STVA takes Toyotas to Poland
STVA, the automotive subsidiary of French rail company SNCF, has won a one year contract with Toyota Europe to ship vehicles from the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium to Mszczonów, near Warsaw in Poland for distribution to the Polish and Ukraine markets.
The contract, formerly tendered to ATG, was won because of STVA’s better price proposal, according to its deputy managing director Alain Leray.
“The bottom line is price because that is what manufacturers are interested in and we offer an aggressive price, which could only be reached by [the service] being loaded both ways,” he told Automotive Logistics News.
STVA will move more than 20,000 Toyota vehicles per annum from Zeebrugge. The carmaker handled more than 284,000 vehicles through its vehicle centre there in 2009 for pan-European distribution.
Ports look for Fiat business from Serbia
The Slovenian port of Koper could be in the running for increased vehicle throughput next year when Fiat begins production of its LO segment vehicles – the Fiat Idea and Lancia Musa – at the Kragujevac plant in Serbia. Fiat took a controlling 70% stake in the plant, which is 100km south of Belgrade, from state-owned Zastava in late 2008 and has invested €700m in the facility.
The Montenegrin port of Bar, which includes a ro-ro terminal is the closest to Kragujevac and a spokesperson confirmed that it is in discussions with Fiat concerning the additional vehicle throughput expected next year but stressed that no decision had been yet reached. The port of Bar is operating below capacity and has only recently ended a call for tenders for development of its passenger and ro-ro terminal.
Meanwhile, the port of Koper, which is operated exclusively by Luka Koper, is one of the largest car terminals in the Mediterranean, with a capacity of 600,000 units and is building numbers back up as the automotive sector recovers from the economic crisis. So far this year Koper has handled more than 380,000 vehicles, with year end estimates around 430,000. It handled 570,000 units in 2008.
Fiat said it had not made any decision on export distribution ports, telling Automotive Logistics News only that it was “currently evaluating several proposals”. Likewise, Luka Koper spokesman Sebastjan Šik said: “I can confirm our interest, but nothing has been yet been decided.”
Fiat Automobiles Serbia, which celebrated the production of the 30,000th Punto Classic automobile at the end of October, is expected to increase annual output by 150,000 units with the addition alongside the Punto of the new LO segment vehicles starting in the first quarter of 2012. It is estimated that two thirds of those vehicles will be transported by sea to wider markets in Europe and the US.
When Fiat signed the agreement with the Kragujevac authorities in 2008 it was granted exemption from all local taxes and fees until 2018. The deal also included the provision of land free of charge should the carmaker need to extend its production capacity.
Fiat has spent around €2.5m cleaning up 2,000 tons of waste paint and removing 40,000m3 of other pollutants and waste debris at the site.
Volt ready for distribution to US dealers
Chevrolet is ready to begin shipping Volt plug-in hybrid sedans to dealers in the US and is only waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a label certifying the vehicle’s mileage for distribution to begin. The EPA label is needed before sales can take place and GM said it is due “any day”.
The Volt hybrid has been built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant since the beginning of November and there the vehicles now stored ready for shipment from the plant.
GM plans to produce 10,000 Volts in 2011 and 45,000 in 2012.
Second Ceva forum to discuss automotive aftermarket
Following the success of Ceva Logistics’ first Automotive Forum held this past September in conjunction with Centre for Automotive Management at the University of Buckingham in the UK, the company has announced a second event for early 2011.
The forums, which are designed “to stimulate informed debate about the challenges facing automotive industries post-recession” are focussed of the aftermarket sector and the next event will concentrate on the strategic implications for the components industry, the aftermarket and the automotive logistics industry.
“We envisaged a regular gathering of automotive aftermarket stakeholders, OEMs, independents and fast-fit suppliers, to debate and discuss the current and future challenges facing the UK aftermarket,” said Ceva’s vice president, Automotive UK & Ireland, David Jackman.
The first forum examined the strategic developments in the automotive industries post-recession, and over 15 different automotive companies were represented, including BMW, Renault-Nissan, VW and Peugeot.