Friday, 14 January 2022

Available to order now: the new T-Roc R

The T-Roc R has been the powerful flagship of the compact SUVs from Volkswagen since 2019. Pre-sales of the new edition of this performance model are now underway. The new T-Roc R impresses with a 221 kW (300 PS) 4-cylinder TSI engine, 7-speed DSG gearbox and the intelligent 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. This combination and other technical features ensure exceptional agility, which is reflected in both the dynamic exterior design and the high-quality interior. The dynamic crossover model now also features innovative technologies from higher vehicle classes, including the high-output IQ.LIGHT system, new assist systems and advanced digital services. The new T Roc R is available to order now, with prices starting from 48,445 euros. More than ever, the new edition of the extremely sporty compact SUV guarantees the kind of driving dynamics typical for R models. It completes the sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. This thrilling performance is now combined with an extensive technology update. The new T-Roc R comes with the advanced assist systems Front Assist and Lane Assist as standard. And the new IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist and predictive cruise control enable assisted steering, braking and acceleration at speeds of up to 210 km/h. The choice of digital functions also reaches a new level and includes natural Online Voice Control as well as access to streaming services. We Connect Plus services are available free of charge in Europe for one year as part of the standard package. Supreme performance. “We have sharpened the design of the T-Roc R and emphasised its athletic personality even more than before. As a result, the new model meets the premium standards of Volkswagen R in every possible way,” explains Reinhold Ivenz, the new Head of the R Business Unit at Volkswagen. With its model-specific drive and running gear technology, the new T-Roc R guarantees a fascinating motorsport feeling. Its powerful 2.0-litre TSI engine delivers a peak output of 221 kW (300 PS) and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. This power is transferred to the road via a 7-speed DSG gearbox (with Launch Control function) and the intelligent 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. Custom sports running gear and progressive steering allow extremely agile handling characteristics. A model-specific button on the newly designed multifunction leather steering wheel (with paddles and touch controls) allows direct access to the driving mode selection, where a Race mode is also available. Distinctive appearance. The vehicle’s dynamic personality is also clearly shown by the exterior appearance of the new T-Roc R. The newly designed model-specific front end has a particularly muscular look with a bumper in R styling and striking vertical daytime running lights. The IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights standard in Germany, dark-tinted LED tail light clusters and also the R logo on the black radiator grille and boot lid underline the distinctive exterior appearance of the new T-Roc R. In the interior with its R-specific trim elements, high-quality accents are provided by the standard Digital Cockpit, the new and particularly elegant surfaces of the dash panel with decorative stitching, the new sports leather steering wheel and the infotainment system display in tablet design. Article source:

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Brose and Volkswagen launch joint venture Brose Sitech for seat systems

Brose Sitech has been operating on the global market as an independent supplier of seat systems since January 1, 2022. The cooperation partners Brose and Volkswagen each hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. The headquarters is Polkowice in Poland. Around 5,000 employees work at a total of eight sites in Poland, Germany, China and the Czech Republic. Brose Sitech expects to double business volume to 2.8 billion euros by 2030. The number of employees is expected to rise to around 7,000. Thomas Schmall, Group Board Member for Engineering Volkswagen and member of the Supervisory Board of Brose Sitech, sees great potential in the joint venture: "We had an intensive period of planning and preparation. I am delighted that Brose Sitech is now launching on the market as an independent full-range supplier of seat systems. The merger continues to be supported by Volkswagen and at the same time opens up many new perspectives. Brose Sitech is becoming a strong, sustainable company." The joint venture between the cooperation partners Brose and Volkswagen is perfectly positioned to meet the challenges of the changing automotive industry. The megatrends E-mobility and autonomous driving are changing the requirements for vehicle interiors. The vehicle is becoming a mobile living space, and the importance of interior and seats as a differentiating feature is increasing. "Brose Sitech has the expertise and know-how to meet current and future demands for interior comfort, safety and flexibility. With innovative solutions for changing market requirements, the joint venture has everything it needs to convince customers and succeed in a highly competitive market,"explains Ulrich Schrickel, CEO of the Brose Group and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Brose Sitech. Brose will take over industrial leadership in the joint venture and completely consolidate its operations. Thomas Spangler, previously Executive Vice President Operations of the Brose Group, chairs the Brose Sitech executive board. The top management team also includes Tomasz Lewandowski, Chief Financial Officer, and Stefanie Wangemann, Chief Human Resources Officer. "The joint venture marks the beginning of a promising new chapter in the seat market," says Spangler. "The competencies of Brose and Sitech complement each other perfectly. We have the best opportunities to leverage our synergies in product development and manufacturing, jointly open up new markets worldwide and win additional customers." Brose Sitech intends to further expand its business with the Volkswagen Group and also supply other automakers with seat systems. In addition to existing development and production sites in Eastern Europe, Germany and China, plans are underway to expand activities in Europe, America and Asia. In the long term, the joint venture's portfolio is to be expanded to include innovative solutions for the entire vehicle interior. "Thanks to the strong partnership between Volkswagen and Brose, we can make important investments for the future and pave the way for growth in the coming years," explains Lewandowski. Wangemann acknowledges the great commitment of the employees in Poland, Germany and China, who made it possible to launch the joint venture on schedule at the beginning of the year despite the current difficult market environment. "I would like to thank our employees for their efforts. With the dedication and will to succeed demonstrated by the team in recent months, Brose Sitech will be able to hold its own in the face of global competition. This also means that we will be able to offer attractive and future-proof jobs in the long term." As a leading supplier of seat systems, Brose contributes many years of expertise in manual and power seat structures and their adjuster components to the joint venture. In addition, the automotive supplier combines its mechatronic products into intelligent systems using software and sensor technology. Sitech has extensive expertise in the development, assembly and logistics of complete seat systems as well as metal structures. Article source:

Saturday, 1 January 2022

3D printing process at ŠKODA AUTO receives award from the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic

ŠKODA AUTO is employing 3D printing for the production of components, spare parts and tools. The Czech car manufacturer is making its production and logistics more flexible and efficient by using what is known as 3D print farms. The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (Svaz průmyslu a dopravy České republiky) recognised the ‘More flexible with 3D print farms’ project, considering it one of the five most innovative Industry 4.0 applications from the past year in the country. “At ŠKODA AUTO, we use 3D printing to manufacture components and tools faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively and make targeted use of technologies from Industry 4.0. This is how we are implementing our FORCE programme for the Future Factory and pushing ahead with digitalising our production sites. I am delighted that our project has been recognised as one of the five most innovative approaches in the area of Industry 4.0 in the Czech Republic.” Michael Oeljeklaus, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Production and Logistics The benefits of 3D printing across the business ŠKODA AUTO uses 3D printing, for example, in prototype production in its Pilot Hall. Plastic 3D printing is used, in particular, in the maintenance departments in vehicle production. The carmaker also employs the technology in Central Technical Service, for the production of tools and spare parts and for the testing of new materials. Furthermore, the technology is used for the production of one-off items and small series. High degree of flexibility: adaptable parts and reduced lead times Currently, there are fifty 3D printers in ŠKODA AUTO’s Production and Logistics division, enabling the carmaker to apply the additive process. These are linked by a dedicated network for a working group responsible for plastic 3D printing. The largest 3D print farm, a group of ten units, is located in the body shop at the carmaker’s main plant in Mladá Boleslav. The technology makes it possible to flexibly produce the necessary tools or to carry out repairs at short notice. This means the lead time for the tools and spare parts required is significantly shorter and there is no need to keep any stock. The printed parts are added to a database, allowing them to be reproduced or adapted at any time. Versatile technology In early April 2020, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic showed just how versatile 3D printing technology could be: in Technical Development, the carmaker’s own Academy and in Production at the Mladá Boleslav and Kvasiny sites, ŠKODA AUTO manufactured 1,400 protective shields for its own workforce as well as staff of various aid organisations within just two months. Digitalisation is an integral part of the company’s NEXT LEVEL – ŠKODA STRATEGY 2030 ŠKODA AUTO is fully exploiting the use of Industry 4.0 technologies and, in this context, the possibilities 3D printing has to offer. The consistent further digitalisation of internal procedures and processes across the entire company is one of the cornerstones of the NEXT LEVEL – ŠKODA STRATEGY 2030. Article source:

Sunday, 26 December 2021

Audi do Brasil will resume production in 2022

Audi do Brasil is confirming that production will resume at its plant in São José dos Pinhais in the state of Paraná in mid-2022. The models selected for assembly in Brazil are the Audi Q3 and the Audi Q3 Sportback, both with 2.0 Liter TFSI engines and quattro technology. The announcement was made jointly by Carlos Massa Ratinho Junior, Governor of the state of Paraná, Johannes Roscheck, Managing Director and CEO of Audi do Brasil, Abílio Oliveira, President of Assoaudi (Associação Brasileira dos Distribuidores), and other officials and corporate representatives. For Ratinho Junior, Governor of the state of Paraná, “the announcement that Audi will resume production in the São José dos Pinhais plant is the high point of a positive trend in the state of Paraná. The state is quickly recovering from the aftermath of the pandemic with a rapidly growing economy and employment. We are proud to be Audi’s home in South America. Because of that, we have achieved a lot in recent decades.” Johannes Roscheck, Managing Director and CEO of Audi do Brasil, says, “We are happy to be able to announce that production will resume in the São José dos Pinhais plant, the only Audi factory in South America. Even in difficult times, the company has always worked to make national manufacturing possible because we believe in Brazil’s potential and, at the same time, we want our customers’ faith in the brand to grow.” The Audi Q3, with a 2.0 Liter TFSI engine in both chassis variants, will be produced on the same assembly line where the previous generation of the SUV was built in 2019. Electrification strategy: ultra-fast charging stations Along with confirming local production, Audi do Brasil and its dealerships also took the opportunity to make a second announcement: it was about the electrification strategy in Brazil. Audi and its dealers have joined forces to expand Brazil’s ultra-fast charging station infrastructure. Starting in 2022, more than R$20 million are to be invested to install 150 kW DC charging stations in almost every Audi dealership in Brazil. These charging stations will be used to charge, for instance, the fully electric Audi e-tron from 0% to 80% in less than 25 minutes. The history of local production The history of Audi production in Brazil began in 1999 with the dedication of the São José dos Pinhais plant in Paraná, where the first generation of the Audi A3 was produced until 2006. In 2012, the Brazilian government created Inovar-Auto, a subsidy program for technological innovation and strengthening the production chain for motor vehicles. Consequently, Audi do Brasil decided to manufacture in Brazil again. The company invested around €150 million in the Paraná plant for that purpose. Production began in 2015 with the A3 Sedan – the only Audi model in the world with a flex-fuel engine to date. It runs on either gasoline, ethanol, or both fuels together. In 2016, production was expanded to include the Audi Q3. The SUV was built until 2019, when its life cycle came to an end. Production of the Audi A3 Sedan was likewise discontinued with the end of its life cycle in 2020. After a hiatus of a bit more than a year from late 2020 until mid-2022, Audi will manufacture two models in the Paraná plant again: the new Audi Q3 and the Audi Q3 Sportback. The Brazilian Audi Q3 and Audi Q3 Sportback The Brazilian Audi Q3 and Audi Q3 Sportback will be equipped with the reliable 4 cylinder gas engine 2.0 TFSI with direct injection and turbocharging, which provides 350 Nm of torque and 231 PS of power. For the first time, Audi will build a model in Brazil with quattro technology, a transverse engine, and eight-step tiptronic that enables smooth, fast gear shifts. The Audi Q3 has become the gold standard in its segment since it was introduced in February 2020. It became the best-selling Audi in Brazil in its very first year. Both versions embody the Q series’ new design language. It was initially presented in Brazil with the Audi Q8, a completely new brand model. A highlight in the front view is the singleframe with an octagon design. The interior design follows the trend of Audi’s top models. Like the A6, A7, and Q8, the new Audi Q3 is equipped with the new MMI concept, in which the 8.8 inch touchscreen is ergonomically integrated into the instrument panel and tilted ten degrees toward the driver. Shift paddles on the steering wheel make it possible to change driving modes manually. The spatial layout inside the Audi Q3 is highly variable. The rear seats can be moved forward 150 millimeters (5.9 inches) in the Q3 and 130 millimeters (5.1 inches) in the Q3 Sportback as standard equipment. The luggage compartment carries 530 liters (18.7 cubic feet) in both chassis variants, making it the highest volume in this class. Folding down the seat backs increases that capacity to 1,525 liters (53.9 cubic feet) in the Q3 and 1,400 liters (49.5 cubic feet) in the Q3 Sportback. Article source:

Sunday, 19 December 2021

How Audi uses artificial intelligence in production

A pilot project being conducted at Audi’s Neckarsulm site is using artificial intelligence to control the quality of spot welds in high-volume production. The solution is being advanced together with Siemens and Amazon Web Services as part of the Volkswagen Group’s Industrial Cloud, and is set to be rolled out at other locations. Around 5,300 spot welds are required to join the parts that make up the body of an Audi A6. Up until now, production staff use ultrasound to manually monitor the quality of resistance spot welding (abbreviated WPS in German) processes on the basis of random analyses. However, experts from the fields of manufacturing, innovation management, digitalization planning, and IT are currently testing a much smarter way of determining the quality of spot welds at the Neckarsulm site. As part of the “WPS Analytics” pilot project, the team led by Mathias Mayer and Andreas Rieker is using artificial intelligence (AI) to detect quality anomalies automatically and in real time. Michael Haeffner, Head of Delivery Management Digitalization for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG, is satisfied with the projects at the site: “As a pilot plant for digital production and logistics at the Volkswagen Group, our goal is to test and develop digital solutions for vehicle manufacturing right through to their use in series production. With the use of AI, we are testing an important key technology here that will make Audi and the location fit for the future.” The underlying algorithm, its graphical user interface (dashboard), and an application for more in-depth quality analyses are currently being piloted in Audi A6/A7 car body manufacturing at the Neckarsulm site. The aim of the project is for the algorithm to evaluate close to 100 percent of the set welding points during body manufacturing in the future. The long-term vision is that in the future, the quality of welding processes can be controlled automatically and continuously optimized. Mathias Mayer has already been working on the use of AI in Audi production for five years and views the use of “WPS Analytics” as an exciting opportunity: “The algorithm serves as a blueprint for further applications in connected manufacturing. In addition, it allows us to make advancements to existing digital solutions, such as predictive maintenance.” Rollout of the solution planned across the Volkswagen Group Audi is taking the lead in advancing this promising use case as part of the Volkswagen Group’s Industrial Cloud. This system brings together production data from the group’s factories around the world in a single, powerful digital platform. The primary objective is to increase efficiency and cut costs. Each connected site can download applications for its machines, tools, and systems directly from the Industrial Cloud (similar to an app store) and thereby manufacture its products even more efficiently. Once the “WPS Analytics” algorithm and dashboard have been successfully deployed in Neckarsulm, the plan is to roll them out to numerous factories across the group. The first synergies have already been achieved, as colleagues at the Volkswagen factory in Emden are also relying on algorithm-controlled optimization for resistance spot welding – with the lessons learned from both projects flowing into the Industrial Cloud across all sites. Another application that uses an algorithm to make processes in Audi production more efficient is scheduled to be deployed in series production at the Ingolstadt press plant at the beginning of next year – in this case, artificial intelligence will be used to detect quality defects such as small cracks in the car body. This project also serves as a use case for the Automotive Initiative 2025 (AI25). Audi's ultimate goal is to make production and logistics more flexible and efficient through digitalization. Innovative technologies are already helping employees and relieving them of strenuous physical tasks and monotonous manual tasks. Article source:

Sunday, 12 December 2021

ŠKODA ENYAQ iV nominated for ‘Car of the Year’ award

After winning the ‘Golden Steering Wheel 2021’, the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV has now also been nominated for the ‘Car of the Year‘ award. The prize has been presented annually by nine European automotive trade magazines since 1963. Out of 65 new cars from the past year that were nominated, the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV has been shortlisted for the final as one of the seven best models. The winner is chosen by an international jury of 61 automotive journalists from 23 European countries. The Car of the Year 2022 will be announced in Geneva at the end of February 2022. The Car of the Year Award is one of the most important automotive awards in Europe and has been held every year since 1963. Initially, the list for the ‘Car of the Year 2022‘ included 65 new vehicles that have been introduced over the past 12 months. The seven finalists have now been selected: On the heels of the ŠKODA OCTAVIA last year, the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV is another model from the Czech manufacturer to reach the final round. The jury consists of 61 automotive journalists from 23 European countries, the number of members from each country depends on the size of the respective market – six jurors each from Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and Spain. The award ceremony will be held at the end of February 2022. The all-electric ŠKODA ENYAQ iV represents the most significant step to date in the roll-out of the Czech manufacturer’s electrification strategy. The SUV is ŠKODA’s first production model to be based on the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB) and is built at the main ŠKODA plant in Mladá Boleslav. This makes the ENYAQ iV the only MEB model in Europe to be manufactured outside of Germany. It comes with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, a choice of three battery sizes and five performance levels from 109 to 220 kW. With a range of more than 520 kilometres in the WLTP cycle, the ENYAQ iV is ideal for long-distance travel. Being nominated as one of the final seven models in the ‘Car of the Year’ award marks another success for the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV; at the beginning of November, it was named the best electric SUV, winning the internationally renowned Golden Steering Wheel 2021. Article source:

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Pre-sales launched for the new ID.5: Volkswagen’s first e-SUV coupé available for order now

Pre-sales of Volkswagen’s first ever e-SUV coupé with long distance suitability have now got underway. The top-of-the-range electric model of the ID. family based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) is available in Germany from an entry-level price of 46,515 euros. In addition to its expressive design, the ID.5 features an exclusive interior complete with all the latest Infotainment and assist systems. The ID.5 offers full connectivity and can be updated over-the-air. “Our elegant e-SUV coupé already gives customers the new ID.Software 3.0. In concrete terms, this means that improved charging capacity and voice control ensure a high level of user comfort,” says Klaus Zellmer, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for Sales, Marketing and After Sales. “Latest-generation assist systems demonstrate Volkswagen’s software expertise:here we’re taking the next step towards automated driving as part of the ACCELERATE strategy.” Over-the-air updates ensure the ID.5 always stays up-to-date. The comprehensive driver assist systems with new functions are included in the optionally available Travel Assist with swarm data. This enhances driving comfort as a result of the interaction between ACC and Lane Assist, combined with navigation data and data from the cloud transmitted by other vehicles (swarm data). Local hazard alert with Car2X technology is on board as standard. Parking is now even easier, too, thanks to Park Assist Plus with memory function (optional). Available at the pre-sales launch: the ID.5 Pro and the ID.5 Pro Performance with 128 kW (174 PS) and 150 kW (204 PS) respectively, along with the all-wheel drive ID.5 GTX with 220 kW (299 PS). All ID.5 motor options use a large, long-distance-capable battery that can store 77 kWh of energy (net). Its central location under the passenger compartment ensures a low centre of gravity and balanced distribution of the axle load. This enables the ID.5 Pro and ID.5 Pro Performance to achieve a range of up to 520 km (WLTP) with a maximum charging power of up to 135 kW. The all-wheel drive ID.5 GTX has a range of up to 490 km (WLTP). Thanks to the peak charging power of up to 150 kW, the top model charges energy for the 100 kilometres in just 6 minutes at fast charging stations. The novel body style and space concept highlight the innovative power of Volkswagen and its ID. family. Despite its coupé-type shape, the ID.5 has just 12 mm less headroom in the back than the Volkswagen ID.4. The long 2,766 mm wheelbase allows interior spatial conditions comparable to those of SUVs in higher vehicle classes. The luggage compartment volume is 549 litres, while the vehicle’s materials and workmanship are of premium quality. “The ID.5 offers the very best combination of premium standards with elegance and sustainability,” says Klaus Zellmer. “Our first all-electric SUV coupé offers local carbon-neutral mobility and sporty performance for a demanding clientele. Our aim is to make Volkswagen the most desirable volume brand for sustainable mobility. The ID.5 is a crucial milestone and a big step along our way to ZERO.” The streamlined range structure makes it easy to order the ID.5. Customers first decide which engine and look they want ; this is then followed by a clearly organised selection of packages. They can choose between optional design, Infotainment, assist, comfort and sport packages, all of which are available in both basic and “plus” variants. With We Charge Volkswagen provides the perfect charging solution everywhere and around the clock. The ID.5 models can be charged with a power of up to 11 kW at an alternating current charging station or wall box. On the road, ID.5 models with We Charge benefit from the fastest-growing charging ecosystem which already comprises some 250,000 charging points throughout Europe. With the increased maximum DC charging capacity of up to 135 kW, the battery is able to store energy for the next 390 km in the ID.5, or 320 km in the ID.5 GTX (WLTP), in around 30 minutes at fast charging stations. The ID.5 is a new model in the ID. family in Europe following on from the best-selling ID.3 and the global car ID.4. With this addition, Volkswagen is speeding up its electric mobility campaign under the ACCELERATE strategy. By 2030 at least 70 per cent of Volkswagen’s unit sales in Europe are expected to come from all-electric vehicles. The CO2 emissions per vehicle are set to decrease by up to 40 percent by as soon as 2030. On its “way to ZERO”, the company is planning to become climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest. The ID.5 and ID.5 GTX are manufactured at the Volkswagen plant in Zwickau and are carbon-neutral on handover to the customer. When charged using 100 per cent green energy, the vehicles are already virtually climate-neutral. Article source: