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South Korea's Fair Trade Commission has fined the local units of Denso Corp., Continental AG and Bosch around KRW114.6 billion ($107.99 million) for their role in fixing prices of components sold to Hyundai Motor Co. The fine comes as their counterparts in the United States, Europe and Japan continue their crackdown on price collusion among auto parts makers.
The covered parts include those for air-conditioning systems, seat belts, windshield wipers, radiators, power window motors and power steering. The Fair Trade Commission remarked that the units of Denso, Continental and Bosch had rigged prices of instrument panels and wipers sold to Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors. Affected vehicles include Hyundai's Sonata, Elantra and Kia's Pride and Carnival.
Denso, a South Korean unit, and a Continental unit were found involved in price-fixing of instrument panels from January 2008 to March 2012 that were installed on 11 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Denso and another Korean unit and that of Bosch were found to have colluded on the prices of wipers between August 2008 and February 2009.Read the entire article Denso, Continental and Bosch fined KRW114.6bn for price fixing in South Korea
Automotive parts supplier Continental has redesigned its wheel and braking system to meet today’s demands in electro mobility. Unlike the traditional wheel and braking solutions, the New Wheel Concept specially made for medium and compact electric vehicles meet all the requirements electric driving puts on the brake.
Continental’s innovative concept is based primarily on two new sections between the wheel and the axle. The carrier, or the inner part of the aluminum brake disc, remains affixed to the wheel hub while the wheel brake is attached to the star carrier of the axle. The reduced weight also means changing brake pads and tires will come easier as these are the only parts requiring periodic replacements.
It is important for electric vehicles that the driver uses small amounts of energy on friction brake, according to Paul Linhoff, Continental’s chassis and safety business unit head. The vehicle’s momentum is converted into electricity during deceleration, thereby increasing the vehicle’s range. He added that while the driver uses the brake pedal, it doesn’t conclude that the wheel brakes are also in use.Read the entire article Continental to showcase New Wheel Concept for EVs at 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show
In the next decade or so, taxis are likely to be replaced by autonomous cars like the new Continental Cube. In fact, companies like Google and Uber are already working on technology that will lead to this scenario.
Continental is known best for their tires, but they are also a major supplier of automotive electrics and systems. Now, they have built the Cube to demonstrate driverless mobility, and to test autonomous systems and technology.
The Cube prototype actually stands for “Continental Urban moBility Experience”. And it is based on the company’s own sensors and control units.Read the entire article Continental Cube Concept will soon be tested as an autonomous taxi
We often think that more speakers mean better sound. A lot of luxury vehicles are even equipped with 15 or more speakers. But as technology improves, manufacturers are introducing great quality audio with zero speakers. Yup, you won’t see any of them, but the music will sound very impressive. Continental just announced that they have a system called Ac2ated Sound, that will turn the car’s interior surroundings into a speaker. Now, that is proper surround sound.
Johann Hiebl, Continental’s head of business unit infotainment and connectivity, said that car manufacturers have been looking into surround sound systems that weigh less for the overall car to be lighter in weight, while providing more space for passengers and new technologies. Furthermore, he said they can use compact actuators and use surfaces to generate a natural, 3D sound - using the car itself and its walls as an instrument.
Certain parts of the car, from the A-pillars to the door panels are naturally suited for varying frequencies. For instance, the A-pillars can handle higher frequencies, which can be the audio system’s tweeters. On the other hand, mid-range frequencies can be perfectly handled by door panels, and the roof an rear shelf can act like subwoofers. Normally, a car would have speakers in some of these areas, but according to Continental, the actuators that will replace the actual coil and magnet can deliver vibrations in these areas and as a reaction, the car itself can produce the sound. Sounds technical, huh? The company even provided an illustration of a violin comparing it to a car’s door panel to further explain how this works.Read the entire article Continental Ac2ated Sound system uses absolutely zero speakers but offers a 3D experience
As the Dieselgate scandal continues its run, German carmaker Volkswagen AG and supplier Robert Bosch GmbH each reached a settlement agreement with owners of VW, Audi and Porsche diesel-powered vehicles found to be cheating emissions tests. The agreement, once approved, would entail a payment of at least $1.6 billion to accommodate specific actions – repair, buy back or compensation – meant to settle the companies’ differences with affected customers.
VW’s settlement agreement covers around 78,000 VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles powered by the group’s 3.0-liter TDI V6 diesel engine. This agreement became necessary because of the so-called Dieselgate scandal, which is basically a scheme implemented by VW to sell around 590,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the US – from model years 2009 to 2016 -- by making it seem that these units were cleaner than they actually were. Regulators have found out that VW employed a defeat device that helps these vehicles cheat on emissions tests.
Under the 3.0-liter TDI settlement program, Volkswagen would pay up to $1.2 billion in benefits assuming that 100 percent of affected customers take part; all eligible Generation 1 vehicles are bought back; and Generation 2 vehicles are fixed with an Emissions Compliant Repair to bring them to same emissions standards as they were certified.Read the entire article VW and Bosch to pay at least $1.6B to customers over Dieselgate scandal
Wolf-Henning Scheider has resigned from Robert Bosch to join engine parts maker Mahle. He was chief of Bosch's automotive division. Bosch is now grouping all automotive activities grouped under the new mobility solutions business sector, and has assigned Rolf Bulander to take over Scheider’s role.
Bulander will also be in charge of Bosch’s diesel systems, gasoline systems, and starter motors and generators divisions as well as for the electrical drives division. Dirk Hoheisel, meanwhile, will take charge of Bosch’s automotive steering business as well as the chassis systems control, car multimedia, and automotive electronics divisions.
Assuming Scheider’s sales and marketing roles will be Markus Heyn, who was most recently president of the Bosch diesel systems unit. He will also be in charge of the automotive aftermarket division and the ETAS and Bosch Engineering subsidiaries.Read the entire article Wolf-Henning Scheider quits Bosch, joins Mahle
By 2025, fuel-cell technology will be less costly due to greater economies of scale and will be commercially viable for mass use in vehicles, according to Wolf-Henning Scheider, head of Bosch's automotive division. Fuel cell vehicles still have to gain acceptance due to prohibitive development costs despite their capability to travel five times longer distance than electric cars and take less time to refuel.
Scheider remarked that fuel cell vehicles are a viable alternative to other zero-emission vehicle technologies. He quipped that while fuel-cell powertrains might still be twice as costly to build than those found in electric cars in 2025, the higher operating range of fuel-cell cars would make them a viable alternative.
Carmakers developing fuel cell vehicles include Daimler, Hyundai, Nissan, Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Honda and General Motors are all developing fuel-cell vehicles. Toyota and Honda have plans to commence sales of fuel-cell vehicles next year.Read the entire article Bosch exec says fuel-cell tech will be commercially viable by 2025
Continental would have to shell out up to a double-digit million euro amount to fix a defect on its airbags fitted on Audi A4 models. The German carmaker announced in October that it has issued a callback of 850,000 cars globally due to potentially defective software may cause the airbags on the model to fail to deploy.
Continental chief executive Elmar Degenhart has confirmed that his company was the supplier of the system. He said that they have yet to determine what company was to be blamed for the fault. He added that both Audi and Continental are still trying to find out the root of the defect.
Should Continental be faulted for the issue, Degenhart did not give a specific figure for how much a recall could cost the supplier, but placed it between “zero and a double-digit million amount." Degenhart said it was common practice at suppliers and carmakers to allocate funds to pay for potential recalls.Read the entire article Faulty Audi airbags could cost Continental a double-digit million euro amount to fix
With ZF Friedrichshafen's planned acquisition of TRW Automotive on full blast, another German supplier is bound to benefit from the transaction, albeit unexpectedly. Bosch recently announced plans to gain full control of its 50-50 steering joint venture with ZF.
That came after Bosch’s partner disclosed intentions to sell its stake in the joint venture – which build electronic steering systems critical to development of driverless cars – to the largest supplier in the world and purchase TRW for $105.60 a share. ZF has to let go of its holdings in the joint venture, ZF Lenksysteme, to avoid antitrust issues in the acquisition of TRW.
ZF doesn’t have to worry about losing a place in the steering segment since TRW also has a steering systems business largely involved in developing technology that could pave way for autonomous driving. ZF will have to pay TRW around $12.4 billion in cold cash, based on equity value.Read the entire article Robert Bosch is silent beneficiary of ZF’s TRW takeover
ZF Friedrichshafen is resuming discussions to exit its joint venture with Robert Bosch, a move that if successful would allow it to successfully acquire TRW Automotive Holdings, people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. The parties plan to resume talks this week following a short break due to summer holidays.
ZF wants to divest its 50-percent stake in the steering-systems venture to Bosch to avoid antitrust problems since TRW boasts of a significant presence in steering systems, people privy with the matter said. The sources said if Bosch agrees with ZF, a deal to acquire TRW could come as early as next week. ZF and Bosch established the joint venture in 1999, which now boasts of around $5.5 billion in annual sales.
Both ZF and TRW have agreed on the broad outline of a merger, one of the sources told Bloomberg. The parties have talked about a price of between $105 and $110 per share, although the final figure is still under negotiations.Read the entire article ZF Friedrichshafen resumes talks over exit from Robert Bosch JV
Continental AG has set up a new business unit -- Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems -- in Silicon Valley as the company aims to help carmakers roll out autonomous driving and other “intelligent” features in the next few year. Continental has also named Seval Oz, chief of global strategic partnerships for Google’s self-driving cars project since 2011, to lead the unit.
Oz will report to Helmut Matschi, a Continental board member and president of its global interiors division. Continental chief executive Elmar Degenhart said in a statement that the formation of the new unit is an “excellent example” of the company’s strategy to make the car an integral part of the “Internet of Everything.”
He the unit’s key objectives include eliminating road accidents, minimizing energy consumption, maximizing comfort and usability of vehicles, as well as making them able to exchange information with each other in real-time.Read the entire article Continental AG sets up Silicon Valley business unit to help carmakers roll out autonomous driving
ZF Friedrichshafen is aiming to become the second-largest parts supplier in the world, but that target is being put on hold by negotiations to exit a joint venture with Robert Bosch, people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. ZF is seeking to sell its stake in the joint venture before it could complete an agreement to acquire TRW Automotive Holdings.
Breaking down the partnership, however, is complex and several key parties are away for summer holidays, the sources said. ZF wants to close the deal with TRW in the first half of September, the people told Bloomberg. ZF and TRW have discussed a sale at a price of around $105 to $110 per share, although the final amount is still under negotiations.
In July, ZF and its advisers at Citigroup Inc. and other banks had been exploring a proposal that values TRW at between $110 and $112.50 per share, two people told Bloomberg last month.Read the entire article Talks over Bosch venture exit stalling ZF’s acquisition of TRW Automotive
Robert Bosch GmbH is expecting its sales to grow between 3 and 5 percent this year, even as it shifts its focus onto Asian markets and developing Internet-connected sensors. Bosch intends to penetrate into a thriving market for Internet-enabled devices and systems that allows autonomous driving.
Bosch Chairman Volkmar Denner remarked that they would continue with their traditional business while opening up new fields, allowing them to benefit from their broad technological and industrial expertise.
The company said that the focus shift toward more sophisticated vehicles should lead to a 25-percent surge in ultrasound sensor output this year to 50 million devices, and a doubling of radar and video sensors production to more than 2 million units.Read the entire article Robert Bosch expects 3 to 5 percent sales growth in 2014
The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation into the likelihood that around 50 EV chargers made by Robert Bosch LLC may overheat and result in a fire. The investigation came after a driver of a 2013 Nissan Leaf reported smoke emissions while the vehicle was charging.
Bosch spokeswoman Cheryl Kilborn stated that the German supplier was reviewing the filing and would cooperate with the investigation as it tries to determine the cause of the matter. On the other hand, Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman told Reuters in an e-mail that the Japanese carmaker was aware of the investigation and would assist in it as needed.
According to NHTSA and the consumer complaint filed in August 2013, the charger in issue -- a Bosch Power Xpress 240V -- had been charging for over an hour at 30 amps at a private home when indications of overheating, including a "strong burning smell," were noticed.Read the entire article NHTSA opens preliminary probe onto Bosch EV chargers
Robert Bosch would commence producing an automatic parking system in 2015 for an anonymous customer. Dirk Hoheisel, a management board member at member, disclosed last week at the SAE International's World Congress that fully autonomous vehicles are expected in the next decade.
Bosch's parking assist maneuvers a vehicle into or out of tight parking spaces, even if no one is driving it. The driver just can get out of the vehicle and commence the parking maneuver through a smartphone or key fob. To stop the maneuver, the driver just needs to take his finger off the button.
Bosch’s parking assist also works wonders during parallel parking. Hoheisel told Automotive News that automated parking is the next logical step for autonomous vehicles. He remarked that the system employs ultrasonic sensors and cameras to track the vehicles movements.Read the entire article Bosch to produce an automatic parking system in 2015 for undisclosed customer
Schaeffler will streamline its operations and widen cooperation with Continental, in which it holds a 46 percent stake. Schaeffler wants to deepen collaboration in areas like engine and drivetrain technology. "Our goal is to improve processes and boost efficiency" by the end of 2015, Schaeffler's Chief Financial Officer Klaus Rosenfeld said.
"There's significantly more potential" to be had by working closer with Continental, remarked Schaeffler board member Peter Gutzmer, adding that past efforts "could have gone further." Schaeffler's automotive unit will still be the key earnings driver as the supplier expects global production of cars and light commercial vehicles to surge, Rosenfeld said.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in 2013 dropped 31 percent to EUR982 million ($1.35 billion). Schaeffler recently disclosed that it took a EUR380 million provision in 2013 in relation to a European Union antitrust probe. EBIT adjusted for the provision and job-cut costs remains unchanged at EUR1.41 billion, with the margin dropping 0.1 percentage point to 12.7 percent of revenue.Read the entire article Schaeffler to streamline operations with Continental
Continental AG has inked an agreement to acquire Veyance Technologies from Carlyle Group for around EUR1.4 billion ($1.9 billion) as it expands beyond its auto business. Continental expects the acquisition to boost profit of its ContiTech unit immediately upon completion in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Ohio-based Veyance Technologies produces industrial hoses and conveyor belts.
The acquisition can be funded using available cash and credit lines. "This acquisition will enable Continental to come a step closer to its strategic goal of increasing further our proportion of sales to industrial customers and private end users," Continental chief executive Elmar Degenhart said in a statement. He remarked that the planned integration of Veyance into Continental’s ContiTech division will expand the company’s position in rubber and plastics technologies on a global basis."
Continental is aiming for a fifth straight year of record sales in 2014 after deliveries of parking-assistance systems and braking electronics boosted sales in 2013. The 29,700-strong ContiTech generated around EUR3.9 billion in sales in 2013, or accounting for about 12 percent of the Continental’s revenue. Once merged with Veyance, ContiTech unit will have sales of about EUR5.4 billion and will employ 39,000 people globally.Read the entire article Continental inks deal to buy Veyance Tech for EUR1.4 billion
Robert Bosch posted a 3-percent surge in revenues in 2013 to EUR46.4 billion, supported mainly by a 7-percent rise in revenues at its automotive unit to EUR30.7 billion ($41.7 billion). The surge in the division’s revenues was attributed to strong demand for gasoline direct-injection and diesel-injection system, Bosch said in a statement based on preliminary figures.
According to a spokesman, the unit posted an 8-percent margin in earnings before interest and taxes margin of 8 percent, up from 4.5 percent in 2012. Bosch’s 2013 revenue was hit by a EUR1.5 billion burden attributable to foreign exchange fluctuations. In April 2013, Bosch said it expected an overall sales growth of up to 4 percent.
Excluding an extraordinary EUR1.3 billion charge for losses on its solar business, Bosch's overall EBIT margin in 2013 would have been 6 percent, according to preliminary figures. Bosch will disclose its 2013 full-year earnings on April 30, 2014. Bosch officials have said that they don’t expect significant charges this year.Read the entire article Robert Bosch logs 3% hike in revenues in 2013 helped by automotive unit
BMW AG and Continental AG are getting ready for a large-scale road test that involves dozens of vehicles in order to come up with a production unit that can change lanes even without the driver's intervention. The companies expect such vehicles to be launched within three to five years.
The companies will conduct the test early 2015 over a 500-kilometer (311-mile) route from Germany over the Alps to Italy, according to Werner Huber, BMW's project manager of driver, assistance and environmental perception. "We will build a prototype car which can be cloned into 10, 20, 50, maybe 100 cars," Huber said. BMW's plan for a fleet test indicates a new step in development of hands-free vehicles.
Based on past trends, lane-changing technology will soon be adapted from luxury cars to the mass market. During the test, the cars will be made to accelerate, brake and change lanes without the driver's help for long stretches at speeds ranging up to 130 kilometers per hour (81 mph).Read the entire article BMW and Continental are road testing lane-changing vehicle
Continental is expecting sales to jump 5 percent in 2014 to EUR35 billion ($47.8 billion) – its fifth straight year of record sales -- after deliveries of parking-assistance and braking electronics boosted its revenues by 2 percent in 2013. The German supplier posted EUR33.3 billion in revenues in 2013. Its adjusted earnings before interest and taxes were EUR3.7 billion or 11.2 percent of sales.
Continental has concentrated on developing components that help carmakers cut vehicle emissions, hike auto safety and allow communication links. Continental managed to partly offset effects of an industrywide slump in Europe by following German customers Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler into growing markets like China and the United States. "Continental has had a good year behind it, and the perspective for 2014 is right," Juergen Pieper, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler, told Bloomberg by phone.
Pieper remarked that Continental is present in all areas growing at double-digit rates like assistance systems, electric and hybrid-engine parts and navigation. Continental trimmed its 2013 revenue forecast on Nov. 7 from EUR34 billion, citing currency effects. The dollar weakened 4.3 percent against the euro in 2013, and the yen dropped 21 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Read the entire article Continental expects 2014 sales to surge 5% to EUR35 mil
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