News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

March 12, 2010

WSJ Highlights Onshoring Trend

Filed under: General — Notch @ 11:29 am

From today’s Wall Street Journal, an article suggesting that the manufacturing sector in the US may see a much-needed uptick after being devastated by the recession.

The trend, known as onshoring or reshoring, is gaining momentum as a weak U.S. dollar makes it costlier to import products from overseas. Manufacturers are also counting on White House jobs incentives, as well as their ability to negotiate lower prices from U.S. suppliers who were hurt by the downturn and willing to bargain.

After a decade of rapid globalization, economists say companies are seeing disadvantages of offshore production, including shipping costs, complicated logistics, and quality issues. Political unrest and theft of intellectual property pose additional risks.

March 3, 2010

Pirelli Introduces Green Tire for SUVs

Filed under: General, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 10:49 pm

European Rubber Journal (subscription required) reports that Pirelli has used the Geneva show to introduce the Scorpion Verde, claimed to be the market’s first eco-friendly tyre for SUVs. The tire combines safety with fuel savings for larger vehicles. Pirelli also presented the Cinturato P7 tire as another example of a green tire that combines reduced fuel consumption with increased braking performance and road grip.

Porsche Introduces 718 Horsepower Hybrid

Filed under: General — Notch @ 4:40 pm

From the Geneva Auto Show comes word that Porsche has unveiled the 918 Spyder, a hybrid concept car that gets an estimated 78 miles-per-gallon while clocking speeds faster than the Porsche Carrera GT.

The 918 Spyder concept is powered by a 500-horsepower gasoline V-8 and electric motors on the front and rear axle (the two electric motors make a combined 160 kilowatts of power, or the equivalent of 218 horsepower). Total power output is 718 horsepower.

March 1, 2010

Ford’s 1Q European Production Stronger than Expected

Filed under: General — Notch @ 11:36 pm

According to Reuters, Ford has raised its first-quarter European production by about 5 percent (about 20,000 vehicles) after stronger-than-expected sales of some vehicles early this year, but it has left its full-year industrywide sales forecast intact, Ford of Europe Chief Executive John Fleming said. The auto company has seen some promising signs in larger European economies but remains wary about the impact of the expiration of government scrappage programs and the strength of some economies. The increase was mainly for smaller cars such as the Fiesta but also included some commercial vehicles.

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