Almost-divorced Chrysler may have to do some fast talking to resurrect its important partnership with Chery Automobile Co. of China. As you might recall, Chery was scheduled to build low-cost subcompact cars which Chrysler would market in the United States. Important deal for a company that has been surviving on gas-guzzling hemis and trucks under its Daimler ownership. According to some published articles, Chery had some reservations when it was announced that Chrysler would be spun out. Tom LaSorda will remain CEO of Chrysler under Cerberus Capital Management, and announced he wants to expand the relationship with Chery. I think this will work out fine. Daimler had a poor track record in its dealings with Asian partners (Mitsubishi and Hyundai Motor). Chrysler will make it work, because it has to work. Cerberus is a word in Greek mythology for a three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. We know that auto manufacturing in Detroit today is modern-day Hades, and we’ll find out soon enough if this dog can hunt.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
Design engineers play a big role in selecting both suppliers and materials for their designs. Our most recent Design News Materials Survey says they continue to be highly involved, in some ways even more than the last time we asked to peek inside their cubicles.
Daihatsu is one of the first carmakers to customize car exteriors using 3D printing's mass customization capabilities. Effect Skins -- small exterior bumper and fender panels in different colors and textures -- can be ordered for its Copen convertible.
Several new products in this group of new adhesives, coatings, and sealants are formulated to protect sensitive electronic components, or to seal components of commercial and military aircraft. Others are designed to operate in tough, messy, dirty oil & gas operations, or for rotary applications and motors.
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