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Weekly Roundups

Fuel Cell Tech, Mindfacturing Valley: The Week in Automotive

By Alejandro Enríquez | Thu, 06/24/2021 - 17:50

Hyundai Motor Group grabbed the spotlight this week with its fuel cell technology ventures and now has a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics, a state-of-the-art robot technology developer. Meanwhile, Guanajuato's Governor introduced the “Mindfacturing Valley,” with which he aims to pave the way towards innovation and technology in the crown jewel of the automotive industry.

In other news, Mexican Ministry of Labor followed up on the labor complaints presented against manufacturing companies Tridonex and GM.

Ready? This is the week in automotive!

GM, Hyundai Advance Fuel Cell Technology

US GM and South Korean Hyundai recently announced fuel cell technology projects for the transportation industry. GM is focusing on developing its proprietary Ultium batteries and hydrogen fuel cell solutions for the rail industry, while Hyundai is upgrading its fuel cell heavy-duty trucks.

Hyundai Acquires Controlling Interest in Boston Dynamics

Softbank Group and Hyundai announced on Monday the completion of the latter’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics, a robot developer. Although financial details were not disclosed, the deal valued the robot company at US$1.1 billion. Hyundai now has an 80 percent stake in Boston Dynamics while SoftBank's affiliates retain the remaining 20 percent. "Today, we begin a new chapter of mobility with Boston Dynamics," said Hyundai during the announcement.

Guanajuato to Become a “Mindfacturing Valley”

Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue introduced the "Mindfacturing Valley" strategy, which will pave the way for economic, industrial and educational development for the next 50 years. "Mindfacturing is not only a campaign slogan; it is a public policy with social, economic, educational, environmental and governmental targets," said the state government on a statement.

Ministry of Labor's Next Steps on GM, Tridonex Labor Complaints

In May, the US Trade Representative (USTR) introduced the first ever labor complaint under the USMCA against a union of GM workers in Silao, Guanajuato. Earlier that month, US unions had also urged USTR to use the Rapid Response Mechanism against Tridonex, an auto parts facility in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. This week, Mexico’s Ministry of Labor followed up on both matters.

UAQ Announces Collaboration with Toyota

To strengthen its dual training programs, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro’s (UAQ) Faculty of Engineering announced it will collaborate with Toyota's Plant in Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato. The collaboration, which will support knowledge transfer programs in AI and related areas, is part of the faculty’s commitment to strengthen its partnerships with the private sector, said Manuel Toledano Ayala, Faculty Director at UAQ.

International Roads

Ferrari unveils hybrid sports car. The Italian company introduced its first plug-in hybrid model for the luxury sports car segment: the 296 GTB.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to set individual agreements with Daimler. The partnership between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi could tremble as individual companies are looking for separate agreements with Daimler AG, reported Reuters.

Volkswagen AG's 2020 Profit Margins Unchanged. Despite chip shortages, the automotive group's forecasts for 2021 remain unchanged, with operating profit between 5.5 and 7 percent.

Photo by:   MBP
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst