The coronavirus pandemic meant 2020 was a tough year for everyone in the automotive sector. GM was no exception. While the carmaker’s sales for the calendar year reached 2.5m units, total deliveries were down 12% and retail deliveries down 6% for the year. However, toward the end of 2020 retail sales recovered to pre-pandemic levels. According to the carmaker’s executive vice-president, Steve Carlisle, that was down to the efforts made by GM’s workforce. They kept launches on track and each other safe.
The used car sector is hot, with high demand from consumers and rising prices. However, as the supply of used cars is ultimately limited by the number of new cars entering the market and consumers trading in their old cars, actual volumes have not been significantly higher this year. What has changed, on both sides of the Atlantic, is where that volume is going.
Volkswagen is reported to be in discussion with two of its top suppliers over possible compensation for losses caused to its output in Germany.
Honda will be importing test versions of the Cruise autonomous, electric vehicle from the US to Japan this year for use in its Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) business there. Meanwhile, Cruise and its owner GM have signed a deal with Microsoft to further commercialise autonomous vehicles through the computing giant’s Azure application.
An ongoing shortage in semiconductor supply is disrupting production of parts and vehicles around the world. The supply bottleneck, which is caused by a combination of factors, including the impact of Covid-19 on production in the first half of 2020 and on manufacturing investment, is affecting a number of major carmakers and their suppliers.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made it clearer than ever that better visibility of the supply chain is needed, even if its sheer complexity doesn’t make that easy. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology may help, but a clear workflow process, and a talented and inspired workforce, are essential to make the technology effective.
Watch this webinar to hear from experts in the field from International Automotive Components (IAC) Group, Blue Yonder, KPMG and Microsoft for an informative, thought-provoking complimentary webinar on the challenges the Supply Chain has faced during Covid 19 and how to approach future crisis.
Inform has announced changes to its management structure with the appointment of four co-CEOs to join Adrian Weiler, who has been CEO at the optimisation software specialist since 1986 and continues to lead the company.
Disruption has become commonplace and there is no longer a ‘situation normal’ for the automotive supply chain, but there are digital tools to help evaluate supply chain risks and costs, as Marcus Williams finds out from recently coupled technology providers Llamasoft and Coupa Software
Volkswagen Group Components has presented a mobile robot that can autonomously charge electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids, offering a potential solution to keep EVs charged during storage in compounds.
Experts from BMW, Ford, Symbio Robotics and Cosmo Tech discussed how artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in automotive production need fast ramp-up times and adoption by employees to succeed. High-quality data and use of simulation are also key.
Parts supplier Continental is developing its own automated guided vehicle (AGV) for the movement of heavy parts in its production facilities. Autonomous AGVs are currently being trialled at plants in Zvolen (Slovakia) and Frankfurt am Main (Germany), and moving material for brake production. They can carry loads of more than a ton.
The venture capital and mobility division of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) – InMotion Ventures – has invested an undisclosed sum in blockchain technology provider Circulor.
This Livestream Hour episode discusses how automation and AI can support automotive manufacturing with technology leaders from BMW and Ford, together with systems and software specialists.
Hyundai Motor Group is buying an 80% stake in robotics provider Boston Dynamics, worth $880m to develop and commercialise robotics, with applications ranging from component manufacturing to smart logistics.
BMW and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have agreed to jointly develop applications to use AWS’ cloud computing platform to increase efficiency, performance and sustainability across the lifecycle of its vehicles, from design to aftersales services.
Audi is using 3D holograms to better plan production logistics processes at its vehicle assembly plants. The use of augmented reality technology removes the need to produce prototypes of equipment or containers, making planning more cost and time efficient, according to the carmaker.
BMW’s project leader for logistics innovations and industry 4.0, Marco Prueglmeier, has left the carmaker to found an innovation consultancy called i2Market. The aim of the company is to provide industry with software development, robotics, automated warehousing, artificial intelligence and simulation.
In the face of disruption and a drop in vehicle volumes caused by Covid-19, NYK is looking into the use of automation to reduce contact in storage yards, and remote management of cargo-handling and pre-delivery inspection (PDI) operations. At the same time it is continuing to expand its automotive-dedicated terminals globally
Volkswagen’s Thomas Zernechel is retiring at the end of 2020 after 16 years as head of VW Group Logistics. He will be replaced on January 1 next year by Simon Motter, previously head of supply chain at Audi’s Ingolstadt plant, who joined VW Group Logistics at the beginning of November in preparation for the new role.