Notable

THE IMPORTANCE OF INVESTMENT IN TECHNOLOGY

Kolbenschmidt Pierburg (wwwusakolbenschmidt-pierburgcom; Southfield, MI; Dusseldorf, Germany), a supplier of powertrain components including pistons, pumps, bearings, and blocks, has sales of €2,050 million in FY 2005, which is up from €1,941 million in FY 2004

ADVANCING PORTABLE INSPECTION

Faro Technologies Inc (Lake Mary, FL; wwwfarocom) and Delcam Plc (Birmingham, England; wwwdelcamcom) have teamed their technologies to facilitate inspection of tooling and parts essentially anywhere it is needed by combining the portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) from Faro with the CAD-based inspection software from Delcam

SEEING THE LIGHT

Valeo Sylvania (wwwvaleosylvaniacom; Seymour, IN), along with its Asian partner Ochikoh, plan to lead the way when it comes to developing next-generation lighting systems, including having the first full LED headlamp on the global market—to be sold in Asia on an Asian brand product—by 2008

FASTER DEVELOPMENTS FOR RACING

When asked how much time he spends designing, Bryan Holzinger, design engineer, Rahal Letterman Racing (Hillard, OH; wwwrahalcom)—yes, it’s that Letterman; yes, that’s the team that Danica Patrick drives for—says, with certain exasperation, “It’s my full-time job

SKY POWER

Although the Saturn Sky Red Line appears to be aggressive, what’s really aggro is what’s found under its hood: a 260-hp, 2-liter turbocharged engine with direct injection technology

MAGNA'S COMPETITIVE APPROACH: DEVELOP & BUILD

QUICK: What company developed the BMW Z4 coupe? (Hint: It wasn’t BMW)ANSWER: Magna International (Aurora, Ontario, Canada; wwwmagnacom)That’s right: The Tier One supplier of stampings, systems, assemblies, etc actually developed the idea for the Z4

KIA'S OPTIMAZATION PLAN

It’s the kind of thing that can make a competing automaker go crazy

Less Talk, More Action

Ask Doug Betts, senior vp, Total Customer Satisfaction, Nissan North America, about quality measures and he’ll say: “The most powerful quality measure you can have is for a customer to tell his next-door neighbor how much he likes his vehicle” Betts also believes speed is of the essence in rectifying problems that can lead to customer dissatisfaction

Back to the Future: Scuderi Revolutionizes Engine Design

Could an engine design with roots that go back to 1914 revolutionize the way that vehicles are powered in the future?

Feature

Electronics Under The Hood

“We think there is a strong value proposition around putting intelligence in electronics as opposed to hardware,” says Mike Crane, Siemens VDO North American Director of Powertrain Gasoline Systems (wwwusasiemensvdocom) The importance of electronics under the hood is something that is being driven by a number of factors, both market-driven and regulatory

Racing Toward Relevance

At the prodding of the FIA, automakers are finally opening their eyes to the true costs of Formula One, and its need for relevance in terms of fuel efficiency and safety

GENEVA FINDS ITS NICHE

Perhaps it’s because the town is known more for watches than vehicles that the Geneva Motor Show becomes the home for manufacturers not known to have a visible presence

Creating A New Car Company

Carbon Motors is being established to produce a brand new car, what it is claiming is the first-ever purpose-built law enforcement vehicle Its business model is arguably more revolutionary

BMW Debuts New Cold Test Center

A scant 35 miles south of the Artic Circle rests the small Swedish town of Arjeplog, where hundreds of test engineers from dozens of the world’s automakers converge to test whether their vehicles can withstand the rigors of this artic Mecca

Engineered Elements of the '07 Sport Trac

While Honda is getting props for the Ridgeline, there’s another four-door out there with a composite bed to boot

Plastics: The Return of Body Panels?

A problem with plastics and steel structures is a difference in the coefficient of expansion Some material modifications may ameliorate that problem

Aluminum Rising

Aluminum has surpassed iron and taken the number-two spot on the list of materials used in automobiles worldwide

PDF Goes 3D

Forget mailing paper documents Forget emailing two-dimensional GIF, JPEG, and TIFF graphic images with explanatory notes in some word processed file Now you can navigate through and manipulate 3D models in PDF documents

Columns

Dudder: Truth Telling

Recently, Bill Ford stated that “honesty must be on the table” if Ford is to survive its restructuring

Insider: The Curse of the Short Term

The malaise that continues to pervade in the US domestic auto industry can be traced back to one thing: short-term thinking

Insight: The Toyota Product Development System’s Implementation Challenges

For conducting business in the US market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc) On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company

EuroAuto: Coatings To Improve Performance

Friction loss in engines cannot be avoided and accounts for between 15 to 20 % of the energy expenditure, depending on the size and configuration of the engine

Profile: VW’s Hallmark Moments

Volkswagen has been caught in decline in the US for the past four years, with sales falling from 356,000 units in 2001, to 224,195 units in ‘05

Marginal: The Handbasket Syndrome

While it might seem that the auto industry is going to hell in a handbasket, as the Gershwins put it, “it ain’t necessarily so” Some companies get it

On Strategy: The Russian Auto Landscape

The size of Russia’s car market is impressive

Objects of Interest

OBJECTS OF INTEREST

GLOVES FOR PROTECTION If you’re looking for a means to protect hands from hazardous chemicals, Ansell (wwwansellprocom; Redbank, NJ) offers ChemTek gloves