UK car manufacturing drops by 3%, showcasing a loss in consumer trust
It has been announced that UK car manufacturing figures ha...
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports reduced demand from UK buyers.
It has been announced that UK car manufacturing figures have fallen for the first time in eight years, with under two million less cars produced throughout 2017.
Although the UK car manufacturing industry remains a significant market for the country’s economic growth, increased concerns surrounding the pending Brexit outcome has led buyers to lose consumer confidence in buying new vehicles.
This has only been accelerated through the UK’s muddying stance surrounding the use of diesel, leading to a 17% decline.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has also found that output for the domestic market fell by nearly 10%, leading investment in the UK car manufacturing industry to also reduce from £1.66bn to £1.1bn.
At present, the UK car manufacturing industry is kept afloat by overseas demand, particularly across the EU, as well as within Asia, the US and Canada. This has led to increased concern for the country to issue its stance on the how Brexit negotiations will impact future exports. The country’s figure within commercial sales in the UK have also indicated slight decline.
"We urgently need clarity on the transitional arrangements," commented SMMT Chief Executive
“We compete in a global race to produce the best cars and must continue to attract investment to remain competitive. Whilst such investment is often cyclical, the evidence is that it is now stalling so we need rapid progress on trade discussions to safeguard jobs and stimulate future growth.”
It will therefore remain imperative for the UK to continue adhering to present EU free trade agreements and customs union arrangements, in order to maintain high levels of job security and development within the country’s automotive sector.
If the UK government opts for a hard Brexit, over 30,000 roles within European car manufacturing will be severely impacted, as well as the number of cars produced. A report from Deloitte has highlighted that it would threaten up to 14,000 jobs in Germany, who presently remains the biggest exporter of car parts in the country.
However, one area of subsequent growth has been within the UK engine production, which has rose to 2.72 million (an increase of 6.9%) in 2017, according to the SMMT. Jaguar Land Rover remains the largest UK engine factory in the UK, but is increasingly facing challenges within its car production lines due to reduced demand.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.