May 16, 2020

Volkswagen goes into recovery with job cuts and business expansion

Volkswagen
VW
emissions scandal
cars
Nell Walker
2 min
Volkswagen goes into recovery with job cuts and business expansion
Volkswagen is cutting thousands of jobs as it continues to deal with the aftermath of last years emissions scandal and moves in a new direction.



VW h...

Volkswagen is cutting thousands of jobs as it continues to deal with the aftermath of last year’s emissions scandal and moves in a new direction.

 

VW hopes to rejuvenate its brand by focussing on electric and autonomous cars, but this comes at the cost of around 30,000 jobs, 23,000 of which will be in the company’s homeland of Germany (a fifth of the workforce there). It is hoped that these cuts will save around 3.7 billion euros a year by 2020, which is badly needed as Volkswagen continues to pour money into reparations following ‘dieselgate’. However, the company is set to create 9,000 jobs which will focus on the new products.

Christian Stadler, Professor of Strategic Management at Warwick Business School, offered the following comment on VW’s latest move: "This is not just about cutting costs because of the emissions scandal, but moving to a new strategy in a rapidly changing car market.

"There are three reasons behind this shedding of jobs, which will have been agreed with the unions beforehand and will come mostly from early retirements as 23,000 are in Germany.

"First Volkswagen is responding to the potential lawsuit tsunami heading its way from all over the world due to the emissions scandal, with $18 billion of fines looming in the US alone.

"Secondly, Volkswagen has fallen behind in terms of profit margin per vehicle against its rivals, even lagging behind Peugeot. In the first half of 2016 Peugeot had a profit margin of 6.8 percent while Volkswagen's is 2 percent. VW hopes to increase it to 4 percent, so it needs to raise its productivity levels and become more efficient.

"Thirdly electronic vehicles are the future and they need less people to build them in the production process.

"China - the biggest car market in the world - has announced it will bring in an e-vehicle quota starting in 2018, where 8 percent  of all vehicles sold in China have to be e-vehicles, and that will rise to 12 per cent in 2020. It means VW would have to sell 60,000 e-vehicles in China by 2018, and hybrids only represent half a point.

"That is a huge undertaking. The total amount of e-vehicles in China is around 500,000, even BMW, one of the pioneers of electronic cars has sold just 1,204 e-vehicles in China in 2016 up to September.

"Norway's sovereign wealth fund holds a sizeable stake in VW and has been putting pressure on them to become more environmentally friendly."

 

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May 12, 2021

Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing

SustainableManufacturing
BatteryCell
EVs
Automotive
2 min
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell 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.

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