Jim Irwin

Associate Editor,

Jim covers suppliers and other topics.

Parts Makers Careful to Keep Focus on Craftsmanship
Magna may be able to supply Lincoln with 30-way power front seats for the Continental, but the supplier’s engineering expertise is compromised if the seating material isn’t wrinkle-free, says Frank Eupizi, director of engineering-consumer interface products.
Novelis Breaks Ground on Kentucky Aluminum Plant
The facility will include heat treatment and pretreatment lines, which prepare aluminum for use in vehicle parts such as body-in-white, hoods, doors, lift gates and fenders.
Nidec Unveils Advanced Ultra-Fast Charger for EVs 
Nidec says its system allows the safe and efficient charging of a car in less than 15 minutes, guaranteeing 310 miles of travel and minimizing impact on the electricity grid.
Lock-Systems Specialist Kiekert Expands Production
The expansion is part of a $3 million investment in the supplier’s operations in Wixom, MI.
Theme of Chevrolet Equinox’s Inside Story: Value 2
The Equinox has been one of America’s most popular CUVs for several years, and time spent in an ʼ18 model shows Chevy hasn’t been coasting. For roominess, connectivity, safety and driver assistance, the Equinox is a solid value at well under $40,000.
3M Says Glass Bubbles Aid Car-Lightweighting Cause 1
Glass Bubbles S32HS help OEMs achieve up to a 40% weight reduction of composite parts at a density below 1.0 g/cc while still enabling a class-A paintable finish, 3M says.
Starship Draws on Supplier’s Aerodynamics Know-How
As part of the Starship Initiative, a collaborative project led by Shell Lubricants and AirFlow Truck Co., Röchling Automotive has supplied its active grille shutter (AGS) system to a next-generation concept truck called the Starship.
Magna, Innoviz to Supply BMW With Lidar Technology
The solid-state, high-resolution lidar technology enables Level 4 (highly automated) and Level 5 (completely automated) driving by generating a 3D point cloud of the vehicle’s surroundings in real time, even in multi-lidar environments, Magna says.
Magna Opens Body, Chassis Production Plant in Mexico
The 189,000-sq.-ft. (17,580-sq.-m) plant will manufacture structural welded assemblies for global automakers including BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Osram, Continental Form Automotive Lighting JV
The Osram Continental JV’s product portfolio will feature semiconductor-based lighting modules such as LED modules for front and rear headlights, laser modules and light control units.
Magna JV Will Produce Liftgates in China
The addition of the liftgate joint venture raises to 50 the number of Magna facilities in China, where the Canada-based supplier has more than 22,700 employees.
Seat Maker Adient Partners With Mobility R&D Center 
“Adient’s partnership with the American Center for Mobility furthers our commitment to developing safety and mobility standards for autonomous vehicles,” Adient Chairman and CEO Bruce McDonald says.
Magna South Carolina Plant to Supply BMW With Seats
Magna will create a total of 610 jobs at the 255,000-sq.-ft. facility, which will supply seats for BMW X models built elsewhere in Spartanburg County.
ZF Says New Knee Airbag Module Industry’s Lightest
Besides enhancing occupant safety, the module features a flexible design for various vehicle interior sizes and configurations, including cockpit concepts for future autonomous vehicles, ZF says.
Eckhart to Serve Auto Industry From New Tech Center
The 47,000-sq.-ft. facility will serve as the company’s technology showcase, including engineering and assembly of the next-generation Autocraft autonomous guided vehicles for material handling.
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