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Mercedes-Benz has grand plans for the production of its EQ subbrand, and part of this would be to restructure its 20-year-old factory located in Vance, Alabama. To do this, the automaker will have to invest about $1 billion in the plant, so they could also electrify all models in their lineup by 2022. All in all, they plan to electrify over 50 different models.
Markus Schaefer, member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for production and supply chain, said in relation to the investment that their global network is ready for electric vehicles considering the fact that there are production locations for EVs and batteries in several continents including Asia, Europe, and the United States. He was also glad to say that production of the EQ in the U.S. will be a lot quicker for them, because of the plant modernization in Tuscaloosa.
At last year’s Paris Motor Show, Daimler unveiled an EQ concept SUV, and it was described as a near production model. The EQ sub-brand consists of sedans, crossovers and SUVs.Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz invests $1 billion in their Alabama factory for the EQ SUV
Investors don’t seem to mind that Tesla Motors failed to achieve its delivery targets for the full year 2016. It seems that their optimism for Tesla’s growth is still very high despite the failed target achievement, simply because deliveries in 2016 are still much higher than the figure a year ago.
In press release published on January 3, 2017, Tesla said it produced a total of 83,922 vehicles in the full year 2016, or around 64-percent more than the California-based carmaker manufactured in 2015. Of these, 76,230 vehicles have been delivered to its new owners, which means that these units were promptly delivered to customers with no issue on paperwork.
Tesla doesn’t count ordered vehicles as delivered units. This delivery figure is short of the delivery prediction made in February 2016, when Tesla said that it aimed to deliver between 80,000 and 90,000 vehicles for the full year 2016. Tesla had adjusted this predicted figure to 79,000 units, but still failed to achieve the adjusted delivery target.Read the entire article Investors still hopeful for Tesla despite the failed target achievement in 2016
South Korean carmaker Kia has unveiled big plans by the end of the decade and by 2030. In fact, Kia is planning to initially invest US$2 billion by 2018 as it endeavors to launch a range of partially autonomous driving (Advanced Driver Assistance System or ADAS) technologies for its vehicles by 2020. And by 2030, the South Korean carmaker eyes to introduce its first fully autonomous car.
The investment should enable Kia to get more engineers to develop the first of the ADAS technologies and bring about the launch of the carmaker’s next-generation smart vehicles in the next few years. KIA is currently collaborating with suppliers and affiliated companies to develop ADAS technologies across three categories -- Recognition, Judgment and Control – that will give its vehicles the ability to drive autonomously.
First off, ADAS technologies should have a Recognition role, which means Kia should pursue development of sensors that will be able to recognize other vehicles, the road ahead and various driving conditions. Likewise, these technologies should have a Judgment mechanism, which should lead to the creation of advanced computing systems that will enable Kia vehicle to judge or make decisions according to what have been recognized by sensors.Read the entire article Kia to invest $2 billion for plans to launch partially autonomous driving technologies by 2020
Toyota to invest $1 billion in new company for Artificial Intelligence and robotics research in Silicon Valley
Toyota has reiterated its commitment to developing next-generation technology. The Japanese car manufacturer will infuse a total of $1 billion to start a research company in California’s Silicon Valley. What the company’s R&D division will be busy on are the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence.
Clearly, Toyota is committed to developing next-gen technologies to create the cars of the future. Toyota will be giving the investment in increments over a period of five years. The company will begin its research and development as early as January next year.
200 employees will be working in this facility, which will be close to Stanford University. It can be noted that the University had received a grant of $50 million from Toyota to conduct artificial intelligence research together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.Read the entire article Toyota to invest $1 billion in new company for Artificial Intelligence and robotics research in Silicon Valley
Aston Martin will spend over $300 million to “form the strongest and most diverse portfolio in [its] history,” according to Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer. Aston Martin Lagonda is expecting to receive this amount to develop its revolutionary DBX crossover and other vehicles that are outside its usual sports car tradition.
The automaker has raised 200 million pounds, about $307 million at the current exchange conversion, from two batches of new preferred shares from Aston’s two majority shareholders, Investindustrial and Tejara Capital. The company reported that on April 29, the first half of the investment arrived. Meanwhile, the second half will be issued over the next 12 months.
In a statement, the company said that the added investment will make it possible to make the DBX and other new luxury vehicles. The automaker presented the concept crossover – the DBX – last March at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s likely that sales will begin around 2019. The vehicle is targeted at attracting more female buyers as well as the younger generation to the brand, which has mostly had male customers.Read the entire article Aston Martin raises over $300 million to develop DBX crossover
General Motors will make multibillion-dollar investments over many years in a few manufacturing plants in the U.S. as part of its strategy to increase production and quality, an insider told Reuters. GM intends to make capital investments in factories and equipment, which includes stamping plants and body shops.
It’s expected that jobs will be created as a result of these investments however, there are no details yet on just how many will benefit. The automaker is making this move amid preparations to negotiate this fall with UAW on a new master contract that affects about 50,000 of its U.S. hourly workers.
UAW officials have been asking the Detroit-based automakers to invest in plants that are represented by the union. For 2015, GM has a $9 billion budget for global capital spending. This is considerably higher than the $7 billion budget last year to spend on model launches and technology investments.Read the entire article GM to make multi-billion investment in US plants
Ford Motor Co. will be investing approximately $2.5 billion in Mexico, according to a Reuters report citing insiders. The sources said that Ford is slated to make the announcement on Friday in celebration of the 90th anniversary of its presence in Mexico. It was revealed that $1.3 billion will be used for the expansion of Ford’s plant in northern Chihuahua state where two new diesel engines will be manufactured.
The other $1.2 billion will be spent for a transmission plant in central Guanajuato state. Ford’s anniversary will be attended by President Enrique Pena Nieto. According to a Mexican official, the Chihuahua investment is expected to result to the creation of about 4,000 jobs.
A report from Mexican business newspaper El Economista divulged that Ford will be partnering with supplier Getrag on the transmission plant. Presently, Ford manufactures two large diesel engines in Mexico.Read the entire article Ford to invest $2.5 billion on 2 powertrain plants in Mexico
Daimler is planning to spend billions of euros in the next few years to upgrade its factory at its headquarters in Untertuerkheim, near Stuttgart. For this year alone, Daimler will invest EUR1 billion ($1.06 billion) to modernize the site that builds engines, transmissions and axles for Mercedes-Benz cars.
The German carmaker that it has agreed steps with top labor representatives to keep the site’s workforce stable at around 18,700 people. The steps are also expected to yield cost savings "in the range of hundreds of millions of euros” until the end of the decade.
Markus Schaefer, head of production at Mercedes-Benz Cars, remarked that they are not only improving their flexibility and efficiency, but also developing a site into a high-tech location for carbon dioxide technologies.Read the entire article Daimler to invest EUR1 billion to modernize Untertuerkheim facility
Honda Motor Co. is planning to invest $85 million to give its East Liberty site in Ohio the capability to build a fourth nameplate – the Acura MDX. The investment will result to the addition of new welding equipment, conveyors and other gear that will enable the plant to assemble the Acura MDX crossover starting early 2017.
The plant East Liberty currently builds the Honda CR-V crossover and Crosstour hatchback, and the Acura RDX crossover. Honda will still produce the MDX at its Lincoln plant in Alabama that also builds the Honda Pilot crossover, Ridgeline pickup and Odyssey minivan.
According to John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, adding a second production site for the MDX will provide the Japanese carmaker flexibility as its expects truck sales to rise, adding that the company is bound to roll out a redesigned Pilot this year and a redesigned Ridgeline in 2016.Read the entire article Honda to spend $85 million to enable East Liberty site to build the Acura MDX
Investindustrial S.p.A. would inject fresh funds into Aston Martin if the carmaker needs it, chairman Andrea Bonomi told Bloomberg in an interview. Investindustrial holds a 37.5-percent stake in Aston Martin. Bonomi said the private equity firm has no plans to dispose of its stake in the carmaker anytime, as the company intends to keep the investment for seven to 10 years.
He remarked that the British carmaker has an ambitious industrial plan, and Investindustrial will always be ready to take part in Aston’s funding needs. Bonomi was instrumental in recruiting Andy Palmer, former chief planning officer at Nissan, as Aston’s new chief executive.
The UK carmaker remains the only global supercar brand that is not part of a larger group, which means it would have a harder time raising enough funds for r&d needs while keeping up with other marques like Bentley, Maserati and Rolls-Royce.Read the entire article Aston Martin ready to receive cash injection in order to overhaul lineup
Hyundai Motor Group is planning to invest $73 billion over four years to expand its capacity, build new a headquarters and develop new vehicles. The group – including 57 affiliates like Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp. -- unveiled its investment plan as the South Korean government, led by President Park Geun-hye, wants local companies with large cash reserves to spend more on investment, employment and dividend payments.
The investment includes KRW49.1 trillion on capital investment and KRW31.6 trillion on research and development by 2018. The disclosure came following announcements by Hyundai and Kia to build plant in Mexico and China in the next few years, which means the carmakers would soon expand their capacity.
The South Korean carmakers would significantly hike spending to develop more eco-friendly vehicles and autonomous cars over the next four years.Read the entire article Hyundai Motor Group plans $73B investment over the next 4 years
Chrysler Group is planning to make a $266-million investment into its Kokomo Transmission complex to expand output of its eight-speed rear-wheel-drive gearbox. Chrysler is producing the eight-speed automatic transmission in Kokomo under license from ZF Friedrichshafen.
In a recent filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Chrysler said that the transmission will be ultimately fitted in all of its rwd vehicles including the Jeep Wrangler but excludes the Dodge Viper and certain heavy-duty Ram pickups.
The Jeep Wrangler is currently equipped with a five-speed automatic gearbox and is being redesigned for MY2018. The eight-speed gearbox boasts of up to 9-percent better fuel economy than the five-speed and six-speed transmissions they replaced, Chrysler’s SEC filing said. According to Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson, the $266-million investment in Kokomo is not yet confirmed.Read the entire article Chrysler to invest $266 million to increase 8-speed transmission production
In order to increase production of lithium-ion batteries, Daimler will invest 100 million euros in the coming years. The carmaker will expand capacity at Deutsche ACCUmotive and a new building will be completed by mid-2015 as it is already under construction.
Deutsche ACCUmotive was founded in 2009 and currently it supplies lithium-ion batteries for the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive as well as hybrid versions of the S-, E- and C-Class. Daimler also plans to buy battery cells for the electric version of the 2015 Smart model from LG Chem.
“We are looking forward to continuous growth in the demand for Deutsche ACCUmotive batteries”, said Frank Blome, Managing Director of Deutsche ACCUmotive. “The production of battery systems by Deutsche ACCUmotive GmbH in Kamenz will contribute significantly to the growing expertise of the auto state Saxony in the area of electro mobility and battery technology. That is why I am pleased about the three-digit million investments in a company like Deutsche ACCUmotive GmbH here in Kamenz”, said Saxony's Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich.Read the entire article Daimler will invest 100 million euros to expand production of lithium-ion batteries in Germany
Volkswagen Group is planning to spend EUR85.6 billion ($106 billion) over the next five years into new vehicles, technology and plants as part of its bid to overtake Toyota Motor Corp. as the largest carmaker in the world. VW’s investment plan entails a hike in average annual spending on auto operations to around EUR17.1 billion annually, compared to EUR16.8 billion spent on its current five-year budget.
VW Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn said in a statement that the carmaker will continue to incur high development costs as a result of high innovation pressure and increasing demands on the auto industry.
Analysts see the announcement as an indication that VW is not about let it go of its ambition to become the global auto sales leader even as it implements an austerity drive.Read the entire article VW Group planning to spend $106 billion over the next five years into new vehicles
Honda Canada is planning to make a C$857 million ($750 million) investment -- including a conditional grant of up to C$85.7 million from the province of Ontario -- over three years to upgrade manufacturing sites in Alliston, Ontario.
The Canadian site will be the global lead for output of the next-generation Honda Civic. Under the plan, site will develop manufacturing processes and tooling trials for Honda plants around the world that will build the next Civic model. Jerry Chenkin, chief executive of Honda Canada, said in a statement that this will be the first time that a Honda plant outside Japan has been designated as a “global lead plant."
The carmaker noted that Civic has the best-selling passenger car in Canada for the past 16 years. The investment will be used on technologies and processes to modernize the site's two auto assembly plants and one engine plant.Read the entire article Honda Canada to invest C$857 million to upgrade Ontario site
Ford Motor Co. chief executive Mark Fields has committed to spend at least $5 billion over the next five years to revamp its Lincoln luxury brand, which has received lesser attention during the time of his predecessor Alan Mulally, sources told Reuters. For the past two decades, Lincoln has been losing its luster, and both dealers and customers have been wondering whether Ford has no more care for the brand.
Ford’s renewed interest in Lincoln comes as the carmaker experience changes under its new CEO, who has managed to gain the support of Executive Chairman Bill Ford and its board.
The $5-billion investment will include spending in a new platform that will underpin several future Lincoln vehicles, revamping the brand’s product portfolio and repositioning it as a real rival to global premium leaders like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, according to the sources.Read the entire article Ford to invest $5 billion in 5 years to revamp Lincoln
Kia officially announced that it will invest around $1 billion in a new, highly automated plant located in Mexico. According to the official press release, the plant will be situated on a 500 hectare or 53.8 million square foot site and till help the company to boost its global manufacturing capacity to 3.37 million vehicles.
Moreover, the car manufacturer announced a new range of compact models that will be produced at the Mexico plant, located the northeastern state of Nuevo León. An investment agreement with the government of Mexico was signed at the Technological Museum of the Electricity Federal Commission (MUTEC) in Mexico City.
The event saw a delegation of key executives from Kia Motors, led by Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman of Kia Motors Corp., and a host of Mexican government dignitaries including Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, and Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz, Governor of the State of Nuevo León.Read the entire article Kia announces $1 billion investment in a new manufacturing plant in Mexico
Daimler is planning to invest EUR1.5 billion ($2 billion) through 2020 to upgrade its Sindelfingen site in Germany, after it workers green-lighted more flexible working terms. The site – which builds Mercedes-Benz’s S-class sedan, the CLS coupe and its wagon-like shooting brake variant, as well as the current E class – is expected to get at least EUR100 million in savings thanks to the labor agreement, which allows the carmaker to have more flexibility to assign production shifts, especially when ramping up and phasing out a model, Daimler said in a statement.
Chief executive Dieter Zetsche said in the statement that the deal combines investments for the future with the necessary savings, adding that it allows the carmaker to strengthen Sindelfingen's position and secure jobs.
The investment will result to a new body shop, paint shop and logistics center at the Sindelfingen site. It would also result to another assembly hall for the next version of the E-class sedan.Read the entire article Daimler to spend $2 billion to upgrade Sindelfingen site
General Motors is planning to pour $800 million in investments in Michigan as it bids to revamp facilities state-wide to support future vehicle platforms and programs. The investments are expected to result the addition of 1,750 jobs in the state once the carmaker consolidated various engineering functions outside the state to a site in Michigan.
The Michigan Strategic Fund amended an agreement with GM that hikes the number of employees the carmaker can apply for a state tax credit from 33,000 to 34,750. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. said the agreement will increase the number of jobs at GM’s Warren Tech Center covered by the tax credit from 5,000 to 6,750.
GM said in a statement that it “was pleased with Michigan’s action that makes a strong business case for potential future jobs and investment at GM facilities across the state.Read the entire article GM to invest $800 million to revamp facilities for future projects
Porsche AG has officially opened three new buildings at its Weissach development center. The sports car maker spent more than $200 million to build a new design studio with concept car construction facility; a state-of-the-art aero-acoustic wind tunnel; and the Electronics Integration Center.
Porsche’s Weissach research and development center has made its distinction as the only carmaker pooling all R&D together in one place.
The r&d center takes care of everything from concept to production car development, as well as test runs on facility’s own road and off-road circuit. The new studio sets optimum conditions for Porsche’s the design staff when creating the exterior and interior of its vehicles.Read the entire article Porsche expands its Weissach r&d center with a $200 million investment
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