BMW to add logistics centre at Chennai
As part of its plans to strengthen its standing in India, BMW is adding capacity at its Chennai plant from 3,000 to 5,400 units and is adding a new vehicle logistics centre to the facility to support it, as well as expanding its dealer network.
By mid-2012, the BMW Group will have invested a total of €30m in India since launching production there in 2007.
“India is a market that holds great potential for the future for us and is a building block in our global market offensive,” said Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the board of management of BMW, responsible for Production. “At the same time as we are expanding capacity, we will also be gearing the plant to produce a further model for the Indian market, the X1, starting in November 2010 and thereby opening up new customer segments.”
CLI expands in Kansas to handle GM inbound
Comprehensive Logistics (CLI) has signed a two-year lease on 20,500m2 at logistics facility in Kansas City, US for parts handling to GM’s assembly plant in nearby Fairfax.
The company will receive, store, pick, sort and repack parts for Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse assembly at the Fairfax plant from more than 130 suppliers at the facility, which is located on Kansas Avenue.
CLI is also sequencing Malibu and LaCrosse doorpad components in Kansas City to support the automaker’s just-in-time production requirements.
Autologic takes over distressed Autocarriers
UK-based finished vehicle carrier Autologic is purchasing the assets of Autocarriers, which is currently in Administration following collapse as a consequence of the recent economic downturn.
Autocarriers, which trades under the name MCD (Mainland Car Deliveries), was established in 1955 and had grown to become one of the UK’s major vehicle transporters.
“Whilst the Scrappage Scheme introduced by the last Government provided a respite to the collapsing demand in the market, the pressures created by diminishing volumes and reducing rates, has proved too much for the business to withstand,” said Autologic in a statement.
Avril Palmer Baunack, CEO for Autologic added: “This is no market for the faint-hearted. Fortunately, the journey that Autologic has embarked upon over the past three years, through our own re-structuring and strong focus on customer service, has enabled our business to come through these testing times both fitter and stronger, making us well equipped to deal with the new realities that we are all facing,” she said
“Our immediate focus is to stabilise the MCD business, ensuring that customer service is unaffected and that its operational structure remains intact. We are more than aware that this has been a torrid time for the employees and we will be working closely with staff and their representatives, including our colleagues at Unite, to make the transition as smooth as possible“, she also added.
Joint venture builds export flow from Spain
The joint venture established between Groupe CAT and Grupo Suardiaz earlier this year to provide shortsea vehicle movements in Europe has taken a step further with plans to add a third vessel from the Suardiaz fleet and target 300,000 multibrand cars by next year.
Called SCSC, for Suardiaz Cat Shipping Company, the company handles Renault exports from Spain and the port of Santander to the main European ports of Le Havre, Zeebrugge, Cuxhaven, Southampton and Teesport.
SCSC operates two vessels, L’Audace and the Gran Canaria Car, and announced this week that the service would be supported by  a third vessel from Suardiaz’s fleet.
With a combined capacity of nearly 1,000 cars per shipment and per vessel, SCSC is targeting the shipment of more than 300,000 multibrand cars in 2011.
Further delays at Mumbai port
Following the collision between a cargo vessel and a container ship in August that brought a standstill to both of India’s ports in Mumbai affecting parts shipments from Renault and other carmakers, another accident at Jawaharlal Nehru Port, India's largest container hub, held up ship movements at one of its six berths for ten days at the beginning of September, only becoming fully operational last week.
The Lahore Express, owned by Hapag-Lloyd, suspended operations on 6 September after two containers fell on its fuel tank while they were being hauled out and contaminated other containers. Ten ships had to wait outside the port for over a week for their turn to unload and load cargo before the vessel was able to set sail on 15 September.