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Fiat's joint venture in Turkey, Tofas, is planning a $1-billion investment to build a family of compact cars replacing the Bravo in Europe. Three new cars will be built starting next year, primarily for export. According to sources of Automotive News Europe, the family will include a hatchback, sedan and station wagon.
The hatchback and the sedan will replace the Bravo and the Linea, respectively. According to Tofas last year, it would invest $520 million to build 580,000 units of a new sedan model. It recently announced that it would produce 700,000 units of a new hatchback and station wagon in Turkey, for a total investment of $1 billion starting this year while the production will run from 2016 to 2023.
Tofas said in a filing with the bourse that a significant portion of the vehicles are for exports, adding that discussion with Fiat on the details for the conditions of investment, sales and procurement are already in the final stage. Tofas saw sales of the Bravo drop 59 percent to 3,078 units in the first nine months of 2014, according to JATO Dynamics.Read the entire article Fiat’s Turkish JV eyes $1B investment to build Bravo successor
As it pushes to grab a larger share of the auto market in China, Volkswagen agreed to extend its joint venture with FAW Group Corp. by 25 years. Under the new agreement, Volkswagen and FAW will "significantly expand" existing r&d activities in China while into new business areas particularly on alternative drive technologies, VW said in a statement that the current agreement with FAW will expire in 2016, but has been extended to 2041.
The German carmaker announced in July it will make a EUR2 billion investment with FAW to build two more assembly sites in China. As of late, VW operates eight car-making sites and nine component facilities in China. VW also recently announced it would make a EUR100 million ($126 million) invest with SAIC Motor Corp. in the Shanghai Volkswagen proving ground in Xinjiang province, western China.
VW also has a joint venture in China with SAIC. The German carmaker has seen significant gains in China, which has helped it offset slow recovery in Europe and slumping sales in other emerging countries.Read the entire article Volkswagen extends joint venture with FAW to 2041
Infiniti seems determined to increase its sales in China and after announcing the long-wheelbase version of the Q50 as well as the Juke-based ESQ, the Japanese manufacturer its taking things even further. Nissan announced today that it formed a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corp. in China, which will produce Infiniti models exclusively for the biggest automobile market.
The president of the joint venture, which will be called Dongfeng Infiniti Motor Co, will be Infiniti China’s Managing Director Daniel Kirchert.
The company aims to sell 100,000 vehicles in China by 2018 and the joint venture start producing the Q50L in November, while a long-wheelbase version of the QX50 SUV will be produced starting 2015.Read the entire article Nissan and Dongfeng announce new JV, will build Infiniti vehicles in China
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
China has told three German car parts suppliers that they would no longer be able to independently manage Chinese units and have to create joint ventures with local suppliers, Stefan Wolf, chief executive ElringKlinger told Stuttgarter Zeitung. The decision, once confirmed, would fit the increasingly daunting stance that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is taking towards the foreign car industry.
NDRC started probing foreign carmakers after receiving complaints that these companies have been overpricing products sold to Chinese customers. According to Wolf, he knew those three companies that are now obligated to seek a partnership with a local company.
He clarified ElringKlinger was not affected by the order, for now. He said that if China gives similar orders to ElringKlinger, it would mean an attack on intellectual property and since 50 percent of the company is being taken away, this means an expropriation.Read the entire article China tells German parts makers to create local joint ventures
The Chinese joint ventures of Japanese carmakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are also cutting the prices of spare parts while authorities are looking into monopolistic practices in the auto industry. According to statement on its Web site, GAC Toyota Motor Co. -- a venture between Toyota and GAC Group -- will trim prices on some parts starting Aug. 18.
Guangqi Honda Automobile Co. – a venture between Honda and GAC -- will cut prices of some parts from Sept. 1. China is stepping up its efforts to determine how much foreign carmakers charge for vehicles and spare parts.
China commenced it probe into possible antitrust violations in the auto industry at the end of 2011, with state media accusing carmakers of inflating prices and overcharging consumers. BMW, Daimler and Audi have announced similar moves.Read the entire article Toyota and Honda joint ventures are cutting prices of spare parts in China
Daimler and Nissan have reached final agreement to set up a 50-50 joint venture that will produce future Mercedes and Infiniti compact cars in Mexico, sources privy with the matter told Reuters. The carmakers are getting ready for an announcement of a "substantial investment" to develop the vehicles underpinned by Daimler's front-wheel-drive architecture and build them at Nissan's Aguascalientes site in Mexico.
The joint venture is expected to broaden Nissan's premium Infiniti lineup, expand Daimler's production in North American and boosts the carmakers’ relationship with each other. The carmakers said Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn were to unveil the venture at a news conference Friday.
Daimler remarked that the new manufacturing agreement will be the "largest project in the global collaboration” of the German carmaker and the Renault-Nissan alliance. The agreement will help Infiniti fill a hole at the bottom end of its range; as its new SUV, sedan and coupe share parts and the MFA platform with successors to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class models, GLA and CLA, sources have said.Read the entire article Daimler and Renault-Nissan set up a production joint venture in Mexico
BMW has extended its joint venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings until 2028, which could help the carmakers expand further in the largest auto market in the world. BMW has been collaborating with Brilliance since 2003. BMW also builds the X1 off-roader and the long-wheelbase versions of its 3-series and 5-series models in factories operated by their joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive in China.
Analysts at ISI Group said in a note that a strong partner and long-term visibility is important for BMW to safeguard its position in the country. The China auto market surged 15.7 percent in 2013 to 17.9 million passenger vehicles, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
BMW targets to sell 2 million vehicles this year. It sold a record 1.96 million cars in 2013, 20 percent of which were delivered in China. BMW is bent on expanding its operations in China as it bids to reduce its reliance on Europe, which has remained sluggish despite some indications of recovery.Read the entire article BMW and Brilliance China Automotive extend joint venture to 2028
Renault still plans to revive its Alpine brand even after terminating a partnership with British specialist sports car maker Caterham, reports said. The carmakers disclosed in November 2012 a 50-50 agreement to design, develop and build sports cars. At the time, the carmakers said they planned to roll out the first vehicles by 2016.
Renault is set announce to unions the unwinding of the joint venture with Caterham, but will pursue solo development of a roadster as it bids to revive its own Alpine brand, a source told Reuters. Renault and Caterham had intended to use their Formula One renown to build a following for affordable performance cars in Europe and Asia.
Tony Fernandes, a tycoon who bought Caterham in 2011 and controls the F1 team of the same name, had vowed more Renault-built models to transform the UK company into a global premium player. The Caterham F1 team, however, was dead last in the 2013 F1 season and has gotten no points since it entering the sport as Lotus Racing three years prior. This prompted Fernandes to give a warning in that he might walk away unless matters turn better.Read the entire article Renault to pursue Alpine revival despite ending Caterham JV
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China is seeking to relax ownership restrictions on joint ventures by foreign carmakers despite intense opposition from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Currently, foreign carmakers are required to partner with local companies to be able to build vehicles in China.
Likewise, foreign shareholders are not allowed to own more than 50 percent of the joint ventures. During a recent press conference, ministry spokesman Xiao Chunquan remarked that the agency will join other ministries to determine how to implement the reforms, but did not provide a timeline for relaxing the restrictions.
The association, which has state-owned carmakers as key members, expressed the last strong opposition to any relaxation of the restrictions. "Relaxing the current foreign ownership restrictions will wipe out Chinese brands," the association said in a statement. It said that foreign carmakers could use the competitive advantage of their global supply chains to "support a price strategy to kill Chinese brands in the cradle."Read the entire article Chinese industry ministry seeking to loosen JV ownership limits
General Motors Co. and Isuzu Motors Ltd. are making a $60-million investment to upgrade technology in DMAX Ltd., their diesel engine joint venture in Moraine, Ohio. The investment will allow the companies to enable design changes to comply with future emission requirements as well as keep 500 workers at the site, GM said in a statement.
Since 2000, the venture – owned 60 percent by GM and 40 percent by Suzuki -- has built nearly 1.6 million diesel engines for heavy-duty trucks in the United States since starting operations in 2000, GM said. The plant builds the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel engine featured in the heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. The engine could also be offered for the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans.
According to GM, a 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine will be available in 2015 for the 2016-model mid-size pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The company is also considering diesel variants of the light-duty versions of the Silverado and Sierra. The plant has received $760 million since 2000 from GM and Suzuki.Read the entire article GM and Isuzu are investing $60 mil for DMAX joint venture
According to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, it appears that BMW and Toyota agreed to develop a joint platform for sportscars. These words came from BMW’s development chief Herbert Diess, who told the German newspaper that: “We have agreed on a joint architecture for a sports car. What is more important is that there will be two different vehicles that are authentic to the two brands”.
Still, we expect them to feature radical designs, not like the Subaru BRZ or the Toyota GT86 and the Scion FR-S. For those who don’t know, BMW and Toyota singed an agreement in June 2012 in order to cooperate on various areas such as lithium-air batteries and lightweight technology.
Moreover, BMW and Toyota also study the potential for a joint platform for a mid-sized sports vehicle. Still, BMW’s development chief Herbert Diess declined to provide details on the models that would result from the cooperation. If we listen to the rumors, Toyota will build a new Supra from this partnership, while the new BMW sportscar remains a mistery. [source: Autoblog]Read the entire article BMW, Toyota agreed to develop a joint platform for sports cars
China’s National Development and Reform Commission has approved a joint venture between Renault and Dongfeng Motor Group aimed at building and selling cars in the country. The 50-50 venture – to be known as Dongfeng Renault Automotive -- is expected to produce 150,000 vehicles annually and is also expected to build and assemble engines.
The venture will also consider producing key engine components. Renault said in a statement that the venture will help it boost its scale in the Chinese market.
A Chinese media report said in July that the joint venture plans to commence producing SUVs and minivans in 2014. The CHY7.76 billion ($1.3 billion) venture was announced by Renault in 2012 along with plans to build its own cars in China.Read the entire article Renault-Dongfeng JV gets green light from Chinese regulator
The Volkswagen Group has inaugurated its newest joint venture plant in Ningbo, China. The inauguration was graced by Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of Volkswagen AG; Jochem Heizmann, Member of the carmaker’s Board of Management and President and chief executive of Volkswagen Group China; and Hu Maoyuan, chairman of SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd.
Shanghai-Volkswagen’s Ningbo plant is designed to produce up to 300,000 vehicles annually and will create 5,700 new jobs. The site features its own press, body and paint shops plus a final assembly unit and will build the new Skoda Superb.
The plant will soon produce Volkswagen and Skoda vehicles underpinned by the MQB platform. The new plant will demonstrate Volkswagen’s resource-efficient auto production, setting new standards in China. The plant -- Shanghai-Volkswagen’s fifth vehicle plant -- will exhibit advanced processes along with measures to reduce energy consumption and emissions.Read the entire article Volkswagen inaugurates newest joint venture plant in Ningbo, China
British manufacturer Caterham wants to enter into additional joint ventures with major automakers as part of its plan to expand its product range to include new areas like crossovers and city cars, according to Chairman Tony Fernandes. Caterham was bought by Fernandes and business partner Kamarudin Meranun in March 2011.
The AeroSeven Concept, which was newly unveiled, is the first stage in a three-pronged approach that will incorporate traditional Seven-based models, contemporarily styled cars like the production version of the AeroSeven and the sports car that’s jointly developed with Renault, as well as more practical vehicles.
Fernandes, who also owns the AirAsia airline, said that he will see Caterham wander away from its sports car base, with the new cars merging sharp handling attributes with an appeal that’s more wide-ranging. However, he thinks that to fulfil his plan, it has to be trough joint ventures. He shared that when AirAsia began, they had to lease planes because they couldn’t afford new ones.Read the entire article Caterham wants to enter additional joint ventures to expand its lineup
Fiat Group and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. have reached an agreement to build Jeeps in their joint-venture assembly site in Changsha, China, according to reports from the Chinese media. National Business Daily cited Changsha city government sources as saying that the companies will ink the production plan agreement in the coming months.
Chrysler Group and parent Fiat Group reached a preliminary agreement in January 2013 with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. to produce Jeeps in China. But Fiat and Guangzhou Auto failed to agree on where to build the Jeep vehicles. While Fiat-Chrysler wants the Jeep be built at GAC Fiat Automobile Co., Guangzhou Auto wants to produce them at its own assembly plant in Guangzhou, China.
GAC Fiat is a 50-50 joint venture between Guangzhou Auto and Fiat. The joint venture has an annual output capacity of 140,000 vehicles. Jeep vehicles will share an assembly line with the Fiat Viaggio compact sedan at the GAC Fiat plant, which will improve the site capacity utilization, according to the National Business Daily. GAC Fiat sold only 20,000 Fiat Viaggios in the first seven months of 2013.Read the entire article Fiat and Guangzhou Auto to build Jeeps at JV plant in China
Renault and Dongfeng Motor Group expect to ink an agreement later this month to create a Chinese joint venture, a source privy to the companies told Reuters. The source disclosed that the carmakers will invest nearly CHY10 billion ($1.6 billion) on the new joint venture, adding that they are "waiting for an official invitation" from the Chinese industry ministry.
A Renault spokeswoman reiterated that Renault is expecting for the Chinese government to issue final approval on the planned joint venture with Dongfeng this year.
Renault disclosed the partnership with Dongfeng in 2012 along with plans to build vehicles in China.Read the entire article Renault-Dongfeng JV deal seen to be inked this month
A joint venture between Caterham and Renault will develop a Caterham-branded sports utility vehicle and a subcompact car, according to Caterham chairman Tony Fernandes. Fernandes disclosed before a board meeting of the joint venture Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham (SAAC) that the new models may be rolled out right after the launch of first sports car under the Caterham and Renault Alpine brands in 2016.
Renault unveiled the joint sports car program with Caterham in November 2012. At the same time, Renault announced a deal to sell its Dieppe plant to Fernandes, thereby creating the Alpine Caterham venture. Caterham and Renault seek to use their Formula One presence to attract customers for their performance vehicles.
Fernandes acquired Caterham in 2011 and controls the Formula One team bearing the same name, which is powered by Renault engines. Fernandes told Reuters in an interview that while sports cars “will do well,” the Asian market really wants city cars and SUVs. He noted that if they get the “SUV right, it will be huge." He said that Caterham seeks to emulate the success of the Range Rover Evoque, which sales have boosted profit for Jaguar Land Rover and parent Tata Motors.Read the entire article Joint venture to develop SUV and subcompact for Caterham
Robert Bosch GmbH is partnering with Mitsubishi Corp. and Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa International Ltd. to work on an auto lithium ion battery development project. The three companies are planning to create a joint venture that will conduct research and development as well as provide sales and marketing support to the three parent firms, Bosch said in a statement.
The batteries produced by the joint venture will be used to power vehicles like plug-in hybrids or electric cars. Bosch will own 50 percent of the joint venture, with Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa each holding a 25-percent stake.
The composition of the joint venture’s management and supervisory boards will reflect these stakes. The joint venture will commence operations early 2014 and will have its headquarters in Bosch hometown of Stuttgart in Germany.Read the entire article Robert Bosch, Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa creates battery JV
Daimler is reviewing options for its battery-cell joint venture with Evonik Industries. Daimler and Evonik created the Li-Tec venture in 2008 to provide future Daimler electric vehicles with batteries, with an aim to give the German carmaker an advantage in electric vehicles over BMW. Daimler spokeswoman Silke Walters disclosed that the carmaker wants to provide Li-Tec with "a broader footing" in the "challenging" battery-cell market.”
Evonik spokeswoman Barbara Mueller remarked that the review may result to "bringing a new strategic partner on board." Citing unidentified sources, the German online edition of the Wall Street Journal reported that Daimler and Evonik were considering selling the joint venture for around EUR1 billion ($1.3 billion).
Li-Tec’s sale would mean that Daimler is abandoning its bid to control all technologies along the value chain of electric vehicles, including cell technology and the electric engine. A sale would also highlight the fact that demand of electric vehicles were slower than forecasted.Read the entire article Daimler and Evonik are reviewing options for Li-Tec JV
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