General Motors plans to invest $71 million into two Ohio manufacturing facilities, including $39 million at its Toledo transmission plant and $32 million at its Defiance casting plant. Work will begin immediately at the two locations. The Toledo investment will be used to upgrade and enhance the production of GM’s eight-speed rear-wheel-drive transmission, and the Defiance investment will be used to prepare the facility for future engine casting components work. The investments will enable the company to retain 240 jobs.
ArcelorMittal announced its intention to build an electric-arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking facility at AM/NS Calvert in Alabama. Once completed, the planned facility will be capable of producing 1.5 million tons of steel slabs annually for the hot-strip mill. It will also produce a broad spectrum of steel grades required for Calvert’s end-user markets. Construction is expected to take 24 months, and the new facility is anticipated to create 300 new jobs.
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) has developed a new independent rear drive axle (IRDA) for GM’s full-size SUVs, including the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade. AAM and GM worked together to replace the prior-generation axle with a newly designed three-mount independent rear drive axle module. The design features a lightweight aluminum carrier housing and a low-offset hypoid gear set to provide improved efficiency and better noise, vibration and harshness performance.
American Axle & Manufacturing’s (AAM) Electric Drive Technology will power Jaguar’s first pure-electric model, the I-PACE. AAM supplies both front and rear e-Drive units, which together deliver a total of 294 kW of AWD power and 700 Nm of torque. The system leverages AAM’s experience in the design, analysis and processing of geared mechanical systems to engineer compact, quiet and efficient drive units.
Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen AG successfully completed the acquisition of commercial-vehicle technology supplier WABCO of Switzerland. WABCO’s integration into ZF unites two industry leaders behind a shared vision to create a customer-focused powerhouse to advance commercial-vehicle technology. The combined product portfolio now encompasses conventional and electric drive and chassis components; a comprehensive suite of sensors; and fully integrated, advanced braking, steering and driver-assistance systems for OEMs seeking technological differentiation for their new vehicle platforms.
Dana Incorporated started production of its Spicer Electrified eS9000r e-Axle for Class 4 and 5 commercial fleet applications. The e-Axle will be available for ordering in the third quarter of 2020. Dana is the first to market with this e-Axle classification in North America and has the in-house capability to manufacture all components of the system, including the gears, axle, motor and inverter. Designed for medium-duty truck and bus applications, the e-S9000r is based on the proven and widely specified Spicer S110, S111 and S130 rear-drive axle platforms and is engineered as a fully integrated e-Axle, including a gearbox and motor.
General Motors will invest $2.2 billion at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs. When the plant is fully operational, this investment will create more than 2,200 manufacturing jobs. GM will also invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks. The company’s first all-electric truck will be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021. Detroit-Hamtramck will be GM’s first fully dedicated electric-vehicle assembly plant. The plant’s paint and body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (Groupe PSA) signed a binding Combination Agreement providing for a 50/50 merger of their businesses to create the fourth-largest global automotive OEM by volume and third largest by revenue. The combined company will have annual unit sales of 8.7 million vehicles. FCA designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of brands including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram and Maserati. It also sells parts and services under the Mopar name and operates in the components and production systems sectors under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA employs nearly 200,000 people. Groupe PSA, which employs 210,000 people, has five car brands: Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall. It also provides a wide array of mobility and smart services under the Free2Move brand.
American Axle & Manufacturing, a leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of automotive driveline systems and components, opened a new 15,600-square-meter manufacturing facility in the industrial area of Viladecans, Spain, just outside Barcelona. The facility will support demand and growth from new and current European customers, including Renault, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, Audi and Ford. AAM Barcelona produces a complete range of vibration control and damper products, including PV-bonded dampers, press-in compression dampers, isolation pulleys, in-mold bonded dampers and damped gears. It consolidates two smaller facilities in nearby Gavà and will employ nearly 300 associates at full capacity.
Toyota is investing $391 million at its San Antonio truck assembly plant in an effort to better serve customers. The announcement comes as part of a broader commitment from Toyota to invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations over five years through 2021. The investment will make the plant more competitive in the long-term and more efficient while remaining flexible with multi-vehicle production capabilities by introducing various advanced manufacturing technologies. Separately, Aisin AW, a supplier to Toyota Texas and other automakers, will invest $400 million and bring 900 new jobs to a future facility in nearby Cibolo, Texas.
Check out the October 2020 issue of FORGE, featuring our cover story on "Fever Screening and Forging Quality". Other features include "Forging with Hybrid Steel", "FutureForge in Scotland: The Goldilocks Effect", and much more.