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Automotive Megatrends Magazine Q2 2014: Autonomous Cars, Driven By Safety

In the recent Automotive World Megatrends Magazine Q2 2014 – The Connected Car issue discusses the implications of increasingly autonomous, increasingly connected cars? This issue explores a wide range of connected car topics, from highly automated driving to cloud technology, via Ethernet, Big Data and voice recognition – all of which help to shape the connected future.

The Wall Street Journal: Detroit's Appetite for Aluminum Keeps Growing

Auto makers plan a broad shift to aluminum from steel in larger vehicles over the next decade in North America, and 18% of all vehicles will have all-aluminum bodies by 2025, compared with less than 1% now, according to an industry study released this week.

Automotive News: Stamping bottleneck squeezes boron-steel supply

Faced with increasingly tough federal collision standards, automakers are turning to boron steel -- which is six times stronger than conventional steel -- to reinforce the body-in-white without adding pounds.  Boron steel is increasingly used for door pillars, door beams, body sills, roof rails and bumpers -- components that must protect the passenger cabin during a collision.  But as demand grows, suppliers are short of presses that can heat the steel to the proper temperature for stamping.  In the 2015 model year, a typical vehicle will have about 24 pounds of boron steel, according to an estimate by Ducker International, a consulting firm based in suburban Detroit. That's up from 15 pounds in 2012.

Ducker Worldwide in the News - The F-150's Aluminum Diet

When Ford rolls out its redesigned F-150 pickup truck here on Monday morning to kick off two days of press previews for the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the automaker will be making one of the boldest product gambles in its 111-year history.

Ducker Worldwide in the News - Lightweight AHSS Automotive Design: Pushing the Envelope

Today’s average North American light-duty vehicles include passenger cars, crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks. All together, this fleet of vehicles averages 60 percent steel by weight, according to recent studies conducted by Ducker Worldwide and Mega Associates. Steel is dominant in the body and chassis. It can be found in most hang-on components, such as suspension parts, bumpers, and closures like doors and liftgates. But, in truth, weight is not helpful to a vehicle. The more mass a vehicle has to carry, the harder the engine has to work to propel it, the brakes have to work to stop it, and the suspension has to work to manage the handling. The vehicle also consumes more gasoline for every mile traveled.

Ducker Worldwide in the News: North American production to rise with aluminum leading the way

Analysts predict North American automobile production will break new records in the coming years. Among the contributors driving growth is low auto loan interest rates coupled with quality product for buyers.

Legacy Approach to Top Line Growth Execution Not Enough for Today's Recovery

Although the overall U.S. economy has generally expanded since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, a new report indicates that growth may be stalling and executives navigating this recovering economy should take heed. 

Ducker Worldwide Research and Analysis Techniques: Robust Commercial Diligence Ensures Superior Returns

Private equity investors are highly skilled at analyzing financial due diligence, modeling returns and transaction structuring.  However, the real driver of value with any buyout is post-closing operating performance.  And, there is no better way to be certain about this outcome than to engage in robust commercial due diligence as part of the investment process.  Rigorous commercial due diligence encompassing competitive intelligence; voice-of-customer; supplier risks; trend analyses; demand quantification; and, operational evaluation is crucial to highlighting the true value of a target and ensuring it possesses the fundamentals to drive operating performance that will deliver superior return.  


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