Browsing Archive January, 2015

Greenway Services’ electric trucks clock 220,000km

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Greenway Services, a carrier service provider specialising in deliveries by all-electric vehicles, has been serving its entire client base by Renault Trucks Maxity Electric vehicles since 2011.

The company recently announced that its vehicles have already covered over 220,000 km to date in Paris and its suburbs.

Already operating a fleet of 10 Maxity Electrics, Greenway will shortly be taking delivery of two additional vehicles.

Exclusive to Renault Trucks, the Maxity Electric has everything it takes to meet the needs of Greenway Services. This vehicle, which can be driven by a person with an ordinary driving licence, can carry a payload of around 1.5 t. It is powered by the latest generation lithium-ion batteries, which can be recharged in seven hours at a cost of around €2 a day. The batteries are now scaled to enable the vehicle to cover around 100 km a day on a full charge.

“The Maxity Electric’s high payload and operating range enable us to draw up logistics plans adapted to our clients’ needs, optimise our rounds and thereby amortise the extra cost involved in an all-electric solution,” explains Nicolas Morisse, Managing Director of Greenway Services.

While the Maxity Electrics operated by Greenway Services serve local authorities particularly keen on limiting polluting emissions and sound nuisance, several of the carrier’s store chain clients are paying more and more attention to “green” transport.

“Some of our long-standing clients, such as L’Occitane in Provence and Yves Rocher are already strongly committed to preserving the environment, and using a zero emission mode of transport enables them to pursue their commitments even further,” adds Nicolas Morisse. “But we are also convincing more and more businesses which are anticipating major changes in the way their goods are delivered in the future and are beginning to switch some of their deliveries in Paris to all electric.”

 

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Jan Ytterberg leaves Scania

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Jan Ytterberg, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Scania has decided to leave his position. 

“Jan Ytterberg has largely contributed to the positive development of Scania for many years under challenging conditions. I can only regret that he has now decided to leave the company. The colleagues at Scania and myself wish him all the best with his future challenges,” says Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO.

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Volkswagen delivers close to 450,000 commercial vehicles worldwide

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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 444,900 vehicles to customers all over the world in the 2014 financial year. This corresponds to a rise of two per cent over the previous year. In 2013, the brand sold 436,000 vehicles. In particular, there was a significant increase in sales to Western Europe (+6.5 per cent) with a total of 292,000 units compared to the previous year.

“Excellent results and excellent team work,” commented Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “We would particularly like to thank our customers for the trust placed in us. We intend to continue this success with our new models this year“.

In 2014, the Volkswagen Transporter delivered a total of 168,600 units (2013: 156,300). This boosted the number of vehicles delivered to customers by 7.9 per cent. High demand for this model meant that in summer 2014, the Hannover plant had to work additional shifts.

The Volkswagen Caddy consolidated its excellent position with delivery of 148,900 vehicles (2013: 146,600; +1.6 per cent). As a result production for the Volkswagen Caddy ran at full capacity. The Volkswagen Crafter also recorded strong growth over the previous year with 49,200 units sold (2013: 44,100; + 11.6 per cent). By contrast, delivery of the Volkswagen Amarok dropped by 12.2 per cent to 78,100 units, mainly due to the economic crisis in South America (2013: 89,000).

“We managed to increase our delivery figures especially in the important and profitable region of Western Europe,” said Bram Schot, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “These results give us a solid foundation for the forthcoming market launches. So we are well equipped to face the challenges of the coming months. We can start the new year with confidence, even if the highly competitive environment and the difficult economic situation in Brazil, Argentina and Russia will pose some problems in 2015.”

In Western Europe Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 292,000 light commercial vehicles from the T5, Caddy, Amarok and Crafter model series (2013: 274,200; +6.5 per cent). Especially the markets in the United Kingdom (+11.8 per cent), France (+10.3 per cent), the Netherlands (+7.6 per cent), Germany (+4.6 per cent) and a recovery in Spain (+ 32.5 per cent) resulted in an increase in deliveries compared to the previous year. In Mexico more than 6,000 vehicles were delivered. This is equivalent to an increase of 39.1 per cent. On the whole, the Volkswagen Amarok and the market launch of the Volkswagen Caddy contributed to the good results.

In South America sales of Volkswagen commercial vehicles dropped by 46.5 per cent to 40,900 light commercial vehicles and pick-ups (2013: 76,500). This was due to the end of production of the T2 in Brazil of which 1,700 units were sold in 2014 (2013: 26,400 vehicles).

In Eastern Europe Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles recorded a drop of 6.1 per cent to 37,700units (2013: 40,100). The situation in Russia played a major role here with a drop of 20.8 per cent to 12,600 vehicles (2013: 15,900).

In Africa and the Middle East deliveries remained largely buoyant at 19,800 units and 27,400 units (Africa 2013: 20,100; -1.7 per cent / Middle East 2013: 26,900; +1.7 per cent) respectively. In the Asia-Pacific region the brand’s delivery volume rose to 22,700 vehicles (2013: 20,200; +12.7 per cent).

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Toyota and Hino develop Fuel Cell bus

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Toyota Motor Corporation and Hino Motors, Ltd. have developed a new Toyota Fuel Cell System-equipped bus, which is scheduled to service the Toyota Oiden bus route in Toyota City from January 9.

The Toyota Fuel Cell System, which integrates fuel cell and hybrid vehicle technologies, was developed for the Mirai fuel cell vehicle. The new fuel cell bus is equipped with eight high-pressure hydrogen tanks as well as two fuel cell stacks and two motors to provide increased output. The bus also features a system for supplying electric power to buildings and other facilities during emergencies, which was enhanced through rigorous verification testing beginning in November 2013.

Toyota and Hino will verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the fuel cell bus through testing involving commercial operation on regular routes on public roads and will feed back the results into R&D. Hydrogen fueling of the bus will be carried out at Toyota Ecoful Town, under a New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization project.

The verification testing will be conducted with the cooperation of Toyota City as a part of public fuel cell bus road trials and emergency external power supply testing that began in 2010 under the Toyota City Low-Carbon Verification Project, which has been selected as one of the Next-Generation Energy and Social System Demonstration Projects being promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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Renault Trucks launch driving simulator app

 

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Renault Trucks just launched its truck driving simulator, which helps players get accustomed to Renault Trucks Euro 6 new truck range.

The players will get to drive Renault Trucks T,C ,K and D on the road, in cities or on construction sites. Known as the TruckSimulator, the app offers the general public a wide variety of driving situations which correspond to those drivers can come up against throughout their careers.
Thus, each player has to complete missions and choose them depending on his field of expertise. The game’s goals change depending on the main mission. There are three main missions in the game :

Long Distance assignment:

The player must achieve the highest journey speed, while consuming as little fuel as possible. This is a good training to the eco-driving, one of the hauliers’ priorities.

Heavy Construction and Construction assignment: 

The player’s goal is the entire load on board at all times.

Distribution assignment:

The player delivers parcels in their districts while respecting the urban deliveries restrictions and the speed limits. It is said that the driving simulator can also faithfully transpose real situations in a virtual game. This is a good way of learning, comprehending and imrpoving your driving skills.

 

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Scania continues to invest in Sweden

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A new priming painting shop is now being put into service at Scania’s cab manufacturing facility in Oskarshamn, Sweden. With the new paint shop, the technical capacity in Scania’s European production structure will increase from 60,000 to 80,000 truck cabs annually. About SEK 400 million has been invested in a lean and efficient production process.

Powder coating is a method with a very low environmental impact, since no solvents are used. At Scania in Oskarshamn, this method was introduced 20 years ago and has been continually developed and refined ever since. At the new priming paint shop, only two percent of the powder used is wasted.The new priming paint shop is housed in a five-storey building with a total area of 5,000 sq.m.

At the production facility, cabs are pre-treated through alkaline degreasing and rinsing, and after that phosphatising, rinsing and drying occur before the primer is applied in powder form and finally dried. The construction of the new paint shop commenced in August 2012, and the alignment of the machinery and processes started in September 2014.

The cabs that are produced in Oskarshamn are delivered to Scania’s three European final assembly plants, which are located in Sweden, the Netherlands and France, and are included in the company’s exports of kits from Europe for local assembly. Scania in Oskarshamn has about 2,000 employees. The operations are organized in five different workshops for sheet-metal stamping, body-building, priming and final painting and final assembly.

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Volvo completes 45% acquisition of Dongfeng

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AB Volvo has completed the acquisition of 45% of the Chinese automotive manufacturer, Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles Co., Ltd. The purchase consideration amounted to RMB 5.5 billion.

As announced earlier, AB Volvo signed an agreement in January 2013 with the Chinese automotive manufacturer, Dongfeng Motor Group Company Limited (DFG), to acquire 45% of a subsidiary of DFG, Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles Co., Ltd (DFCV). DFCV includes most of Dongfeng’s operations in heavy-duty and medium-duty commercial vehicles. To implement the transaction, a number of conditions had to be fulfilled, including approval from the Chinese competition authority and other relevant authorities. All approvals have been received. This transaction will significantly strengthen the Volvo Group’s position in medium-duty trucks while the Group will become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of both medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks.

“This strategic alliance is a real milestone and entails a fundamental change in the Volvo Group’s opportunities in the Chinese truck market, which is the largest in the world,” says Volvo’s President and CEO, Olof Persson. “At the same time, it will provide us with the opportunity to become involved in growing DFCV’s international business in a manner that will benefit us and our Chinese partner.”

In 2013, DFCV’s pro-forma sales amounted to RMB 35 billion (SEK 37 billion) and the pro-forma operating income to RMB 950 million (SEK 1 billion). The total Chinese market for heavy-duty trucks amounted to about 774,000 vehicles in 2013, while the corresponding figure for the medium-duty truck market was 286,000 vehicles. DFCV had a leading position in both the heavy-duty and medium-duty segments, with sales of 120,600 heavy-duty trucks and 51,000 medium-duty trucks, corresponding to market shares of 15.6 and 17.8%, respectively.

During the first three quarters of 2014, DFCV’s sales amounted to RMB 26 billion (SEK 28 billion) and the operating profit to RMB 1.1 billion (SEK 1.2 billion). During the same period, DFCV sold 85,000 heavy-duty and 31,000 medium-duty trucks. On September 30, 2014, DFCV had a net financial asset of RMB 3 billion (SEK 3.6 billion). (2014 un-audited)

AB Volvo’s ownership in DFCV is expected to be recognized as an associated company and will be consolidated as of January 2015 according to the equity method and reported in the trucks segment. The payment of the purchase consideration will impact the Group’s cash flow and net financial debt in the first quarter of 2015 by approximately SEK 7 billion. However, as the purchase consideration has been hedged, the net amount paid for the ownership in DFCV is approximately SEK 5.6 billion.

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2015 Dakar Rally kicks off

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The ceremonial start for Dakar Rally 2015 was held in the Plaza de Mayo facing the presidential office in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event of the day was ceremonial in the literal sense of the word, with racing vehicles returning to the vehicle storage in the Technopolis after they were paraded to the audience at the podium.

The contestants started the rally and raced their first bivouac early in the morning yesterday. An audience of reportedly several hundred thousand people gathered at the square and lined the streets, making this start a befitting one of a South American country.

The contestants started on their first day of the race to Villa Carlos Paz on the outskirts of Cordoba, Argentina. Although the SS makes up only 170km of the total distance of 833km for this day, crews had to stay on their toes as the segment featured risky high-speed sections consisting of straight tracks and right angle turns on ranch roads.

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Yoshimasa Sugawara of the Hino team said, “I never cease to be awed by the passionate support of the Argentinian fans. I will be taking it easy early in the race as this is the first year where I will be driving on XZL+ tires (Michelin), and also because our suspensions have undergone major modifications.”

ather sprint oriented. That said, we won’t have to push too hard for speed because our truck’s performance potential is much higher now. To that extent, I think it will be that much more straightforward for us. Our major concern is running into trouble so we will take it easy in the early part of the race.

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Scania takes sustainability to a new level

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Convenient and efficient passenger transport is key to solving both congestion and pollution problems in modern cities. A vital initial step is to boost the image of public transport, which can be achieved without delay using state-of-the-art bus technology and smart bus systems.

That said, Scania is now offering a full range of public transport solutions ranging from city and intercity buses to luxury coaches. A comprehensive range of services can be tailored to each individual operation to optimise uptime and flexibility, while minimising operating cost.

The Euro 6 offer is broader and more flexible than ever. The Scania Van Hool Exqui.City is a stylish statement of functionality and passenger
appeal, with its full low-floor layout and airy and spacious interior. It is powered by Scania’s Euro 6 gas engine, which operates on CNG or biogas and is renowned for its outstanding performance, fuel economy and, hence, operating range. Its unique design has all the makings to improve the perception of public transport. It combines the image and efficiency of a tram with the flexibility and cost level of a bus system.

The Scania Citywide LE, hybrid provides Scania’s latest city bus generation with a new powertrain option – a parallel hybrid
propulsion system with exceptional fuelsaving potential in city and suburban operation.

The system is largely based on Scania’s modularised powertrain components. Two of the engines for the Scania Citywide range can be run on up to 100 percent biodiesel.

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Chassis Unique 3D drawings speed up bodybuilding process

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Thanks to chassis unique 3D drawings, the chassis and bodywork for several of Volvo Trucks’ truck models can now be designed in parallel. This means that the bodybuilding process – and thus the customer lead time in some cases – can be shortened by up to 14 days, while the high quality is maintained.

 “We know that it is critical for our customers that the delivery does not drag on, as their own transport tasks can stand or fall according to the access they have to this particular truck. Therefore it feels especially good to contribute to the efficiency of this process,” says Peter Hardin, Product Manager, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX.

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The more complex the bodywork is, the longer the lead time usually is before the customer has access to the truck. One way to speed up the process is by building the bodywork in parallel to the production of the truck. Yet in order to determine the exact height and space needed for certain components and thus get the application to match the chassis, the bodybuilder needs access to detailed information on chassis dimensions. With this in mind, Volvo Trucks has now developed advanced three-dimensional (3D) drawings, which are now available for bodybuilders via an internet-based database.

“The major advantage of 3D drawings is that they allow for a parallel workflow in which the chassis and the bodywork can be produced simultaneously, instead of consecutively. Put simply, the bodybuilder doesn’t need to wait for the truck to be finished to find out crucial information about the chassis,” says Tor Hesselgren, Body Builder Development at Volvo Trucks.

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The availability of chassis unique 3D material allows the bodybuilder to see exactly how the finished chassis will look before it is constructed, as everything – from the rear axle position to the height of the propeller shaft and wiring – is included in the drawings. It is possible to do everything from zooming in on specific details, to spinning the truck model around and looking at it from above, from below and from the side. The detailed advance information allows the lead-time for the customer to be shortened, while at the same time maintaining high quality.

In total, the bodybuilders’ access to 3D drawings, together with Volvo Trucks’ new and more flexible chassis platform (which means that the chassis to a greater extent can be prepared for bodybuilding during assembly at the Volvo Trucks factory), means that the customer lead time can be shortened by 7-14 days.

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