Automotive Industry News Roundup, May 14th.
May 14, 2018
Change is afoot in the automotive industry, but change isn’t something which has ever struck fear into the automotive industry.
With hundreds of millions of new cars sold every year and dozens of brands, both large and small, vying for marketplace supremacy, there are few industries better placed to tackle the numerous challenges sure to land in the coming years.
Primarily, those challenges relate to self-driving and battery-powered vehicles. Whilst the latter may have been with us for over a hundred years in some form or another, the former is a new innovation and, whilst not ready just yet, is poised to completely upend the traditional notion of automobiles.
As of today though we’re only in the earliest rumblings of this shift and the automotive industry is enjoying a strong period. That’s especially true here in the UK here the industry boasts a turnover of £77.5 billion.
Our nation supports nine major premium and sports car manufacturers, six mainstream car manufacturers and employs more than 814,000 people. It’s an industry we’re proud to support with our automotive humidity control solutions, which are currently in use in manufacturers around the world.
Here’s the latest automotive news, as of May 14th.
BMW is to recall more than 300,000 cars sold in the UK because of an electrical fault which has caused some vehicles to cut out whilst on the road. In 2017 the German carmaker issued a safety call covering about 36,000 petrol vehicles but has now extended the recall after acknowledging that the defect could affect more than those vehicles initially mentioned.
The company is now expected to reach out to owners of vehicles affected by the recall, which includes all BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, Z4 and X1 petrol and diesel models made between March 2007 and August 2011.
The recall comes after a BBC Watchdog investigation which discovered the broader defect.
“We now recognise that there may have been some cases of similar power-supply issues in vehicles not covered by the original recall,” BMW said. “In order to reassure customers with concerns about the safety of their vehicles, we are voluntarily extending the recall.
“We are therefore announcing today that we will take the proactive step of expanding the existing UK recall to cover all vehicles potentially affected by the power-supply issue.”
Electric vehicles might be favoured for their very low noise pollution, but their quietness has led to a number of issues. Specifically, cases of pedestrians and other drivers being unaware of their presence until it’s too late.
Now, new legislation will tackle the threat that electric vehicles at low (sub 20mph) speed pose to the public. From July next year, all new electric vehicles in Europe will have to be fitted with a device which emits a noise when travelling at low speeds, whilst existing vehicles will have to be retrofitted with a device by 2021.
It’s yet unclear what measures automotive companies will choose to tackle the issue, but it’s thought that white noise could be a prime candidate, thanks to its pleasing sound and directional qualities.
April’s registration figures found a 10.4% rise in sales, however, demand for diesel models remains in short supply with sales collapsing by 25% to 51,377.
In total, 168,000 cars were sold across the month which was helped in part by the cold weather of previous months causing delays to shipments, which pushed some sales into April. However, the real story is the appetite for electric, hybrid and plug-in vehicles which were up by a half to 9,365.