It’s great that Chinese companies may want to buy Chrysler or GM. That’s how the free enterprise system works. Companies are priced at a fair market value in public exchanges (if they’re publicly held) and then anyone with the cash can buy them, just like any products are bought and sold a la Adam Smith. IBM was able to unload its no-longer viable personal computer business to Chinese investors. It’s a great way to get money back into the hands of American businesses and investors. And as John Dodge pointed out on his Facebook page, GM has a capitalization of only $1.35 billion at current stock prices. GM has a large product development center in China and Buick is one of the top-selling brands in China. Most importantly, a Chinese buyout of GM or Chrysler saves US taxpayers a lot of cash.
Divestiture of assets to foreign investors is not a great long-term strategy, however. Our weak financial situation is a result of years of deficit spending and a bulging federal debt. If you’re mad about General Motors going bust—don’t be mad at me. Be mad at your own spending and voting patterns.
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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