Notable

Baltimore Builds GM’s 2-Mode

Though once derided by GM insiders as a public relations ploy, hybrids are now en vogue as the automaker began series volume production of its 2-mode hybrid transmission at its Baltimore, MD, Powertrain plant in October.

Chevy’s $100,000 Corvette

When General Motors senior executives were reviewing plans for the C6 Corvette in 2001, GM Chairman Rick Wagoner tossed out a question: What would a $100,000 Corvette look like?

The Incredible Shrinking Hummer

Known more for brute and brawn than conscience, GM’s Hummer brand is trying to transform itself by expanding its product offerings into smaller, more eco-friendly vehicles.

IBM Works to Expand the Reach of PLM

The growing deployment of product lifecycle management (PLM) among both OEMs and suppliers hasn’t gone unnoticed at IBM (www.ibm.com), which recently launched new Centers of Excellence to assist in the deployment of PLM throughout the supply chain in automotive (as well as other industries). Located in Nice-La Gaude, France; Boeblingen, Germany; Beijing, China; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Yamato, Japan; Montreal, Canada; Hawthorne, NY, and Dallas, TX, the centers will provide access to more 3,000 researchers, 9,000 software developers and 1,000 technology consultants.“We have seen a shift in the way our customers are trying to execute their business.

Compact Power Delivers

The battle to develop GM’s E-Flex electric vehicle architecture took a significant step forward when Compact Power (www.compactpower.com), a subsidiary of Korea’s LG Chem, delivered its first battery pack to the automaker.

More Than Elementary Savings

About 95% of the CE model school buses produced by IC Corp. (www.IC-Corp.com; Warrenville, IL) are “School Bus Yellow.” No surprise there.

SOFC: The Other Fuel Cell

Use the words “fuel cells” in the auto industry, and the discussion will turn toward proton exchange membrane (PEM) units that use hydrogen to create electricity.

Feature

PLASTICS: Playing For Time?

Caught off guard by the ferocity with which steel defended its turf, the plastics industry is regrouping to tell automakers its side of the materials story.

A Brief History of smart: Production Car As Fashion Statement

One of the great industrial comeback stories is that of the Swiss watch industry.

GOING GREEN: The Challenges & The Solutions

Roosevelt’s words are a perfect summary of the problems facing automakers in relation to balancing the survival of their business and protecting the global environment.

The '08 Malibu: Serious This Time

It seems that every time a car maker comes out with a midsize sedan it is “better than a Camry or an Accord” or some variant thereof. Chevy has said it in the past. But with the ’08 Malibu, they are putting more than rhetoric on the road.

The Ultimate Design Machine: BMW Designworks

Yes, they work on vehicle designs for BMW. But as a leading design firm, they’re taking on plenty of things that don’t have wheels and tires.

HONDA'S FCX CLARITY: The Future of Transportation is Clear

Honda has been building fuel cell vehicles since 1999. Think of them as science projects. But now it is going to be offering a model in southern California for a $600/month lease.

On-Demand ERP Is Here

Look what’s gaining traction in enterprise resource planning: A new way to run it offsite.

Columns

Marginal: Tough Love

What are the causes of the fall from the heights of the Big Three? Well, although Peter DeLorenzo doesn’t exactly claim it, a few of the Seven Deadly Sins come to mind.

Competitive Challenges: The ABCs of Successful M&As

Finding a successful formula for buying or being bought is something more automotive companies ought to consider.

Insight: The Economic Crisis—and Beyond

2008 is going to be a tough year for vehicle manufacturers. But you can’t lose sight of the demands of tomorrow.

EuroAuto: Gearboxes and the Challenges of Racing

Although they were once not thought about much, the abilities, functions, and packaging of transmissions are key in racing today.

Dudder: The Fuel Efficiency Follies

You can’t save your way out of petroleum dependency anymore than you can save your way into prosperity.

Close Up: Alfing AL Series

Let’s assume that the task at hand is production machining of aluminum or other light metal parts, such as ABS housings, brake calipers, main brake cylinders, and valve housings.

Insider: Don’t Batten Down the Hatches

Those who thought 2007 was a difficult year in the auto business should prepare for another battering, as 2008 is likely to be even worse.

Profiles - Advancing Interiors

Bringing OEMs and consumers into the future requires an avant-garde interior wrapped in a non-denominational exterior, says Faurecia’s Robert Fitzpatrick.