industry miniaturize and create lightweight parts. It also helps save time with fixtures and jigs in the automotive industry. However, none of these applications are designed for safety. You wouldn’t expect someone to 3D-print a part with a collision in mind. However, as designers become more creative and knowledgeable with 3D printing, this process burrows deeper into the automotive industry.

3i-PRINT is a new partnership project that highlights the potential of industrial 3D printing. A recent report from Global Newswire notes that Altair, APWORKS, csi entwicklungstechnik, EOS GmbH, GERG, and Heraeus have used the front-end structure of a classic Volkswagen VW Caddy to demonstrate the full potential of organic load-bearing structures within the automotive industry. Taking advantage of 3D printing’s fast iteration and ability to manufacture complex geometries, the build took nine months and incorporated multiple parts into a single build.

A 3d-printed front-end structure of a classic Volkswagen VW Caddy was used to demonstrate the full potential of organic load-bearing structures within the automotive industry

 

This is not the first time a car company used 3D printing. Ford has been 3D printing for over 20 years now. However, the company only relatively recently explored using 3D printing for end-use parts. Ford was experimenting with gaskets and small parts; this new project digs even further into the adaptation the automotive industry will have to make as regulations and market segments want to see more efficient cars on the road.

If you think in the traditional way of design parts, it is hard for 3D printing to compete with traditional processes. The value is integrating multiple pieces into one. For example, when the Oak Ridge National Laboratory printed a backhoe arm, it was able to build channels into the load-bearing parts for the hydraulics. This eliminated the hoes and connectors, and increased the value of the arm to better compete with traditional processes. This works the same way in the automotive industry.  

While the growth of electric vehicles finding lightweight yet high-performance solutions is important. The structural front end of the VW Caddy included passive cooling. Air channels were designed to cool batteries and braking systems. In addition, safety features, fluid storage, and functions linked to heat management are all built into the 3D-printed front end.

 

With these goals in mind, the experts at csi entwicklungstechnik began designing, developing, and building the front-end structure. The company develops high-quality modules for vehicle bodies, interiors, and exteriors for both manufacturers and suppliers in the automotive sector. GERG is a leading supplier of innovative solutions in the area of prototyping and small-scale series for the automotive and aerospace industries. In this project, GERG was responsible for connecting the additively manufactured components and the creation of the final frame. With their focus on the development and broad application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs and processes, Altair’s software solutions were used to design, optimize, simulate, and develop the structure.

The cutout shows the design functional integration of thermal management inside the load bearing structure.

 

The 3i-Print project is open source for fast development through a community. Among other events, the Caddy can be viewed at the Converge 2017 in Essen and the formnext 2017 in Frankfurt. For more information, visit www.3i-print.com.

Article source: http://www.machinedesign.com/3d-printing/help-volkswagen-3d-printing-digs-deeper-auto-industry

Electric vehicle: Can’t force customers to buy electric vehicles: RC …

NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava said road transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s call for an end to automobiles driven by fossil fuels shouldn’t be interpreted literally but as a statement of intent on implementing the government’s plan to only sell vehicles running on electricity by 2030.

While Maruti supports the government’s intent, he said the company can’t force the customer to buy electric vehicles (EVs). “Unless the EV is good for the customer, I can’t push him to buy it,” Bhargava said in an interview with ET.

“Before I start pushing EVs, I have to make sure they give him the value that they should give to him, which is what a customer expects from Maruti.” Maruti Suzuki is the winner of The Economic Times Company of The Year Award. The minister’s statement was aimed at persuading the industry to reorient itself, he said.

“Mr Gadkari and the government are not going to kill this industry,” he said. “They can’t, they won’t, why should they? This industry is a huge generator of wealth and employment for the country. But they (the government) want the industry to adopt a new direction and to tell the industry that we are serious about it.”

“That is all that they are doing. So, it is now for industry to see how to make it happen and make a sincere effort to make it happen,” he added.

The minister said last week that such a move was imperative in order to clean up the atmosphere and slash oil imports. “We should move towards alternative fuel… I am going to do this, whether you like it or not,” Gadkari had told automakers.

“And I am not going to ask you. I will bulldoze it. For pollution, for imports, my ideas are crystal clear… The government has a crystal-clear policy to reduce imports and curb pollution.”

Bhargava said the concern that the government wasn’t hearing some segments of the auto industry needed to be addressed. “My view is that we have an association which represents commercial vehicles both heavy and light, represents two-wheelers and cars, which has diesel and petrol makers, mainstream and luxury,” he said.

“With such representation, how do you get a consensus and a common policy view. The way out is not easy. The government has to decide, I can’t tell government what to do… One possible way for the government is to pick one or two representatives from each segment who they think would give them current kind of inputs.”

At a time when many in the automotive industry have raised concerns over the government’s aggressive push toward electric vehicles in the next decade, Bhargava endorsed the intent behind the policy while acknowledging that cost dynamics, and charging and storage solutions need to be examined. He hailed the minister for tackling one of the weakest aspects of government policy.

“I think in some ways I appreciate what Mr Gadkari is trying to say because by and large the government announces things and says things but doesn’t follow through in implementation,” he said.

“Implementation is our weakest area. If Mr Gadkari says he is going to bulldoze, and I hope by bulldoze he means get implemented, what could be better? So, in some ways I am quite sympathetic with what he said.”

He said benefits are likely to accrue from parent Suzuki’s alliance with Toyota. The partnership, the contours of which are being firmed up in Japan, may help the company gain access to alternative tech and to larger vehicles.

“Toyota’s tech bank is far bigger than Suzuki’s,” he said. “If that becomes available, we have access to technology, which will take us way into the future and we will in many ways remain in terms of the technology availability, as good as any other company in the world… Depending on what they agree, I could get bigger products from Toyota to sell, which will be engineered for India.”

Article source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/news/cant-force-customers-to-buy-electric-vehicles-rc-bhargava-maruti-chairman/articleshow/60469798.cms

Economic Ministry to create strategy for automotive industry …

In a post on his Facebook page, Kubiv wrote: “The Economic Development and Trade Ministry of Ukraine will soon begin to create a medium-term strategy for the development of car manufacturing industry for five years”.

According to the official, the strategy will envisage the development of the Ukrainian automotive industry, creation of new jobs in this and related industries.

“The task is the maximum localization of car production in Ukraine,” he stressed.

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Article source: https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-economy/2302849-economic-ministry-to-create-strategy-for-automotive-industry-development-for-5-years.html