It seems that the recently rumored partnership between Volkswagen and Malaysian carmaker Proton has been scrapped.
As you all know, the two companies were in talks a few years ago about a collaboration. A few weeks ago, new rumors indicated that a deal was soon to be struck between the parties.
Now, Proton has officially revealed that the talks have ended with no concrete result. According to the chairman of the company, Volkswagen has revealed that it has “other plans” and won’t pursue a deal with the Malaysian carmaker.
These “other plans” have already gotten rumors started about the German carmaker, most of them involving the recent partnership and stock share with Suzuki, a Japanese company with a major influence in India and Asia.
As of yet though, nothing is certain except that Proton will continue to go on with help from its British subsidiary, Lotus.
McLaren has just joined other carmakers like BMW or Mercedes-Benz who have partnered up with specialized carbon fiber companies to produce materials set to be used on current road-going cars.
While BMW or Mercedes want to use carbon fiber components on everyday cars, McLaren’s new partnership with Salzburg-based Carbo Tech will see the material used on all future supercars, including the upcoming MP4-12C.
McLaren invested a total of around $185 million and will help Carbo Tech build a new plant dedicated to supplying carbon fiber monocoque to the carmaker.
“Carbon monocoques are particularly light and thus reduce the CO2 emissions of the vehicles while at the same time offering improved strength, structural rigidity and engineering predictability, resulting in better driving dynamics,” said McLaren in a statement.
As we’ve mentioned before, the first car to enjoy the new component is the MP4-12C, whose monocoque body weighs just 176 pounds (80 kg) while still meeting crash standards.
Volkswagen is seemingly bent on purchasing almost every other small carmaker it can find, only to boost its ever-expanding portfolio.
After the recently announced partnership with Suzuki, the German carmaker is once again the target of new rumors, pointing to a possible acquisition of Malaysia’s Proton.
For those not familiar, the company is one of Malaysia’s biggest carmakers and owns British sportscar manufacturer Lotus. There were rumors between 2004 and 2007 about a possible collaboration between the two groups, but nothing really came out of those talks.
Now, it seems that VW and Proton might learn to play nice together, so that the German company can sell even more cars in the Asian territory and Proton may increase its exports and sales figures.
Do you think this partnership, if it will be made official, will prove successful for Volkswagen and Proton? Share your thoughts below.
Another day, another report of a future industry partnership. After hearing about Volkswagen’s official purchase of Italdesign Giugiaro, reports are now coming in about a new partnership between Toyota and Daimler.
According to Reuters, the two companies are planning to kick start a joint venture which would research and develop new fuel cell technologies for future electric vehicles. Both carmakers have been documenting the new technology for quite some time, so this new partnership might make a lot of sense.
Daimler has also partnered recently with the Renault Nissan alliance, but that only covers small car development and platform sharing. The company is also part, alongside Toyota and other carmakers of the so-called Hydrogen Alliance, a group that supports the development of fuel cell vehicles.
The two companies refused to declare anything about a partnership, so perhaps an official announcement isn’t too far away.
We’re seeing new partnerships being developed in the automotive industry left and right these days, but by far the most awkward one is between Chrysler and NASA, who both announced a new three-year agreement to share technologies and insight.
“This is a great opportunity to share knowledge and data in areas where both Chrysler Group and NASA have a vested interest,” said Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President, Chrysler Engineering. “We value the opportunity to work with NASA and will implement what is learned to further improve our Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck products.”
The two companies don’t really say what they will actually research in joint partnership, just saying that topics like “materials engineering, robotics, radar, battery systems and other energy storage mediums,” are going to be discussed by mixed teams.
Research into many of these subjects might give Chrysler a big help in returning to the glory of yesteryear and might also help its new corporate overlord, Fiat, in the long haul. But, there’s still the question of what the Pentastar will be bringing to the table. Free Sebrings? A space-capable Fiat 500? Lunar Jeeps? We may never know.
What seemed like a rather awkward April Fools joke is now official: Daimler and Renault-Nissan will work together from now on, with the German company buying a 3.1% stake in the two companies, while the French-Japanese alliance will also acquire 3.1% in Daimler stock.
As was revealed last week, the two groups are going to collaborate heavily in terms of small cars, including the development of electric versions for the Smart ForTwo, Renault Twingo or the Twizzy EV. Platform and engine sharing is also included in the new partnership, as key assemblies from the Mercedes-Benz A and B Class are going to end up on the Renault Twingo and Clio.
Entry-level engines are going to be developed and swapped among the all of the various brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Smart or Nissan. The diesel know-how of MB is likely to be used by Nissan’s Infiniti division, to develop better engines targeted at European consumers. Also, a diesel engine and transmission from Renault Nissan is going to be used on the Mercedes-Benz Vito.
Expect many other collaborations between the brands, as representatives confirmed this partnerships is going to result in “billions of euros in annual savings for both sides.”
What do you think of this new partnership? Is it best for both companies? Share your thoughts below
Ford is definitely embracing the future of the automotive industry, and has just announced during the 2010 New York Auto Show that it is partnering up once again with Microsoft (the first collaboration resulted in the SYNC infotainment system), and will use the Hohm cloud-based energy management system in order to control the charging of future Blue Oval Electric Vehicles.
“Ford and Microsoft both share a strong commitment to contributing to a better world. Today, we begin the next major step in our working together and leading the way for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability,” said Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company president and CEO. “For Ford, this is a needed step in the development of the infrastructure that will make electric vehicles viable.”
Does this concept sound a bit too confusing? Well Hohm is a service currently in open beta stage, meaning you can sign up for free. It enables you to manage the electric energy in your own house. If you’ll buy a future EV, you’ll no doubt need to recharge it. This is where Hohm really comes into its own, and will alert you when the car has been fully charged, and other types of information, like when it is better to recharge the vehicle.
Ford and Microsoft also want to partner with electric companies, in order to better map out the grid, and even warn customers of impending repair work, so that they won’t be caught off guard. The first EV from Ford to support Hohm will be the 2012 Focus Electric model, seen above. Many other such vehicles will soon appear, including a Transit electric, and several undisclosed ones.
The strain that the electric vehicles will put on the old power grid has always been a problem. Now, with Hohm and other services, things might be improved soon enough.
First off, no it isn’t an April Fools joke (as far as we know). Daimler has announced that it will be debuting a partnership between it and Renault in terms of platform and engine sharing for future models.
As such, you’ll see quite a few components and new technologies be developed between brands like Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Renault or Nissan. It seems that Daimler has been shopping around for viable partnerships, and saw in Renault the best candidate. The research on which the two companies will collaborate are going to result in “billions of euros in annual savings for both sides.”
The major focus of the new partnership is the Project Edison initiative, consisting of a small city car platform, capable of support the replacements for the Smart ForTwo and Smart ForFour. Besides the Daimler models, Renault is keen to base the electric Twizy and the next Twingo on the same platform. As its name suggests, it will also support, besides regular powertrains, electric ones. The rear-wheel drive platform will no doubt be manufactured at Renault’s Slovenian plant.
Besides the work on the Edison platform, the two groups will also collaborate on future small engines, from 1.2 to 1.8-liters in capacity, set to appear under the bonnets of the future Mercedes-Benz A and B Classes, as well as the next Renault Clio or Megane models.
Autocar is also speculating that if the two corporations play together nicely, Mercedes-Benz might share some of its V6 or V8 engines with Infiniti, as well as new transmissions. Either way, this is one interesting partnership which will give BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroen something to think about.