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Robots benefit the US industry – 261000 new jobscreated in automotive sector alone

The US automotive industry has installed a new record of approximately 17,500 industrial robots in 2016. In the last seven years, the operational stock increased by about 52,000 units (2010-2016). These are preliminary results published by the Statistical Department of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). During the same period, the number of jobs in the US automotive sector rose by 260,600 – according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.       

“The main driving force of this growth is the ongoing trend to automate production in order to strengthen the competitiveness of American industry globally, to keep manufacturing at home, and in some cases  bring back manufacturing that had previously been outsourced to other countries,” said Joe Gemma, President of the International Federation of Robotics at the World Robotics IFR CEO Roundtable in Chicago.

Amazon creates new jobs

“The key message is the optimism about jobs in the future – especially with technology”, said Jon Battles, Amazon Director, WW Engineering Advanced Technologies. “We are so proud of announcing that we are going to create a hundred thousand new fulltime and full benefit jobs in the United States. These jobs are all across the country. I want to make a really critical point: We are doing this level of hiring after installing 45,000 Amazon robotic systems in our fulfillment centers. I don´t have any better success story to give than that and we a hiring in every job class and level.”

 Small businesses automate or vaporate

Prof. Dr. Howie Choset of the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute (ARM) emphasized the importance of automation with robots for small companies. 98.5 percent of all the manufacturing companies in the US have 500 or fewer employees. “These small companies – this is their phrase not mine – automate or vaporate. They know if they don´t embrace automation they will not be around in the future.”

“As a small business we experience every day where our customer base will move something for pennies,“ said Craig Hertig, Director of Engineering, Engineered Machine Products. “Automation is a very usable tool, it´s very flexible. It gives you the opportunity to be competitive in a global market.” As an example of how automation made the difference, Michael P. Jacobs, President of Applied Manufacturing Technologies AMT said: “I was at a friend´s plant just outside Detroit with stamping machines. That particular plant is not very large – he has got to have 30 to 40 robots there in automation. The plant had been shuttered in 2007 and he bought it in 2010. He now has over 200 employees in his plant because of automation. It is very doable by small companies.”

Education is key to reap the benefits of robotics

“We have about 8 million baby boomers exiting the workforce over the next five to ten years,” said Amazon´s Jon Battles. “It turns out the baby boomers are the most industrial trained part of the US workforce. We are heading towards a gap and I hope we all internalize the importance of inspiring this young generation coming up, retraining the people we have, giving them a great vision for careers in the future and following through on that. I am very optimistic about the future and the jobs and the technology. As long as we embrace it and train for it correctly we have an awesome future.”

The IFR strongly supports the idea that education and training systems must be adapted to enable current and future workers to reap the benefits of robotics. This task falls to both public and private sectors and requires strong cooperation between the two.

Statements on video

Please find the statements on video from the IFR CEO Roundtable experts in Chicago here:

Graphics for download

Please find the IFR graphics for download here:

New IFR data overview

Please find below an overview of the new IFR preliminary data about industrial robots in the US, worldwide and in China:

USA – new peak in 2016

·         Approximately 31,500 industrial robots installed in the US manufacturing industry – all sectors
        (+15% more than 2015)

·         Approximately 17,500 industrial robots installed in the US automotive industry
(+43% more than 2015)

·         US automotive industry is the main driver for automation – robot sales in 2016
reached an all-time high

·         US automotive industry - operational stock increased from 74,900 to about 127,000 units
in seven years = CAGR 2010-2016: +9%

·         US automotive industry - employment rose from 679,500 to 940,100 in seven years = CAGR 2010-2016: +6%

Worldwide  – new peak in 2016

·         Approximately 290,000 industrial robots installed worldwide
  (+14% more than 2015)

·         Outlook 2017-2019: estimated worldwide supply of industrial robots will rise from 322,000 to 414,000
(+12% on average per year)

China  – new peak in 2016

·         Approximately 90,000 industrial robots installed in China
(+31% more than 2015)

United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

About the IFR – The International Federation of Robotics:

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

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Automotive industry is driving job creation in Mississippi

By Glenn McCullough Jr.


A little more than a decade ago, Mississippi had never produced a commercial vehicle. Today, about 4 million vehicles assembled in the state are on the road around the world, and production is showing no signs of slowing down.

For Mississippians, more significant than production milestones are the contributions Toyota and Nissan have made to the state and local economy. These automotive manufacturers are responsible for the creation of thousands of careers and the investment of billions of dollars in the state.

This year, Toyota celebrates 10 years since the announcement it would locate in Blue Springs, Miss. Today, a Corolla, one of the world’s top-selling vehicle models, rolls off the assembly line every 71 seconds thanks to the Toyota Mississippi team. This team of Mississippi men and women assembled 500,000 vehicles faster than any other Toyota plan in North America, proving once again the extraordinary quality of our workforce.

Nissan’s Canton assembly plant produces eight models and is the global source for the Murano. The more than 3 million vehicles assembled at the Canton, Miss., facility solidifies the state’s position as a leader in the Southern Automotive Corridor.

More important than the number of vehicles assembled in the state is the economic impact companies like Toyota, Nissan and almost 200 automotive suppliers have on their local communities and to the state.

In a study published in 2016 by national think tank The Center for Automotive Research, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi is responsible for a payroll of approximately $307 million, creating $235 million in disposable income. Additionally, the report also estimates Toyota supports 6,700 direct and indirect jobs. Toyota’s Mississippi-made workforce also is responsible for assembling more than 850,000 vehicles, and the company expects to produce the 1 million mark by the end of 2017.

Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning Analysis Research center also recently published a study highlighting Nissan’s contribution to the state’s economy. NSPARC estimates the presence of Nissan in Mississippi contributes $2.9 billion to the annual state gross domestic product. The automotive giant is responsible for 25,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state.

Combined, Mississippi’s two original equipment manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 31,700 direct and indirect careers for hard-working people of our state. These careers create disposable income which is reinvested in our communities.

A vital component of the Mississippi Development Authority’s mission is to build stronger communities. In addition to our aggressive recruitment of global companies to the state like Continental Tire and Yokohama Tire, MDA is committed to developing local leaders. Strong leaders initiate community development, which leads to economic development. Successful communities are often the result of focused and forward-thinking leaders who create an environment where businesses can thrive. It is leadership at the state and local levels which resulted in Toyota and Nissan deciding Mississippi is the right location for their operations.

Today, Mississippi reaps the benefits of Toyota and Nissan’s investment in our state and our people. We all share the responsibility to ensure we position more Mississippi communities for success. Investing in the infrastructure of people means every Mississippian wins. Together, Mississippi, Toyota, Nissan and the many automotive suppliers are part of the winning team responsible for revving up Mississippi’s automotive industry. DBJ


Glenn McCullough Jr. is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority.

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LECTRA: Lectra helps automotive suppliers leverage Industry 4.0 opportunity


Lectra helps automotive suppliers leverage Industry 4.0 opportunity

Leather interior suppliers get a glimpse into connected manufacturing at Lectra’s “Go Digital: What Industry 4.0 Means for Automotive Leather” event

Paris, April 25, 2017 – Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, asserts its stewardship of the automotive leather industry’s 4.0 transformation with the third consecutive edition of its annual event on the digitalization of leather cutting processes.

Decision-makers from more than 20 countries assembled at Lectra’s International Advanced Technology and Conference (IATC) center in Bordeaux-Cestas recently to discuss the new business opportunities emerging from digitalization of the automotive leather value chain, from factory to consumers. Topics presented by industry experts and Lectra customers included, among others, the smart factory of the future, likely impact of the Made in China 2025 initiative and chief business challenges to overcome for automotive industry players.

Driven by cloud-based solutions, smart manufacturing and powerful analytics, the new connected economy and industrial revolution are redefining business models and manufacturing processes. The real-time communication enabled between connected objects, production lines and services boosts manufacturing flexibility while optimizing the use of available resources. As an organization at the forefront of the Industry 4.0 movement, Lectra’s aim in hosting the event is to help the automotive leather industry prepare for the changes to come by learning more about the vital technologies they need to implement, as well as adopt more collaborative, agile and efficient practices.

“Although automotive players realize that 4.0 transformation is underway, they often don’t know how to go about it,” observes Norbert Audéoud, Operational Excellence Strategic Transformation Expert. “Reflecting together on 4.0 transformation will make the task less challenging for the makers of leather interiors, while presenting great opportunities for performance improvement and business development.”

In the opinion of Benny Daniel, Director of Consulting, Frost Sullivan, the Go Digital event underscores the urgency for companies to plan and execute their 4.0 transformation. “The automotive industry is fiercely competitive and digitalization of the manufacturing sector will only make the landscape more uncertain. By acting now, automotive players can ensure they don’t lag behind once the pace picks up.”

From the standpoint of Henning Gathmann, Material Development, Leather, AUDI AG, new ways of doing business and running factories will also bring about new ways to meet consumer demand. “The connected economy is making it possible to satisfy consumer expectations in novel, technologically enabled ways. This event provides us with a unique opportunity to share our market vision with suppliers.”

Alberto Silvagni, head of the automotive division of the Mastrotto Group, was pleased to share insight on his company’s successful digital transformation with other automotive leather suppliers. “Competing in a connected supply chain requires a more flexible approach. Now that we’ve digitalized our cutting room, the next step for us is to increase automation elsewhere in our customer processes, to provide them with actionable information in real time.”

The event brought into sharper focus the importance of fostering interaction in the automotive leather ecosystem at such a critical time in suppliers’ 4.0 transformation. “Industry relationships are central to our success,” remarks Céline Choussy Bedouet, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Lectra. “Providing answers to broad-reaching questions like 4.0 transformation is as much a part of what we do as developing advanced technologies and specialized services, all of which create value for our customers.”

About Lectra

Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions (software, automated cutting equipment, and associated services) specifically designed for industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles, and composite materials to manufacture their products. It serves major world markets: fashion and apparel, automotive, and furniture as well as a broad array of other industries. Lectra’s solutions, specific to each market, enable customers to automate and optimize product design, development, and manufacturing. With more than 1,550 employees, Lectra has developed privileged relationships with prestigious customers in more than 100 countries, contributing to their operational excellence. Lectra registered revenues of $288 million in 2016 and is listed on Euronext.

For more information, please visit

Contact – Lectra Headquarters / Press Dept.: Nathalie Fournier-Christol
Tel.: +33 (0)1 53 64 42 37 – Fax: +33 (0)1 53 64 43 40


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Authenticity drives leather imperfection acceptance – Audi – just

By Simon Warburton | 24 April 2017

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If Lithia Motors Is Any Indication, the Auto Industry Is Still Rolling Along

As new-vehicle sales peak in the U.S., inventories are swelling a little bit more than usual and incentive spending is picking up. Automotive investors are anxiously waiting to get any glimpse or forewarning of deteriorating industry health. Investors will have a much better idea of where the industry is headed once major automakers report later this week, along with America’s largest dealership group, AutoNation. But if Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) is any indication, the good times are still rolling.

Bottom-line beat and dividend hike

Don’t tell Lithia Motors the automotive industry’s good times are over: The company just posted a strong first quarter 2017. Revenue jumped 12.8% compared to a year ago, to $2.24 billion, which was in line with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters. On the bottom line, Lithia Motors’ adjusted earnings rose to $1.78 per share, a healthy 14.8% gain over the prior-year figure.

Profile view of the hoods of a row of cars at a dealership.

Image source: Getty Images.

To better understand what was driving Lithia Motors’ strong results, and to perhaps get a glimpse into the industry’s health, let’s break it down into segments.

Revenue from new-vehicle retail sales jumped 10.4% year over year to $1.21 billion, driven by two factors: increases in total volume and prices. New-vehicle retail sales volume jumped 8.8% to 35,616 units, while revenue per vehicle jumped 1.5% to $33,982 per vehicle.

Used-vehicle retail revenue increased 13% compared to the prior year, to $602.2 million, with used-vehicle volume up 12.2% to 30,783 units, and revenue per used retail vehicle up a slight 0.7% to $19,563. Revenue from service and parts increased 18.3% to $228.4 million, and Lithia’s finance and insurance business generated nearly 22% more revenue, up to $84.5 million.

What’s interesting, though, is that while new-vehicle sales represent about 54% of first-quarter revenue, it was the least profitable segment and generated only about 20% of gross profit. Conversely, service, body, and parts generated only 10% of revenue but accounted for 33% of total gross profit. Used-vehicle sales generated 30% of revenue, and only 21% of gross profit. Finance and insurance generated 6% of total revenue and 26% of gross profit.

What it means

Lithia’s results emphasize a couple of different takeaways depending on what angle of the automotive industry you’re looking at. For dealership groups, especially those with a diverse business model that includes finance, insurance, and service, the plateau of the U.S. new-vehicle market is less worrisome than it is for investors in major automakers. Look at the sustainability of Lithia’s peer group compared to the slowing growth of the industry’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales (SAAR).

Chart showing that profitability in Lithia's peer group is consistent despite volatility of U.S. new-vehicle sales.

Image source: Lithia Motors’ April 19, 2017, Q1 presentation. PTI = pre-tax income.

From a different angle, one that resonates more with investors in major automakers, it’s positive news that retail revenue per new vehicle and used vehicle continues to move higher. This gives the industry a little more wiggle room as incentives also increase, and impacts the bottom line that much less. There’s still a large need for major automakers to balance inventories and incentives, so that trend doesn’t change, but as long as retail demand remains healthy and plateaus rather than declines drastically, there’s plenty of opportunity to generate record or near-record profits in the near term.

Ultimately, if Lithia is any indication, the industry is still healthy enough to support strong profits, but investors might consider having some exposure to dealership groups with proven service and financing business segments, as those are much more proven to support overall business amid a downturn. 

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How Transport Predicts the Future of The Automotive Industry

It’s an exciting time to be a gearhead. The electric car has become an affordable reality for many, and automakers are giving us, even more, to look forward to. Hydrogen fuel cell technology has the potential to produce supercars with unparalleled performance. Self-driving concept cars tease us with modern luxuries designed to keep us entertained.

Manufacturers love giving us a glimpse into the future, but they don’t want us to see over the horizon. If competitors caught wind of their latest innovation, they’d risk losing market share. Journalists can always speculate about what’s to come, but there is a better way to see what the future holds. Many of today’s emerging technologies are being developed for the transport industry. Take automation, for example. Sure, consumers would be happy to pay a little extra for a self-driving car. But think about how many transport trucks are on the road. Considering how much the biggest trucking companies pay their drivers, there is huge money to be made for whoever develops the best automation system.

Once a technology hits the market, manufacturers look to expand into additional markets. This means that whatever high tech innovation finds its way into transport trucks, will likely be used in consumer vehicles. Using the transport industry as a guide, here are the major changes we expect to see:

A New Source of Fuel

Oil is on the way out. It won’t happen today, and it might not happen tomorrow. But at some point, we’re going to need a new source of fuel. Currently, the most promising technology is natural gas. We already have large supplies of it, and the technology is there. If you really wanted to, you could convert your vehicle to run on natural gas today. But it may be a few years before fueling stations become common enough for cross country trips.

The most promising fuel source is electricity. Tesla’s already proved that an electric car is viable, but the trucking industry is proposing a unique fueling system. Power may be supplied via contacts in the road. When you’re driving, you’ll be charging your car. This will eliminate the need for fuel ups unless you plan to go off road.

More Information, More Control

From a technical standpoint, self-driving cars are good enough. They’re safer than human drivers and provide a comfortable ride. The issue is legislative. The law states that you have to be in control of a motor vehicle. For now, you’d be breaking the law if you don’t maintain control. Until some serious research is done into safety, this isn’t going to change. The transport industry has come up with a unique compromise. The computer can handle the steering and the brakes, but a high-end information system will provide you with high levels of detail about how the vehicle is operating. You’ll see the torque at each wheel, traction, transmission information, and more. Anything you want to know is available at the touch of a button. You’ll also be able to change the way the vehicle is running.

If you’re a driving fanatic who prefers a manual transition, these information systems will give you more control over your vehicle than ever before. With this, the sports car of the future will certainly be something to marvel at.


When was the last time you were stuck in a traffic jam? Generally, traffic tends to move in waves. You put your foot on the gas, pull forward, and then have to hit the brakes moments later. Technically, if everyone just started moving at the same time, you could get right up to speed. But it’s impossible to coordinate that many people, all at the same time.

This is where technology comes in. Platooning involves vehicles talking to each other. Like a train, the person at the front of the line will dictate the speed. As you sync your car up with the one ahead, your car will be able to follow very closely behind, with almost no risk. Because there is communication, if the car in front you slams on the brakes, you will at the same time.

Platooning will be a popular option for high-speed travel, and may prevent traffic jams. While these technologies are still in development, it’s clear to us that the roads of tomorrow will be very different.

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2017 hard on auto industry thus far

(Editor’s note: This is an editorial that ran in the opinion section of the 4-19-17 edition of the Kokomo Perspective.)

The year 2016 was wonderful for the American automotive industry. Car and truck sales were in the 17 million range and domestic automotive companies had strong profit levels. In addition, quality levels (conditions per 100 vehicles) for domestic vehicles were overall improved. Everything considered, 2016 was extraordinary for the domestic automotive industry. But that was 2016 and along comes 2017 with all its challenges.

I say challenges because the first quarter of 2017 is not shaping up to parallel or exceed year 2016. First quarter sales declined for the first time since 2009 and the forecast for the second quarter is not any better. Total sales of 4,030,593 were the lowest in any quarter since the first quarter of 2015. Dealer inventories, while not excessive, are reaching levels where heavy incentives will be offered by the industry to move vehicles from their lots.

A bright spot for the industry is the ratio of car sales to truck. In year 1993 the car percent was 61.2 percent while trucks were 38.8 percent. In year 2016 the ratio flip flopped considerably. Trucks were 63.0 percent while cars were 37 percent and that ratio seems to be a continuing trend. The reason the strong ratio of trucks to cars is significant is because of the profit margins on trucks versus cars. Cars are low margin generators while trucks carry somewhere around $10,000 variable profit per vehicle.

One of the surprising trends of the first quarter is the battle for second place for truck sales between General Motor’s Silverado and Chrysler’s RAM. The Ford F-series truck still leads in volume sales by a significantly increasing number. However, GM and RAM are neck and neck in sales volume with RAM beating the Silverado by some 4,000 units in March. Overall for the 1st quarter of 2017 the Silverado has out-sold the RAM by 9,000 units. All these figures are published in the April 10th edition of ‘Automotive News”.

While Ford has a considerable lead in pick-up sales over Silverado and RAM, the battle for 2nd place is certainly interesting. RAM keeps pecking away at Silverado sales volume. “Automotive News” pointed out that there used to be miles of sales daylight between the Silverado and the RAM pickup, but the gap has narrowed considerably over the years. In March the RAM outsold the Silverado 46,384 to 42,410, the third month in the past three years that Fiat Chrysler’s pickup bested the Bowtie in sales.

Market share for the first quarter showed Chevrolet, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, and GMC with small gains. Conversely, small market share losses were experienced by Ford, Toyota, Jeep, Hyundai, and Dodge. In overall sales, Toyota gained market share over Chevrolet and Ford while experiencing a small sales decrease. In the luxury car class Ford’s Lincoln, while being fifth in sales, saw a strong sales surge. Audi was first followed by Infiniti, Cadillac, and Acura.

One of the more interesting automotive events was Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, surpassing the Ford Motor Company and General Motors in market capitalization. How could this happen? Tesla has missed deadline after deadline for product realization. Tesla has hemorrhaged cash by the billions. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, bought Solar City ,another company with questionable financials. All negatives that have not had negative results as far as shareholders are concerned.

Ford and GM sold more than 6 million vehicles last year and generated pretax profits of over $10 billion and a company, Tesla, with questionable financials has a market capitalization that exceeds either company.

Elon Musk has said he will sell 800,000 vehicles in year 2018. My question is this, “Whose market share is he going to take?” Will it be GM, Ford, or Chrysler? Maybe Toyota or Honda? Tesla said it delivered 25,000 vehicles in the quarter ended March 31, an increase of 69 percent. With no stores or dealerships where will Tesla owners have their cars serviced or repaired?

While the electric car is interesting, Tesla has a lot of significant un-answered questions. If the market capitalization of Tesla wasn’t so meaningful for Tesla investors, it would be a joke.

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Electric MG E-Motion Concept Could Spell Return Of The British Car Industry


Published on April 22nd, 2017
by Nicolas Zart


April 22nd, 2017 by  

The ’70s were difficult times for the British car industry. As quaint and often prestigious homegrown carmakers struggled with financial difficulties, consolidation temporarily helped the automotive industry, but would soon shut down what was once a mighty empire.

Today, a handful of prestigious names — MG, Jaguar, and even Rolls Royce — have survived with a little help from their international friends, and are now showing a potential rebirth through the electric drive. Morris Garage (MG) is flirting with electric vehicles (EV) and shows how the future of the British car industry can once again thrive. Is the electric MG E-Motion concept previewing the rebirth of the mighty giant?

Electric MG E-Motion Concept  The EV Race In The UK

My father had a few MG TAs and TDs. They were fun, quirky, and unique. I fell in love with the Triumph GT6, a Spitfire on steroids overpowered by the company’s straight 6 cylinders. It didn’t handle particularly well, but boy did it look like a Jaguar E-Type. However, it wasn’t an E-Type, and had all the tell-tale signs of the demise of the British car industry. Bits and pieces from here and there thrown on a humble chassis with nice looks didn’t cut it internationally.

MG suffered the same fate as Aston Martin, Lagonda, Morgan, Triumph, and more. But unlike Bentley, Daimler, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, and Rolls-Royce, it never found the sustainable deep pockets these companies found elsewhere.

Today, MG is owned by the SAIC Motor subsidiary SAIC Motor UK. The company produces two cars for Europe and is the biggest Chinese car importer in the UK. The electric MG E-Motion concept, however, seems to come straight from nowhere for those who haven’t followed much from the British automotive world. Shown at the 17th annual Shanghai International Automotive Show a few days ago on April 19th, the MG E-motion has everything needed to turn heads.

A sporty coupe with a powerful electric drivetrain and subtle hints of MG’s glorious past is how the company sees the future of the British car industry. With its sportsback design, it’s a tribute to the great MGB GT and MGC GT heritage, both incredibly fun cars to drive.

Electric MG E-Motion Concept, Technically

Electric MG E-Motion Concept MGBMGB by S 400 HYBRID

Claiming a mouthwatering 311+ miles (500+ km) of range, the electric MG E-Motion concept will sprint from 0 to 62 MPH (o to 100 km/h) in under 4 seconds. Besides that, the company claims the MG E-Motion concept will be “Equipped with an intelligent infotainment system, the supercar is fully internet-compatible … perfectly for the younger market.” Well, pardon me, but what about us older kids?

The E-motion could go into production by 2020, with a base price under £30,000, which is about $38,000. Whether we will still have EV incentives by then is another story. I’m hoping the price of lithium-ion batteries will have dropped enough to lower that price to $30,000, where it would compete with other archaic internal combustion engines (ICE).

Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing at MG Motor UK was quoted saying: “The MG E-motion electric supercar concept demonstrates our global vision for the future. Alongside leading the way in design and capability, the next-generation model is the latest step in achieving the ultimate driving experience.

“The Shanghai International Automotive Show highlights our progress and capabilities, while further new models will continue this future-thinking strategy, embracing innovation to deliver ground-breaking vehicles for the drivers of tomorrow.”

Electric MG E-Motion Concept Final Thoughts

While the electric MG E-Motion concept certainly seems enticing, there have been other companies with promising EVs. Specifically, the Lightning GT has been on our radar for … almost 10 years now. But the electric MG also hints at the reboot of the British car industry, albeit with a little help from its international friends. What was once an inescapable icon of the automotive industry, the electric MG E-Motion concept along with Jaguar’s I-PACE concept covered here by James Ayres shows that the British auto industry might finally take off again, this time with the correct propulsion system — electricity.

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About the Author

Born and raised around classic cars of the 1020s, it wasn’t until Nicolas drove one of the first Tesla Roadsters that the light went on. Eager to spread the news about those amazing full torque electric vehicles, he started writing in 2007.

Since then, his passion led to cover renewable energy, test drive many cars, do podcasts and film everything that is new and efficient.

Nicolas offers an in depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he made in those industries.

“There are more solutions than obstacles.” Nicolas Zart

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MBLM Announces Automotive Industry is #1 for Brand Intimacy …

Brand Intimacy 2017 Report Reveals Harley-Davidson Ranks First in Category, Followed by BMW and Toyota

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 20, 2017

MBLM, the Brand Intimacy Agency focused on strategy, design, creative and technology, today revealed that the automotive industry ranked first in its Brand Intimacy 2017 Report. The report, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions, found that Harley-Davidson placed first in the industry followed by BMW and Toyota. Brand Intimacy is defined as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand. According to the 2017 report, top ranked intimate brands continued to outperform the SP and Fortune 500 indices in both revenue and profit over the past 10 years.

Harley-Davidson ranked third in MBLM’s 2015 report but overtook BMW and Toyota this year. In addition to being the strongest intimate category overall, the automotive industry is also the top industry for males, those older than 35 and those with a higher income. The remaining brands in the top 10 for the industry are: Honda, Jeep, Chevrolet, Ford, Volvo, Mercedes and Chrysler.

“The auto industry leads all others in the degree of intimate brands. Car brands form powerful bonds with us because they are both significant purchases and an extension of our identity and values. Cars make a statement about who we want to be and what we admire,” stated Mario Natarelli, partner at MBLM. “As technology continues to disrupt the category in terms of car sharing, autonomous vehicles and electric/hybrids, it will be interesting to see which brands adapt best to the changing needs and priorities of their customers.”

Leading brands like BMW, Toyota and Honda form powerful bonds with their customers through better (more reliable) performing cars and better service, delivering high-quality products that assure customers that their money was well spent.

While ranking first, the category is showing some potential signs of slippage compared to the 2015 report. Auto recalls hit a record high of 53.2 million in 2016, topping the 51.1 million recalls in 2015.

Other notable automotive industry findings from the report in the U.S. include:

  • The archetype most associated with the industry is fulfillment – exceeding expectations, delivering superior service, quality and efficacy – and it has the highest average fulfillment score of any industry
  • The top brand for millennials is Chevrolet, for consumers 35 to 44 years-old is Harley-Davidson and for 45 to 64 year-old consumers is Harley-Davidson as well
  • Harley-Davidson has had success in building and maintaining intimacy across multiple generations, placing in the top three for all age groups; although the brand appears to be less popular with millennials, its ability to appeal to all ages is a sign of its strength as a brand
  • Millennials have less intense feelings of intimacy for their top brands than the older groups; the average brand intimacy quotient for the top three automotive brands for millennials is 59.5, while the top brands of consumers ages 35 to 44 average a score of 62.3, and those of consumers over 45 average a score of 62.6
  • Millennials are more comfortable with fully self-driving vehicles than consumers of other generations (47 percent versus 31 percent) and would also be more willing to use car-sharing services if they were readily available (42 percent versus 28 percent)

This year’s report contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

To download the full Brand Intimacy 2017 Report or explore the Ranking Tool please visit:


During 2016, Praxis Research Partners conducted an online quantitative survey among 6,000 consumers in the United States (3,000), Mexico (2,000), and the United Arab Emirates (1,000). Participants were respondents who were screened for age (i.e. 18 to 64 years of age) and annual household income ($35,000 or more) in the U.S. and socioeconomic levels in Mexico and the UAE (A, B, and C socioeconomic levels). Quotas were established to ensure that the sample mirrored census data for age, gender, income/socioeconomic level, and region. The survey was designed primarily to understand the extent to which consumers have relationships with brands and the strength of those relationships, from fairly detached to highly intimate. It is important to note that this study provides more than a mere ranking of brand performance and was specifically designed to provide prescriptive guidance to marketers. We modeled data from a total of 54,000 brand evaluations to quantify the mechanisms that drive intimacy. Through factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and other sophisticated analytic techniques, the research allows marketers to better understand which levers need to be pulled to build intimacy between brands and consumers.

# # #

About MBLM: Founded in 2004, MBLM is the Brand Intimacy Agency, which is dedicated to creating greater emotional connections between people, brands and technology. With offices in nine countries, its multidisciplinary teams help clients deliver stronger marketing outcomes and returns for the long term. To learn more about creating and sustaining ultimate brand relationships, visit

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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PulPress™ Technology for the Automotive and Aerospace Industries

In this interview Dr. Sivakumara Krishnamoorthy, Manager of New Applications at Evonik Performance Foams talks to AZoM about their newest technology, PulPress™ for Automotive and Aerospace industries.

Dr. Sivakumara explains the benefits and advancements PulPress™ offers over previous methods for producing complex composite components.

By using a core material that can withstand high temperatures and pressurised environments, Evonik’s PulPress™ Technology employs the latest in innovative high performance materials and technology to produce composite components cost-effectively.

Could you give a brief overview about the new PulPress™ technology Evonik has recently introduced?

PulPress™ technology is a unique new processing method developed by Evonik that enables manufacturers to produce complex 3-dimensional, molded composite parts in high volumes.

The first components made using PulPress™ technology are already making their way into series production this year and cost savings are up to 60 percent over established methods traditionally used in the past.

What was the incentive behind creating the PulPress™ Technology?

Our customers in the mobility sector are increasingly looking for lightweight solutions and have begun relying more and more on composites as a means of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Until now, composites were primarily used in high-end segments and luxury-class automobiles because established composite manufacturing technologies can be expensive and complex.

With the introduction of PulPress™ technology, manufacturers now have a new option that gives them an efficient and easy-to-use process. Making design decisions that replace metal components with high performance composites no longer carries a high price tag.

What does the PulPress™ Technology offer that other technologies do not?

The PulPress™ method makes it possible to produce a high-quality complex composite component quickly, economically and with no waste. This simply isn’t possible with standard processes used in the past.

For example, Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) involves a number of intermediate steps, relatively long cycle times and generates a lot of scrap. So the cost of parts are pretty high if using RTM.

Another standard process called Pultrusion is fast, continuous and economic, but the freedom of design is very limited – so only simple parts are possible. However, PulPress™ technology uniquely combines two traditional production techniques: compression molding and pultrusion. The result is an efficient solution that creates complex composite parts that are affordable.

Does PulPress™ Technology require a specific material for the core of the components?

Critical to success in implementing PulPress™ technology is using a core material that can withstand the high temperature and pressure environment.

Evonik’s high performance ROHACELL® polymethacrylimide (PMI) foam is the perfect material solution. This extreme processing environment is where ROHACELL® performs better than any other structural foam available and is easily thermoformed.

What are the technical advantages and manufacturing benefits of PulPress™?

Particularly impressive aspects include design flexibility, efficiency and superior mechanical properties of the finished parts. The composite parts are around 75 percent lighter than traditional steel structures, yet they provide the same strong and dependable support. Mechanically, these low density components demonstrate excellent load carrying capacity and have excellent crash behavior during impact.

Additionally, the Pulpress™ process generates almost no waste of the core material, fibers or resin. This obviously has ecological and economic advantages for manufacturers.

As an added advantage, the method allows easy integration of polymer or metal inserts for mechanical load transmission between components, so post-processing steps and the costs incurred are eliminated.

Can you explain the economic benefits of PulPress™?

Three major factors contribute to significant cost reduction when making composite parts using PulPress™ technology.  First, the method eliminates material waste and several steps in NC-machining for shaping complex foam geometries.

Furthermore, the raw fibers and resin are 100% utilized when building the composite parts. Second, cycle times are significantly improved thanks to the ability of ROHACELL® to quickly process at high temperatures and pressures. A single compact production line has an output of more than 30 components per hour.

Third, the simplicity of the technology eliminates several intermediate processing steps used in standard methods including preforming, draping, binder-activation, lay-up, etc.


How will the automotive industry benefit from Evonik’s new PulPress™ Technology?

In the automotive industry, complex composite profiles can be used as lightweight structural components within the car body design or as add-on parts for bumpers, impact beams, strut braces, roof racks and roof bows.

PulPress™ also makes it possible to achieve lower “packaging space” in a vehicle body while maintaining identical structural performance. This reduction in required space results in more design freedom to shape new attractive exteriors for car bodies.

Even chassis components, such as stiffness bars and shafts, can be made in PulPress™ method.  Benefits of PulPress™ technology have already won over a number of Evonik customers in the automotive industry.

Does PulPress™ offer any advantages to the aviation industry?

The technical economic benefits of PulPress™ technology are certainly applicable to component manufacturers in the aviation industry. Very narrow dimensional and mechanical tolerances characterize the high quality PulPress™ parts.

So the process could conceivably be successfully applied in aircraft component construction as a cost-effective method for producing non-variable parts. Even variable parts with a common “base” geometry can be economically produced using modular tooling.

PulPress™ opens up new opportunities for structural solutions, where the move from metals to CFRP have been until now cost-prohibitive. Low cost processing of high performance materials could be a key enabler for mid- to long-term technology targets.

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Why should a company use Evonik’s PulPress™ Technology?

Making ultra-lightweight, high performance parts using sandwich composites is a well-proven construction principle. PulPress™ process makes it possible to transfer the technology from high-end segments to mass production with fast, economic resource-efficient production of composite components.

This brings new opportunities for component manufacturers as well as aircraft and automotive OEM’s in their quest to meet future demands in lightweight construction.

Evonik offers access to PulPress™ technology as an efficient part production solution. While we do not sell the actual finished parts, we can supply ROHACELL® foam cores for input and work closely with customers to offer technical engineering support to implement PulPress™ technology in their production.

Where can our readers go to find out more?

To learn more about Evonik’s PulPress™ Technology please contact a ROHACELL® representative in your area: or call +49 (6151) 18-1005 or email   [email protected]

About Sivakumara “Siva” Krishnamoorthy

Dr. Sivakumara Krishnamoorthy is manager of the division New Applications within the Performance Foams business in Evonik’s Resource Efficiency segment and is responsible for PulPress™ technology. He began his career with Evonik in 2013 as a senior project manager responsible for new products technologies within Project House Composites of Evonik Creavis GmbH. In 2016, he took over his current role in the marketing and sales unit of Evonik’s Performance Foams business.

Siva completed his Bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, India in 2002 and then earned his Master of Science in computational mechanics of materials and structures from the University of Stuttgart, Germany in 2004. He later received his doctorate in engineering sciences from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany in 2010. Subsequently, he worked as a project manager research associate at the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart dealing with the development of lightweight vehicle structures.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

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