Rio Tinto plans to provide responsibly sourced aluminum to the BMW Group’s vehicle production plant in Spartanburg, S.C., for use in body components starting in 2024. Low-carbon primary aluminum from Rio Tinto’s hydro-powered operations in Canada, combined with recycled content, could generate a reduction of up to 70% in CO2 emissions compared to BMW Group’s benchmark for aluminum. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see technical experts working together on how to embed low-carbon solutions into BMW Group’s supply chain while ensuring the highest standards of vehicle quality are maintained.
Danieli received an order from Lucchini RS Group for a new open-die forging press for its site in Lovere, Bergamo, Italy. The press will broaden Lucchini RS Group’s product portfolio while supporting its efforts in energy and raw-material optimization and cost reduction. With a 7,000-ton force, the press will give shape to ingots for automotive and industrial applications. It will be the most powerful and energy-efficient open-die forging press among those in operation for Lucchini RS Group. The press will start operation by early 2024.
General Motors Co. (GM) will invest $760 million at its Toledo, Ohio, propulsion manufacturing operations to prepare the facility for production of drive units that will be used in future Ultium-based battery electric trucks, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV and GMC Hummer EVs. Toledo Propulsion Systems will be GM’s first U.S. powertrain or propulsion-related manufacturing facility transformed for EV-related production. Once the plant is converted, it will produce GM’s family of EV drive units, which convert electric power from the battery pack to mechanical motion at the wheels. GM’s EV drive units will cover front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive propulsion combinations.
Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) is increasing its investment to more than $10 billion in the United States by 2025 to further its goal to lead sustainable and smart mobility solutions. The group’s investment plans are designed to accelerate innovation and mobility electrification. The move supports carbon-neutrality goals with new technologies and contributes to manufacturing in the United States. As part of the investment, HMG announced a $5.54 billion plan to establish its first dedicated EV and battery manufacturing facility in Georgia to build a range of electric vehicles. The plant, located on 2,923 acres in Bryan County, will break ground in early 2023 and is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2025 with an annual capacity of 300,000 units.
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) secured multiple next-generation full-size truck front and rear axle programs with global OEM customers. These contracts, including a previously announced award in early 2021, are expected to generate more than $10 billion of lifetime revenues from mid-decade to beyond 2030.
Cummins Inc. and Meritor Inc. entered into a definitive agreement under which Cummins will acquire Meritor, a global provider of drivetrain, mobility, braking, aftermarket and electric powertrain solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets, for approximately $3.7 billion. Troy, Mich.-based Meritor has more than 9,600 employees. The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the 2022, will position Cummins as one of the few companies able to provide integrated powertrain solutions across combustion and electric power applications.
It is not news that automotive industry is trying to reduce the overall weight of its final products – vehicles. One commonly accepted way to achieve this goal is to look into material weight reduction. In other words, build parts as strong as normal but with lighter materials.
General Motors Co. will invest more than $7 billion in four Michigan manufacturing sites. The investment will create 4,000 new jobs, retain 1,000 and significantly increase battery-cell and electric-truck manufacturing capacity. The single largest investment in GM history includes construction of a new Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing and the conversion of GM’s assembly plant in Orion Township for production of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the electric GMC Sierra.
Nucor Corp. launched Econiq, a line of net-zero carbon-steel products. Building the green economy and the necessary infrastructure requires clean, advanced steel products. According to Nucor, Econiq is a first of its kind at scale for the U.S. steel industry. General Motors will receive the Econiq net-zero steel beginning in the first quarter of 2022, and it is projected that all steel purchased by GM from Nucor will be net carbon neutral by the end of 2022. The Econiq brand will be available across the complete line of Nucor steelmaking products, and initial quantities will be limited.
Italian company San Grato produces numerous forged parts for cars, motorcycles, industrial and commercial vehicles, and agricultural machines. Many of them are made on seven Farina presses with press forces between 1,000 and 5,000 tons at the company’s sites in San Carlo Canavese (Torino) and Malonno in the province of Brescia. San Grato recently ordered its eighth press from Schuler affiliate Farina. The 2,500-ton machine features a kinetic energy recovering system (KERS), which reduces the power demand by 40%. San Grato already covers two-thirds of its energy cost through its hydroelectric power station located close to Torino and a photovoltaic system installed on the roof of both plants. The Farina press also offers increased output and reduced maintenance costs.