This week’s automotive headlines – 26 March 2022
26 March 2022
Autovista24 looks at some of the biggest headlines in the automotive industry from the past seven days. In this week’s round-up, Suzuki agrees to build an electric-vehicle battery manufacturing plant in India, Mobile.de acquires Null-Leasing.com, Toyota and Eneos will collaborate on green hydrogen, Ferrari signs MoU to develop technology and production, and Volvo admits to semiconductor disruption.
Suzuki to build electric-vehicle battery manufacturing factory in India
Suzuki Motor Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State of Gujarat, India. The company will invest around ¥150 billion (€1.1 billion) in local manufacturing of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) alongside electric-vehicle batteries. The MoU was signed at the India-Japan Economic Forum held in New Delhi, in the presence of Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. The investment will see the construction of a gigafactory in India by 2026, together with a vehicle recycling plant, to be completed by 2025, bringing a circular-economy to the country. ’Suzuki’s future mission is to achieve carbon neutrality with small cars,’ said Toshihiro Suzuki representative director and president, Suzuki Motor Corporation. ‘We will continue active investment in India to realise self-reliant India.’
Mobile.de acquires Null-Leasing.com
Digital leasing platform Null-Leasing.com is to become part of mobile.de, as the online vehicle sales platform expands its offering. The companies will offer dealers access to extensive and easy-to-handle leasing deals and generate more demand for vehicles on order. Dealers can benefit from pre-qualified leads that enable direct business with highly-interested customers. Together with Null-Leasing.com, mobile.de is increasingly becoming a platform that enables dealers to successfully market their vehicles in a wide variety of ways – from leasing and financing to cash sales. Consumers will also benefit, with even easier access to a wide range of mobility solutions: from classic purchases to financing options and extensive leasing options. ‘Null-Leasing.com is an innovative company that has achieved impressive growth in an attractive market in recent years,’ commented Patricia Lobinger, managing director of mobile.de. ‘The combination of the leasing product from Null-Leasing.com with the reach of mobile.de will give the leasing business in Germany a substantial boost to growth.’
Toyota and Eneos to collaborate on green-hydrogen for Woven City
Eneos and Toyota have signed a joint-agreement to explore CO2-free hydrogen, also known as green hydrogen. Production and usage will be explored at Woven City, the prototype city of the future that Toyota has started to develop in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The two companies have decided to commence construction and operation of a hydrogen refuelling station near the Woven City to produce and supply CO2-free hydrogen to Woven City and fuel-cell vehicles (FCEVs). They will also research and design an efficient hydrogen supply and demand management system. The ENEOS hydrogen refuelling station is scheduled to begin operations before the opening of Woven City in 2024-2025. ‘The Eneos hydrogen refuelling station will produce the hydrogen that will meet the energy needs of users FCEVs in and around Woven City,’ stated Toyota. ‘This collaboration expedites our progress toward realizing a truly carbon-neutral society and will facilitate and normalise clean energy operations first at Woven City and eventually the world.’
Ferrari signs MoU to support investment in technology and production
Ferrari has signed an MoU with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), Invitalia (the National Agency for Inward Investment and Economic Development S.p.A.), and the Emilia-Romagna region. The Institutions involved will support Ferrari’s plan, which involves investments in technology and production, with a strong focus on innovation as well as a social and environmental commitment. The plan will significantly benefit the territory of Maranello and Modena and will lead to the employment of 250 new workers. MISE’s contribution, under the development contract, could reach up to about €106 million, which will be directed towards industrial projects and research and development activities for new technologies aimed at reducing environmental impact and increasing digitalisation. The Emilia-Romagna Region will also provide complementary funding for investments in research and development, education, and environmental protection, as well as support for possible logistical and IT network infrastructure, in collaboration with other local bodies involved.
Lack of semiconductors hits Volvo production
The lack of a specific type of semiconductor is causing Volvo Cars to experience a temporarily-worsened production situation, expected to last throughout the second quarter of this year. The carmaker has previously communicated that it sees a gradual improvement in the supply of semiconductors and production output month-over-month. However, due to this specific disturbance, Volvo Cars now expects a temporary deviation from that trend. This also means an adjustment to sales volume expectations, with the company only expecting a marginal growth for 2022 compared to 2021. The expected disturbances in production are not related to the war in Ukraine as Volvo has very limited direct relationships with suppliers in the region. The war there has, however, resulted in increased costs for raw materials, energy, and freights in the automotive industry. Volvo has said it will continue to work with pricing to mitigate the effects.