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.

SAPE Group, Spanesi Announce Partnership

The SAPE Group, Australia’s largest supplier of paint, equipment and consumables to the automotive repair industry, has announced a new partnership with Spanesi, a global producer of collision repair equipment and technology.

SAPE says the new partnership will greatly strengthen its existing equipment portfolio and is part of a wider strategy to be the leading supplier of collision repair equipment in Australia. Some important aspects of the deal include the distribution of Spanesi frame machines and fixture systems, vacuum and dust extractions systems, and high-performance spray booths in Australia.

Spanesi equipment is approved for use by companies such as Audi, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Tesla, Volkswagen and Volvo.

“We are especially excited to partner with Spanesi, a company that is recognised for being at the forefront of innovation in the automotive repair industry,” said Paul McMartin, Director of the SAPE Group. “This partnership offers exciting possibilities for Spanesi to expand its presence in Australia and we look forward to working closely with Spanesi. We welcome the Spanesi family to the SAPE Group.”

Hadi Zablit Named Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Secretary General

Hadi Zablit has been named as the new Secretary General for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi automotive alliance. He will oversee industrial cooperation projects and improve the efficiency and financial performance of the partnership.

Zablit is currently the Business Development Chief for the French-Japanese alliance, which sold 10.6 million vehicles worldwide in 2017. Zablit first joined Renault as an engineer and product manager in 1994, leaving to work for the Boston Consulting Group in 2000 before returning to the company just under three years ago.

The change was spurred by the alliance looking for a new start following the arrest and legal battles of ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn, who was detained last November over allegations of financial impropriety.

Ghosn is now out on bail after more than four months in a Japanese detention centre. He faces charges of deferring part of his salary until after his retirement and concealing this from shareholders, as well as siphoning off millions in Nissan cash for his own purposes.

SCRG Acquires Six Collision Repairers In NSW, QLD

Strategic Collision Repair Group (SCRG) has acquired six collision repair businesses in NSW and QLD, saying that it’s the first step in its plan to become a single high-scale operator by consolidating several established operators.

The businesses acquired are Stanley’s Panel Works, Bodyline Motor Body, Cowper Smash Repairs, Coulson Body Repairs, Silverwater Smash Repairs and CRA Group. All six companies have an average history of over 50 years in traditional, rapid and prestige repairs, running over 13 operating centres and employing approximately 200 people between them.

SCRG said in the 2018 financial year, the combined businesses completed over 22,000 repairs for insurance companies, motor vehicle fleet management organisations, commercial and government customers, OEMs and motor vehicle owners.

The acquired businesses have each established brands and community and insurer relationships that will provide advantages and financial benefits, which includes cost synergies and increased purchasing power when operating as a consolidated group.

Portcullis House financed the acquisitions and has supplied a representative, Laurie Macri, to serve as SCRG’s Executive Chairman. Macri will be supported by business executive Brendon Glass, with a management personnel team in sales, finance, operations and general management also being formed to support the scale of business acquired.

Vendors of the businesses will remain with SCRG to allow a smooth integration and provide continual key operational and commercial input. Additionally, an executive committee has been established to monitor SCRG and will include the vendors, who will also remain material shareholders of SCRG.

“This represents the first step in SCRG’s life as a consolidator of high-quality smash repair businesses,” said Macri. “For the acquired businesses it is very much business as usual, while we look to implement operational synergies in procurement and enhanced site performance, as well as productivity improvements through a centralised support function and the application of integrated software. Our aim is to develop a high-scale, industry-leading operator with the customer at the centre of everything we do, and a culture of excellence.”

Axalta Hosts WorldSkills Regional Competition At Gold Coast Training Centre

Axalta Coating Systems organised and hosted the WorldSkills Australia Regional Competition for the Queensland region on 26 November, allowing young apprentices to showcase their talents in the Vehicle Painting category.

Axalta is a Principal Category Partner with WorldSkills Australia, supporting the 2019 Regional Competitions and the 2020 WorldSkills Australia National Competition. The competitors used the Standoblue waterborne basecoat for all colour application, involving a two-tone design which was specified by WorldSkills. Axalta said one of the benefits of using Standoblue basecoat is that it could be hardened and dried quickly, ready to mask up for the second colour all within a very small time frame – essential to getting everyone finished on the day.

The winners were Aaryn Mckeegan with Gold, Olivia Agnew with Silver and Angelina Jasmine Aitken who won Bronze, with the three of them each receiving a Sagola gun from Axalta.

“We are very proud to support these exceptional young Australians and provide them with new opportunities for growth,” said Paul Polverino, Training Manager at Axalta. “Axalta’s passion for our industry and desire to secure its future through young professionals is what drives us.”

The 2020 WorldSkills Australia National Competition will be held on 13 – 15 August at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. Axalta said it will continue its partnering role as sponsor and supporter of the vehicle painting competitors.

Hyundai To Build Its First Indonesian Factory

Hyundai Motor Company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indonesian government to build its first manufacturing plant in the country.

The plant will be built on a 77.6-hectare site in Kota Deltamas, a district in the eastern outskirts of Jakarta. Hyundai said its decision to invest in Indonesia was made to support its growth into new ASEAN markets, which it expects will help it withstand slowing demand in the global automotive market.

“The establishment of Hyundai Motor’s manufacturing plant in Indonesia has been made possible thanks to the continuous cooperation and support from the Indonesian government,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “Hyundai will continue to listen actively and respond to the Indonesian government’s expectations and policies regarding eco-friendly vehicles, while continuously contributing to the ASEAN community.”

Hyundai will invest approximately US$1.55 billion in the plant until 2030, including product development and operation costs, with construction to begin in December this year. The company expects to begin producing vehicles in the second half of 2021 with an annual capacity of 150,000 units, but the plant will eventually be able to build around 250,000 vehicles annually when it reaches full capacity.

The company plans to produce compact SUV, compact MPV, and sedan models specifically designed for customers in South-East Asia at the new plant, which will incorporate facilities for stamping, welding, painting and assembly. Hyundai believes that more than 23,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created at the factory, and will explore production of ASEAN-specific electric vehicles there too.

Vehicles produced at the new facility will be on a build-to-order basis and, as commercial production commences, will also implement a new integrated ‘online-offline-mobile’ retail channel with local businesses to optimise sales and customer experience in Indonesia.

Automechanika Riyadh 2020 To Open In February

Automechanika Riyadh 2020 will open its doors in three months at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Organisers are expecting to see over 125 exhibitors from more than 15 exhibiting countries, both local and international, in addition to 3500 visitors from the Kingdom.

The show will be held from 24-26 February, 2020, will run from 11 AM to 8 PM, and will feature exhibitors from Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Turkey, Taiwan, and the UAE among others as well as pavilions from Korea, the USA and China.

Organisers say people are excited to see what new and exciting opportunities will be coming up in Saudi Arabia. In addition to the construction projects aimed at attracting FDI into the country, the automotive Industrial Clusters are looking for manufacturers to setup shop in the country as well. Lucid Motors is on track to begin production in 2020 with the help of investments from Saudi Arabia.

Companies that are attending include Automotor France, Chloride Batteries, Jess Auto Industries, SIRAL SPA, AlTkamul AlTiqani Computers, Yenmark Motor Gomlek, Giant Manufacturing Inc. and many others. For those looking to exhibit, there are still prime spaces available to book using a booking form which can be found here.

Fix Auto Welcomes Sunny Auto Smash To Network

Fix Auto Australia has added its third new location in the last six weeks with the addition of Sunny Auto Smash Repairs in Sunshine, Victoria, a second-generation family owned repairer that has been in the community for over 50 years.

“With the rapidly changing nature of the smash repair industry today, we realised that we had a lot to gain by being part of a united network of independent repairers,” said John and Nicole Gebing, owners of Sunny Auto Smash Repairs. “Being part of Fix Auto allows us to continue to focus on what we do best which is do high quality repairs and delight our customers, while Fix Auto bring us the latest in systems, processes and support. We have already benefited from that extra set of eyes on the business in our first week and are looking forward to benefiting much more in the future.”

“John and Nicole epitomise everything our business strives for,” said Stuart Faid, Fix Network Regional Vice President and Head of Business in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. “We look for passionate, engaged owners who want to thrive and not just survive in today’s industry, and we partner with them to achieve that. Our franchise partners remain at the very centre of everything we do. Our mission is simple, to ensure sustainability for independently owned businesses and the smash repair industry at large. I am delighted to welcome Fix Auto Sunshine to our family and look forward to watching their business continue to thrive with us.”

California Won’t Buy Cars From GM, Toyota, Others Opposing Emissions Standards

California has announced that state agencies will no longer buy petrol-powered sedans, and from January 2020 the state will stop purchasing vehicles from car manufacturers that haven’t agreed to follow California’s clean car rules.

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and multiple other manufacturers that sided with the Trump administration in the ongoing battle over tailpipe pollution rules will be affected by the change. According to data from the California Department of General Services, compiled by Cal Matters, California spent US$74 million on its fleet of passenger vehicles last year. The state’s decision could hit GM particularly hard – in 2018, California spent more than US$27 million on GM-owned Chevrolet vehicles while comparatively, it spent US$3.6 million on vehicles from Toyota and US$3 million on those from Fiat Chrysler.

The Trump administration has long proposed rolling back Obama-era standards curbing greenhouse gases and increasing fuel economy of passenger vehicles. Those rollbacks haven’t yet been finalised, but in September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said they removed California’s authority to make its own greenhouse gas rules, which 13 other states and the District of Columbia follow.

As a result, California and 22 states sued the EPA, after suing the NHTSA in September, arguing the White House unlawfully removed the state’s waiver, which was granted under the Clean Air Act. To fend off the uncertainty of a long fight in court, Ford, Honda, BMW, and Volkswagen made deals with California – the state agreed to relax the Obama-era greenhouse gas targets somewhat, and the manufacturers agreed to follow the state’s rules.