High local content and shorter lead times for Daimler India
Daimler’s new Indian truck plant in Oragadam, Tamil Nadu will rely on a high degree of local content with only fuel injection systems and electronic components imported from overseas, according to the company.
Unlike a number of overseas car and commercial vehicle makers that have set up production facilities in India with established vendors, Daimler India has chosen to use the Indian suppliers and adopt a mix of single and multiple vendor policies.
The trucks are planned to roll out with 85% localisation and will maintain a 3-5 day inventory based on lead times in the supply of local parts.
The Germany company is investing $995m through its wholly-owned subsidiary – Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) – for the new facility which will start up with an initial capacity of 36,000 trucks per year.
The company announced last month that it was evaluate the possibilities of tying up with other global group companies for contract manufacturing at the upcoming facility.

Further investment for South African auto supply

General Motors South Africa (GMSA) is opening a parts and accessories warehouse in the Coega industrial development zone at Port Elizabeth on November 11th that will replace four existing facilities in the area.
The company is shifting R300m ($43m) worth of parts inventory to the 38,000 m² facility for the aftersales market from the other facilities in anticipation of 5-10% growth as its expands into the rest of Africa.
Total vehicle sales for the GMSA were up by 22% last month on October 2009.
The company imports 90% of production material from regions across the globe including Europe, Brazil, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.
The Coega Development Corporation funded more than R200m of the R250m GMSA facility and the carmaker will invest about R2 billion in the next two years as part of its Chevrolet Spark export programme (from its nearby Struandale plant) and upgrades to its Isuzu and Corsa lines.
At the same time parts provider Benteler Automotive SA has announced it will invest more than R450m in a facility in the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park in Uitenhage for supply to Volkswagen of South Africa’s plant there.
The parts supplied will include dashboard and body parts, front and rear bumpers and chassis parts.
Zero-emission logistics for Ford
Ford’s Wayne assembly plant in Michigan is to benefit from a zero emission supply of parts following a collaboration between its logistics provider T&K Logistics and heavy-duty, electric truckmaker Balqon.
T&K Logistics, which provides yard management of trailers/containers at the Wayne plant, will lease10 of Balqon’s 30 tonne electric yard tractors for the movement of material around the facility.
The lithium battery-powered tow tractors supplied by Balqon are suitable for 10-50 tonne capacity vehicles and can be charged via solar panels on the Michigan plant’s rooftop.
Ford is working with Detroit Edison, Xtreme Power and the state of Michigan to install a 500-kilowatt solar panel array along with a 750-kilowatt battery system at the plant that will also be used to power assembly which will include the Focus Electric from next year.

Delphi Automotive joins SmartWay

Automotive electronic systems supplier Delphi Automotive has joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership in an effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from its freight activity.
SmartWay is a collaboration set up in 2004 between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and major freight shippers, trucking companies, railroads and logistics companies designed to significantly reduce CO2 and NOx emissions. The Partnership currently has over 2,600 partners.
"Delphi joins a growing list of environmentally-responsible companies focused on reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to meet customer and operational requirements related to transit time and delivery reliability," said Delphi’s Sid Johnson, vice president, global supply management. "Continuous improvement of the environmental performance of our operations and products is everyone's responsibility at Delphi and we remain committed to protecting human health, natural resources, and the environment in which we live and operate."
By joining SmartWay Delphi aims to contribute to reducing 33 to 66m tonnes of C02 and up to 200,000 tonnes of NOx per year by 2012.
YRC reaches agreement with Teamsters, sued by rival
YRC Worldwide, a very large American less-than-truck load provider, and the Teamsters have agreed on a third round of concessions aimed at preserving 25,000 union jobs. YRC has struggled financially in the wake of the recession.
The agreement, the result of months of talks between the two sides, extends a previous agreement to 2015 and will reportedly save the company about $350 million a year. The union agreed to extend a previous 15% pay cut for two more years in exchange for equity in the company.
In response, ABF Freight System, a subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corporation and a less-than-truckload rival to YRC, has filed legal actions against the Teamsters and YRC Worldwide subsidiaries for violation of the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), the collective bargaining agreement covering most unionised trucking employees in the country. ABF claims that the deals results in a significant competitive disadvantage.