Ford Issues 2020 Global Trend Report

Ford has released its latest Global Trend Report which addresses several important issues in today’s world, focusing most on trust as a dominant global theme that companies are working to earn back from customers.

The report surveys 14 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and suggests that people’s ability to trust peers, communities, elected officials and businesses has a large impact on their day-to-day lives.

“The rate of change globally has been on the rise and without the trust in the institutions, brands and peers to rely on, a majority of people are feeling extremely overwhelmed,” said Sheryl Connelly, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring Manager at Ford. “Consumers want to believe that companies are doing the right thing, but companies also need to give them a clear reason to do so. At Ford, we remain deeply focused on improving the lives of consumers and their communities, so we can continue to have a trusted relationship that moves us forward together.”

Ford’s report outlined other consumer trends which include The Green Paradox, Call to Stand, All Alone, Below the Surface, Great Expectations, Identity Matters and The Second Time Around.

The Green Paradox addresses climate change fears and consumers who aren’t changing behaviours due to belief that their behaviour can’t make a difference, while Call to Stand tackles consumer standpoints on product-based mindsets against value-based mindsets.

All Alone talks about loneliness in the younger generation, Below the Surface touches on trust and transparency between customers and companies and its importance, and Great Expectations focuses on customer expectations for brands over time. Identity Matters opens up about sexual identity and how people understand it, while The Second Time Around discusses how used goods are more acceptable to customers than they were some years ago.

To read Ford’s full Global Trend Report, click here.

Luca De Meo Rumoured Lead In Renault CEO Race

Luca de Meo, an Italian who has worked at many European car manufacturers before running Volkswagen’s Spanish brand, SEAT, is being labelled the front-runner to become CEO of Renault, said people familiar with the matter.

De Meo has leadership experience in the automotive industry, diplomatic skills, speaks five languages, has helped freshen the model line-up at SEAT and has lead the company to profitability. De Meo has spent 25 years working for various European car manufacturers including Renault, Toyota, FCA, Volkswagen and SEAT, where he has since remained as Chairman on the Executive Committee.

Renault began the CEO search after removing Thierry Bollore, who held the position for under a year after the arrest of Carlos Ghosn in November 2018. Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has said that it would be more preferable to make a selection by the end of the year, but it will not be a problem if it takes longer.

While Renault is narrowing the list of candidates, no decision has been made and other contenders remain in the running, said people asking not to be identified over confidential matters. The company will complete its shortlist soon, before submitting it to the board for review, according to the sources.

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CIECAst Webinar Announced For January 2020

CIECA has announced its next CIECAst webinar – It’s 2020: Where Are Claims & the Collision Repair Market Heading? The webinar will be held on Tuesday 21 January, 2020 at 11 AM CST, will run for one hour, and will feature Sean Carey, President of SCG Management Consultants.

Carey will talk about where claims and the collision repair market are heading in the future, while also discussing the best way to prepare based on industry segment –  independent shop, MSO, insurer, OEM or supply chain provider. Carey will also give a long-term view of the market.

Carey has over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry. He has worked at Nissan as manager of its London Certified Collision Repair Program, at Fix Auto where he was jointly responsible for CynCast, and established Carter & Carter International. In 2009, Carey established SCG Management Consulting and has since consulted with all sectors of the automotive claims industry. Over the past five years, he has become a regular speaker at industry conferences regarding telematics and the potential impact it will have on the claims and collision market.

To register for the CIECAst, click here.

Attendees will have the opportunity to take a short quiz to earn credit toward a professional designation from the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) after the CIECAst webinar.

Participation High As Automechanika Shanghai 2019 Closes

The 15th edition of Automechanika Shanghai, which took place from 3 to 6 December 2019, has recorded even more industry participation than ever before. 159,728 visitors connected with 6590 exhibitors across the show floor (2018: 150,568 visitors, 6,269 exhibitors). During the four-day show, the automotive ecosystem through more vertical and horizontal integration in the entire value chain was illustrated, while activities around the fairground brought exhibition themes, emerging products, services and technology, and rising trends to life.

Celebrations of the show’s 15th edition milestone were felt all around the fairground and participants were particularly keen to express the fair’s quick growth and influence, not just in the domestic market, but the international industry too. Its automotive ecosystem was channelled through the fairground’s new zones and fringe programme events in efforts to connect a wider automotive community. As a result, more finance firms, insurance companies, research institutes, talent management experts, start-ups, as well as players across the entire supply chain made their way to the show.

The news comes after the fair expanded many of its themed zones and areas. For example, the enhanced Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility sector shed light on the latest innovations for electromobility, intelligent vehicle technology, car connectivity, mobility services, smart road systems and lightweight materials.

Other areas that proved immensely popular among participants were the improved Customising sector featuring interior, exterior and high-performance customisation, as well as the Motorsports & High Performance zone and the Supply Chain & Chain Store zone. Here, attendees explored the latest aftermarket trends and delved into new business models for the proliferating service and chain store segment. Other sectors included Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Accessories, Repair & Maintenance and REFIEN (Tyres & Wheels).

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 also marked an increase in international participation across the board. To illustrate, overseas exhibitor participation rose by four per cent with representation from a total of 46 countries and regions. Exhibitors from Belarus, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia returned to the fair as Kazakhstan and Macau made their show debut.

There was an upward surge of visitor participation by six per cent, reaching an impressive total of 159,728 delegates, while overseas attendance was also felt in force throughout the exhibition.

This year, a total of 65 fringe programme events ran concurrently with the main show. Throughout the fairground, each event received high praise from industry experts who took part and presented the latest global updates and local developments in the entire automotive supply chain. Many new fringe events, reflecting key fair trends, were also welcomed for the first time this year, such as the debuting Body & Paint World Championships, Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility Innovation Technology Conference, China Auto Dealer Supply Chain and Financial Innovation Summit 2019 and International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) China 2019.

Symach Develops UVA-LEDtronic Technology

Symach has announced its new UVA-LEDtronic technology for drying and curing UV coating products.

Symach says the product is unique compared to known products on the market today, because it is more powerful with a lower 90-watt energy consumption, along with being more than double the drying speed of most known systems. The UV-LEDtronic is available as a portable lamp, the UVA-LEDtronic M1, that covers an area of 50 centimetres, or in the Flydry robotic version which is available in a FlyDry Hybrid model with IR-Drytronic and the UV-LEDtronic. There is also a UV-LEDtronic-only version called the FlyDry LE.

The LEDs used are of different wavelengths throughout the UV-A segment and are assembled along a line of reflectors which are designed to achieve the fastest and most efficient drying result. The LEDs are controlled by an electronic board with a temperature control device that shuts off the electric power if the device overheats from prolonged use. The LEDs are installed on an aluminium support equipped with a heat sink which allows for prolonged use of the lamp and drying several car panels in sequence.

AkzoNobel Celebrates 85 Years Of Wanda Refinish

AkzoNobel is celebrating the 85th anniversary of its Wanda vehicle refinishes brand, a product that started locally but grew into a globally used brand.

Wanda was formed in the early 20th century by Roque Montesano, a Brazillian man who wanted to own his own paint factory. Montesano told his wife that if he succeeded, he would name his brand after their daughter, a goal that he achieved.

AkzoNobel says Wanda is available in over 40 countries on five continents and has a global reputation which is built on its colour accuracy, ease of use, quality and value. Wanda Montesano Ferrara, the original inspiration for the name of the brand, has been involved in the anniversary celebrations too.

“I followed in my father’s footsteps to become an entrepreneur and am very proud to look back, see everything that the Wanda brand has achieved and celebrate these 85 years of moments and memories,” said Wanda.

“Our Wanda brand is synonymous with tradition, evolving technology and quality and has become a preferred choice for market professionals around the world,” said Rakshit Punetha, Global Brand Manager for Wanda. “It’s not only a great example of our passion for paint, it also highlights the huge sense of pride we take from continuing to show the same commitment to customers that Roque first demonstrated all those years ago.”

Wanda is now manufactured in Europe, Asia and at AkzoNobel’s plant in São Paulo, and can be purchased in the US, Spain, Russia, India, Italy, Australia, Poland, China and New Zealand. Wanda is compatible with a range of AkzoNobel’s advanced colour search tools, such as MIXIT, ColorPro and Automatchic Vision.

BASF To Build New Automotive Refinish Coatings Site In China

BASF will build a new automotive refinish coatings site in Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, China in the first half of 2022.

“Guangdong Province is of strategic importance to BASF in Greater China,” said Zheng Daqing, Senior Vice President, Business and Market Development, BASF Greater China. “The investment in Jiangmen will double the production capacity of the site. Located in the fast-growing area of the Pearl River Delta, the new facility will enable us to be even closer to our customers, further supporting the automotive industry.”

Acquired from a local family business in 2016, BASF Coatings (Guangdong) Co., Ltd. is the company’s first automotive refinish coatings production site in Asia. The company says in the past three years, the site has become a world-class production facility, supported by continuous investments in environment, health and safety, product quality, people, and research and development.

After the acquisition, BASF formed a technology hub in Jiangmen to focus on colour technology and developing sustainable high-performance products for the refinish and commercial transportation segments in Asia Pacific.

“We have upgraded the production and environmental protection facilities to meet BASF’s world-class standards,” said Patrick Zhao, Senior Vice President, BASF Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific. “At the same time, we have enhanced the skillsets of our employees, with one focus being on environment, health and safety practices. This is how we have built a professional, competitive team and fostered a safe and sustainable corporate culture. We now have the full capability to serve the growing local and regional value-for-money market with strong product and solution offerings.”

BASF said its environmental credentials and contributions were recognised by the local Environmental Protection Bureau of Jiangmen when it was named a “Green Brand” in October 2018.

Ford And McDonald’s Collaborate To Create Car Parts

Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s USA will soon work together by using the discarded skins of roasted coffee beans in vehicle parts such as headlamp housings.

The companies found that coffee chaff, the dried skin of the bean that naturally comes off during the roasting process, can be converted into a durable material to reinforce certain vehicle parts. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen, mixed in with plastic and other additives, and turned into pellets which can then be formed into various shapes.

The chaff composite meets quality specifications for parts such as headlamp housings and other interior and engine bay components. The resulting items are around 20 per cent lighter and require up to 25 per cent less energy during the moulding process. Ford said the heat properties of the chaff component are significantly better than the currently used material and is the first time the company has used bean skins to convert into select vehicle parts.

“McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford Senior Technical Leader. “This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”

McDonald’s is expected to give a significant portion of its coffee chaff in North America to Ford to be incorporated into vehicle parts.

“Like McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimising waste and we’re always looking for innovative ways to further that goal,” said Ian Olson, Senior Director, Global Sustainability, McDonald’s. “By finding a way to use coffee chaff as a resource, we are elevating how companies together can increase participation in the closed-loop economy.”

The project also involves Varroc Lighting Systems, which supplies the headlamps, and Competitive Green Technologies, the processor of the coffee chaff. Ford says its goal is using recycled and renewable plastics in vehicles globally and increasing the range of sustainable materials.

McDonald’s says it is on its way to sourcing all its guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025, and helping develop a recyclable and/or compostable cup through the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge. Both efforts are part of McDonald’s Scale for Good initiative, a global commitment to use its size and scale to drive meaningful change.

Jaguar Unveils Refreshed 2020 F-Type

Jaguar has revealed the updated F-Type convertible and coupe range which feature changes to the exterior and interior.

The front exterior sees the bumper receiving a revamp with a larger grille and side air vents with an integrated leaper motif. The LED headlights have daytime running lights with sweeping direction indicators and the bonnet has been updated into a vented clamshell design, giving the car a wider look.

The rear of the exterior sees a facelift in the form of a bumper with a new diffuser, license plate frame and array of exhaust tip layouts. Additionally, the taillights now have a rectangular dip over the older circular one.

The interior has a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen with a navigation system, integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, over-the-air updates and integrated leaper motifs in the headrests, centre console, glovebox button and seatbelt guides.

The new F-Type range has three engines all paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, with both a regular SportShift gear selector and steering wheel-mounted paddles available.

The base engine is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 221 kW and 400 Nm, standing below the second engine which is a 3.0-litre V6 with 280 kW and 460 Nm. The range header, the F-Type R, is a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 that features 423 kW of power and 700 Nm of torque.

The F-Type R also has all-wheel drive and 20-inch alloy wheels as standard, and has seen recalibration and improved responsiveness to the adaptive dampers, transmission, springs, anti-roll bars and suspension.

An exclusive F-Type First Edition coupe model is available for only one model year based on the R-Dynamic, and has five-spoke 20-inch wheels in Gloss Technical Grey with contrast Diamond-Turned finish, performance leather seats with 12-way electric adjustment, a black roof and Flame Red monogram stitching.