Jaguar Land Rover opens new China manufacturing plant to boost sales in the region
Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover opened its first plant in China on Tuesday as part of a manufacturing push aimed at more than doubling global sales by the end of the decade. The new plant will produce three JLR models by 2016, including one Jaguar model, according to chief executive Ralf Speth.
The plant is part of a 10.9 billion yuan ($1.78 billion) investment and is located in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu. JLR will produce cars there with local partner Chery Automobile Company Ltd.
The factory will have a capacity of 130,000 cars.
The first model to roll off the production line will be the luxury Range Rover Evoque, which is the company’s most popular model in China.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, Jaguar Land Rover sold more than 100,000 vehicles in China, making it the company’s single largest market. In the past the company has said it hopes to sell one million vehicles globally by the end of the decade. In calendar year 2013 it sold about 425,000 vehicles, up 19 percent from 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Bob Grace, regional president of JLR, said he expected year-over-year growth of around 20 percent in 2014. Last year, its China sales grew by about 30 percent.
The company also announced plans to build a new aluminum body shop at the Changshu facility, which will support the introduction of new Jaguar products in China.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.