VEHICLE DEPENDABILITY STUDY J. D. Power and Associates provide the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which looks at a vehicles long-term dependability by surveying owners of three-year-old models that were purchased new. Unlike the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures owner satisfaction after 90 days of ownership (and is a gauge of how well a vehicle has been put together during assembly), for VDS, original owners are asked whether they have experienced problems in any of nearly 200 different problem areas. The resulting information—straight from those who own and drive a particular model—is invaluable to consumers who use the study findings to help them make more-informed choices when considering both new and used vehicles. According to the 2010 VDS, several long-term dependability trends have emerged. Among the key findings is that while long-term vehicle dependability continues to improve for the majority of automotive brands, for some brands, owner perceptions have not kept pace with their vehicle’s actual performance. “There is still a perception gap when it comes to reliability for certain cars,” says Raffi Festekjian, director of auto research at J.D Powers. Several brands that performed well in the 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study—including Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln, and Mercury— are still trying to shake a perceived quality stigma, even though the study results speak otherwise. All of those brands finished above the industry average. “With the studies showing that cars are being manufactured to last longer, it is great to see the gap between foreign and domestic closing,” says Festekjian. “Producing vehicles with worldclass quality is just part of the battle for automakers; convincing consumers to believe in their quality is equally as important,” says David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. “It takes considerable time to positively change consumer perceptions of quality and reliability—sometimes a decade or more—so it is vital for manufacturers to continually improve quality and also to convince consumers of these gains.” The 2010 VDS also finds that owners are replacing fewer broken vehicle parts—or components—compared to last year’s study. Vehicle dependability is directly related to component replacement, so the news will be welcome news to owners and consumers, who may incur lower maintenance and repair costs, and to manufacturers, which will benefit from reduced warranty expenses. NEW U.S. FUEL ECONOMY AND EMISSIONS STANDARDS SET SANTA MONICA, CA—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U. S. Transportation Department (EPA/ DOT) will sign a joint final rule establishing greenhouse gas emission standards and corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for light-duty vehicles for model years 2012-2016. “Automakers currently offer consumers a full menu of great fuelefficient vehicles today—diesels, hybrids, electrics, small gas sippers and bigger vehicles—that now get better fuel economy than ever before,” says Edmunds.com Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Anwyl. “But consumers generally aren’t interested, especially when gas prices remain relatively low and no incentives are available to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles.” Anwyl noted that in other countries a heavier tax is levied on vehicles with higher horsepower and bigger engines. In addition to the EPA/DOT announcement, President Obama announced that 5,603 new hybrid cars and trucks have been ordered by the federal fleet to boost its fuel efficiency. MANUFACTURING BILL INTRODUCED WASHINGTON—On February 25, Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced the bipartisan National Manufacturing Strategy Act, H.R. 4692, to help American manufacturers rebound from recent job losses and to ensure they are equipped to thrive in the 21st century. Under the legislation, the administration in consultation with a newly established Manufacturing Strategy Board would conduct an in-depth analysis of the nation’s manufacturing sector and develop a comprehensive strategy for enhancing its competitiveness and promoting its success in the global economy. The Manufacturing Strategy Board would consist of 21 industry leaders and stakeholders from across the country, representing businesses both large and small. The aim of the strategy, to be issued every four years, is to harmonize manufacturing policy across the government and ensure that it is unified, coherent, forward-looking and resultsoriented. It would yield specific goals and recommendations for all levels of Government and the private sector. The Government Accountability Office would be tasked with reviewing the strategy development process and analyzing the implementation of recommendations. In addition, the National Academies of Science would be required to conduct periodic indepth studies on manufacturing and related issues to aid policymakers in their quadrennial review. TOYOTA’S QUALITY SCORE DROPS SANTA BARBARA, CA—Automotive Lease Guide (ALG) announced that Toyota suffered a sharp drop from first to sixth place among mainstream brands in ALG’s Spring 2010 Automotive Consumer Attitudes Survey, leaving Honda with a lead over all other mainstream brands. Toyota’s Perceived Quality Score (PQS) of 67.6 was down 20% from 84. 0 in the ALG fall PQS 2009 survey. Honda’s score of 83.2 was down 1%, but 12.6 percentage points above runner-up Nissan’s score of 70.6, which was up 3% from last fall. Rounding out the top five mainstream brands were Ford Trucks (up 5%), Subaru (up 4%) and Volkswagen (down 1%). The biggest gainer among mainstream brands was Kia (up 10%), although its score of 47.1 remains relatively low. Ford cars were up 8% to a score of 66.8, less than a percentage point behind Toyota and good for seventh place on the mainstream list. Also posting strong gains were Hyundai and Chevrolet cars, both up 5%. ALG tabulates results separately for domestic manufacturers’ cars and trucks/SUVs due to the wide perception gap that exists between these two categories. CA CREATES GREEN TAX EXEMPTION SAN JOSE, CA — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law the bill SB 71 that will exempt green manufacturers from paying sales and use taxes on manufacturing equipment to encourage investment in manufacturing, job creation and economic growth in California. “California is leading the way with the largest green economy in the nation, creating jobs when they’re needed the most and proving to the world that we can protect our environment and build a stronger economic future at the same time,” said Schwarzenegger. “We’re sending a clear message to every entrepreneur and innovator that it pays to invest in a clean future for California,” the governor said. SB 71 targets alternative energy and advanced transportation technology investments that create new, permanent Jobs in California and produce quantifiable reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases, reductions in air or water pollution, or increase energy efficiency. Senate Bill 71 was authored by senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), senator Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara) and senator Tony Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks). “California is one of only three states in the nation that does not provide a sales tax exemption or tax credit for the purchase of green manufacturing equipment,” said Senator Padilla, who chairs the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. “California should be the nation’s leader in manufacturing green technology. The best way to lead is by incentivizing investments that create jobs,” he added. SB 71 requires that projects receiving tax exemptions have a net tax benefit to the state at least equal to the tax benefit of the manufacturer benefiting from the exemption. BUSINESS NEWS .. Carl Zeiss (Maple Grove, MN) announced Crescent Gage and Tool Sales (Dallas) as a new distributor of Zeiss metrology equipment for central and northern Texas, northern Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Crescent Gage and Tool Sales, with Precision Measurement Centers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex (Rowlett) and Austin, TX, will represent the full line of Zeiss coordinate measuring machines. .. Trumpf Inc. (Farmington, CT) donated 10 of its TruTool S130 power tools for use in Haiti’s reconstruction efforts. Trumpf made the donation to Relief International. The power tools will be used for Relief International’s shelter program and hand carried into Haiti by volunteers traveling to the country. According to a representative from Relief International, the TruTool S130 will be used to clear existing metal structural components, such as corrugated metal roofs. .. Balluff (Florence, KY) introduces Balluff Technical Services for RFID, networking and sensor projects. Balluff manufactures sensors, accessories, networking and RFID components are able to provide for small automation projects. Some of the include projects include: system design and integration assistance; startup and installation service; process improvement services; machine-down services;preventive maintenance services; training programs; product modifi - cations and enhancements. .. QCR TECH (Madison Heights, MI), a specialty jig and fi xture manufacturer, announced the capital investment of their eighth NC machine, a Tarus HSM 8412. The investment will allow them to concentrate their efforts toward the design and manufacturing of specialty jigs and fi xtures for larger components such as body side components and roof panels within the automotive industry. .. Evasc Medical Systems (Vancouver, British Columbia) has successfully undergone a transfer audit and has received ISO 13485: 2003 certifi cation. Evasc has maintained ISO 13485 certifi cation since 2003. The certifi cation is for the design, development, manufacture and distribution of intravascular catheters and prosthetic devices. .. Olympus America Inc. (Center Valley, PA) has expanded its industrial instrument distribution network, and has named B&B Microscopes Ltd. (Pittsburgh) and Hunt Optics and Imaging Inc. (Pittsburgh) exclusive Olympus industrial microscope dealers. B&B Microscopes is now the exclusive Olympus industrial microscope distributor in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and Delaware. Hunt Optics and Imaging now represents Olympus industrial microscopes in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. .. Laboratory Testing Inc. (LTI, Hatfi eld, PA) has expanded its accreditation with the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). LTI was fi rst granted A2LA approval for calibration services in August 2001. Since that time the scope of A2LA accreditation grew to include the calibration of a wide range of standards, gages, measuring tools, torque wrenches, force measurement and fi eld calibration services. The expanded scope now also includes calibration of length standards to 60 inches, tapered thread rings, tapered thread plugs and rules to 78 inches. .. Emhart Teknologies (Shelton, CT), a Black & Decker company, announced the acquisition of Fastener Innovation Technology Inc. (FIT, Gardena, CA), a designer and manufacturer of aerospace fasteners. Combined with the 2008 purchase of Spiralock Corp. (Madison Heights, MI), bringing FIT under the Emhart brand integrates multiple aerospace fastener platforms into a single-source organization. .. Sypris Technologies Inc. (Louisville, KY), manufacturer and supplier of drive train and other components for the commercial vehicle, automotive, recreational vehicle, mining, agriculture and energy markets, announced that it has been awarded a new multiyear contract with Eaton Corp.’s vehicle group to provide transmission components for the company’s commercial vehicle transmission business. PEOPLE NEWS Jürgen Dold has assumed the position as president of Geosystems (Switzerland). Hexagon Geosystems is one of three application areas in Hexagon Measurement Technologies. Dold has been with the company since 1995. .. Dallas Harris has joined LMI Technologies Inc. (Delta, British Columbia) as part of the marketing communications team. Harris will be assuming the marketing communications assistant position and will be responsible for the development of marketing collaterals, messaging, trade show support and corresponding corporate communications. .. Alf Bates has been appointed to principal test engineer at JJS Electronics Ltd. (Lutterworth, England). Bates will take charge of test design and implementation, in addition to delivering production test facilities and processes. Bates, an engineering graduate and trained to Six Sigma Black Belt level, brings with him more than 25 years of experience in electronics manufacturing. .. BYK-Gardner (Columbia, MD) has announced the promotion of Richard Scott to director of key accounts for North America and the hiring of Carol Traister as regional sales manager for the Ohio Valley area and Blake Burich as regional sales manager for the eastern Great Lakes area. .. Alex Ramirez has been named director of engineering at Reddwerks Corp. (Austin, TX). Ramirez has domain experience in supply chain management across all verticals. He has counseled customers around the world including South Africa, Belgium, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Canada and Mexico on supply chain software implementation best practices. .. Sean Harrigan will join the Nexergy Inc. (Columbus, OH) as president and chief executive offi cer. Harrigan will replace company founder Phil Glandon, who is stepping down as CEO. Harrigan has more than 30 years of domestic and international experience. Glandon will continue to work with the company, focusing on customer relationships, strategic issues and business development as well as serving on the board of directors. ASSOCIATION NEWS The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME, Dearborn, MI) announced that Joe LaRussa, PE, has been named director of membership. LaRussa will be responsible for increasing awareness of what SME has to offer manufacturing professionals. Debbie Holton, who was previously responsible for SME’s membership activities, will be assuming a leadership role as director of industry strategy and product development, focusing on both existing and new event strategies which engage SME members and outside organizations. .. Melody Ablola, a logistics consultant, was recognized during National Engineers Week as one of the New Faces of Engineering for the National Engineers Week Foundation. Ablola was among 13 engineers honored. New Faces of Engineering recognizes young engineers who have been in the workplace less than fi ve years and have shown outstanding abilities in projects that signifi cantly affect public welfare or further professional development and growth. Ablola is a logistics consultant in London for Arup, a global consulting fi rm of engineers and designers. She said the nomination shows that she has reached a level of achievement in her chosen fi eld, recognition that will help her keep talking to students to increase visibility for industrial engineers on an international scale.
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