General Motors announced plans to invest $40 million at its Pontiac Stamping Plant in Pontiac, Mich. The investment will be used to renovate the existing facility and install new, highly flexible fabrication machinery and presses to support future electric-vehicle production. GM anticipates the investment will create 20 new positions. The “Flex Fab” sheet-metal fabricating technology will enable repeatable, custom and precise stamping, reducing costs for low-volume applications.
This month, we provide a review of some recent automotive news stories that may or will affect the future of the industry. These stories remind us that all of the various industrial heating industries are interdependent.
Fortune magazine creates several lists each year, including (of course) the Fortune 500. In their list of the world’s largest companies ranked by revenue, at least 10 automakers show up in the first 84 slots. Volkswagen and Toyota are in the top-10. In their list of the top-50 most-admired companies, Toyota and BMW are in the top-50.
Toyota will invest $803 million and add 1,400 new jobs at its Princeton, Ind., automotive manufacturing plant. The investment will allow the company to produce two all-new, three-row SUVs, one of which will be the first Lexus made at the plant.
Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution, will invest more than $2.3 billion to build its second battery-cell manufacturing plant in the United States. The approximately 2.8 million-square-foot facility will be located in Spring Hill, Tenn. It is expected to create 1,300 new jobs. Construction will begin immediately, and the plant is scheduled to open in late 2023. Once operational, the facility will supply battery cells to GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant.
Volvo Group and SSAB signed a collaboration agreement on research, development, serial production and commercialization of the world's first vehicles to be made of fossil-free steel. Volvo will start manufacturing the first concept vehicles and machines with steel from SSAB using hydrogen in 2021.
Ford committed that 100% of its passenger-vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by mid-2026 and will be completely all-electric by 2030. Similarly, Ford’s entire commercial-vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2024, with two-thirds of its commercial-vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. Spearheading Ford’s advance into an all-electric future is a new $1 billion investment to modernize its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, the home of Ford of Europe. The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center for the manufacture of electric vehicles, the company’s first such facility in Europe.
General Motors announced a $100 million investment in two of its manufacturing facilities: $93 million at the Romulus, Mich., propulsion plant and $7 million at the Bedford, Ind., casting operations. The Romulus investment will add machining capability, while the Bedford investment will increase the plant’s die-casting capabilities. Both investments will support increased production of GM’s 10-speed automatic transmissions used in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty, full-size pickups. Work will begin immediately at both locations.
Industrial Heating in cooperation with SECO/WARWICK
January 12, 2021
Editor’s note: The following is an edited (for length) transcription of an interview between SECO/WARWICK’s Tom Hart and Dan Herring, The Heat Treat Doctor. It was part of the company’s E-Seminar held in September 2020.