EnglishChange

From a single part to the body-in-white structure

Ever since cars have existed, we have been developing, producing, and supplying metal parts—and, for the vehicles of today, hybrid structures—for the automotive industry. From a manufacturer of individual parts, we have grown into an internationally recognized development supplier of components and body-in-white structures.

KIRCHHOFF Automotive provides vehicles worldwide with extra stability and safety.
But we also offer our customers much more than that: we make a considerable contribution to the growth of their competitiveness.

The crucial cost and logistical advantages of our streamlined, medium-sized company structure with international presence serves a single purpose: to drive the market success of our customers and safeguard our innovative strength and earning power. This is our pledge worldwide.
 

30-04-21

Auto Shanghai: a successful trade show appearance

Although the number of visitors was generally lower than in previous years due to the strict COVID-19 safety regulations, the number of visitors to our booth nevertheless exceeded our initial expectations. We were able to hold important discussions about current and future projects with many of our key customers during the first two days.

In total, Auto Shanghai attracted 1000 exhibitors this year, including major German automakers such as SAIC Volkswagen, Beijing Mercedes-Benz, FAW Volkswagen, SKODA, MINI (BMW), BMW China and Porsche. The focus of all vehicle manufacturers was the further development of e-cars, some of which achieve ranges of up to 800 km. There was a lot to marvel at, from the electric racing car to the vehicle vision from James Cameron's film Avatar that has become reality, which Mercedes-Benz has implemented with the Vision AVTR concept car.

Major suppliers such as Bosch, Continental, Schaeffler and ZF also showed their latest innovations in areas including CO2 neutrality, hydrogen propulsion, wireless charging for electric cars, artificial intelligence and autonomous transport.

Public interest in this, the world's largest automotive exhibition, was high. More journalists (10,700) than ever before covered Auto Shanghai. On the first public day alone, the show attracted 150,000 visitors.

After the show is before the show! As of now, we are busy preparing for the IAA Mobility, which will take place in Munich from September 6 to 12.

1: DFI Management Team (Mr Wang, Mr Lei, Mr He)
2: BMW China Purchasing VP of Powertrain &Chassis (Mr Ingo Kraus)
3: Lixiang Auto BIW Purchasing Director (Mr Ma Li)
4: CJLR Purchasing Director (Mr Jimmy JIAO)
5: BMW-Brilliance Powertrain & Chassis Senior Purchasing Manager (Mr Jeffrey SUN)
6: DF Passenger Vehicle (DFPV) Purchasing VP (Mr Xu Bin)
7: DF VOYAH (DF-H) Purchasing Director (Mr Liu jun)

28.04.2021 - Auto Shanghai: Every fourth vehicle comes from Germany

All major German vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers are represented at the Auto Show Shanghai. The Chinese market is immensely important for German vehicle manufacturers: every fourth car sold in this country bears the logo of a German vehicle manufacturer. In 2020 no other country in the world sold as many passenger vehicles as China (a total of 29 percent of global passenger vehicle sales).

China continues to focus on e-mobility, with the market expected to grow by 70 percent this year to which German carmakers are also catching up with. They are currently demonstrating this at the world's largest vehicle show in Shanghai. Vehicles are considered a status symbol in China even more than they are to Germany which gives way for German electric vehicles to be well received by the public:

BMW is scoring points with its new all-electric flagship SUV, the BMW iX, which is to be launched in 2021. BMW plans to offer 12 electric models in China by 2023. Audi presents the Audi A6 e-tron concept, fully electric and expected to be available in dealerships from 2023, VW shows the ID.6X urban SUV, or ID.6 Crozz, the large version of the ID.4, which is expected to go on sale in China this summer. Mercedes-Benz presents its new all-electric SUVs EQA and EQB and impresses potential buyers with the EQS: the first all-electric model based on the platform of the S-Class luxury sedan.

But the competition is not missing out on the action either. The China-based company Evergrande Automotive, for example, announced that it wants to become the largest car company in the world. With its focus on e-mobility, it wants to beat Volkswagen, Daimler and Tesla to the top spot. However, the euphoria is quickly put on hold when it is discovered that all the vehicles on display are replicas.

The other China-based electric start-up NIO, on the other hand, made its first appearance at Auto Shanghai two years ago. Today, NIO’s electric off-road vehicles can be seen driving more and more frequently on the streets of Beijing or Shanghai. This year, NIO presented its new flagship, the ET7 sedan, as well as its lifestyle brand 'NIO Life' as the recycling project 'Blue Sky Plan'. NIO announced that it would be coming to Europe this year with its premium range vehicles.

Toyota, previously known for hybrid and hydrogen powertrains, is now also focusing on electric. Seventy electrified models are to be offered by 2025. At Auto Shanghai, the Japanese carmaker showed its first pure E-SUV bZ4X, which will be available Summer 2022. 

But it is not only China that is focusing on e-mobility; electric mobility has also arrived in Germany. In an international comparison, Germany ranks second behind China (1.25 million electric vehicles) and ahead of the USA (approx. 303,000 electric vehicles). But with almost 400,000 newly registered electric vehicles in 2020 alone, together with the rest of Europe, 1.37 million electric vehicles were registered.

26.04.2021 - Auto Shanghai: "Mobility Moments" - Interview with Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch

In this week's "Mobility Moments", Editor-in-Chief Adrian Smith of Autofutures Europe spoke with Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch, CTO KIRCHHOFF Automotive, about our products at Auto Shanghai, electric mobility and the importance of the Chinese market for manufacturers and suppliers, as well as the future of mobility.

For example, Dr Gaitzsch's answer to the question "How important is the Chinese market for your company?" is like this: "China is currently the largest automotive market in the world and the growth rate is also higher than in all other regions. In addition, the 'Auto Shanghai' is the largest car show in the world. This underlines the importance for the automotive industry and also for our company."

Read the entire interview here:

Adrian Smith: Describe KIRCHHOFF Automotive and its key services
Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: With 9.000 employees in 26 Global production plants (in Europe, North America and Asia), KIRCHHOFF Automotive develops and produces body-in-white and chassis parts and complex assemblies, made out of steel, aluminum and hybrid materials. Our customers are more or less all passenger car OEMs and some coming from the heavy truck business.
Adrian Smith: What are products and new technologies that you are showing off at Auto Shanghai 2021?
Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: Our focus is on safe and lightweight products not only but especially designed for electric mobility. Amongst others, this includes, for example, crash management systems, battery housings, cross car beams, etc.
Adrian Smith: How do your products make mobility safer?
Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: The complete structure of a passenger car changes due to electric mobility. The former engine as a crash absorber is not anymore in place, this is why the structure for such a frontend needs to be designed in a completely different way. That’s what we have been doing over the last months and the results, we do present in Shanghai.
Adrian Smith: How important is the Chinese market for your company?
Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: Currently, China is the biggest automotive market in the world and the growth rate, too, is higher than in all the other regions. In addition, the ‘Auto Shanghai’ is the biggest auto show in the world. This underlines the importance for the automotive industry as well as for our company.
Adrian Smith: Do you think autonomous transport will be viable this century?
Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: I’m quite confident that autonomous driving will come up in the next years and decades. If not in the 2020s, it will be the case in the 2030s, at the latest.
Adrian Smith: What will urban mobility in Europe look like by 2030?
Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: The urban mobility will be completely different compared to what we are familiar with today. Connectivity, electric mobility, shared mobility and the beginning of autonomous driving will have a huge impact. Cars for urban mobility will be different from cars for the countryside. That means they will be much smaller, easy to handle, limited in speed and acceleration, etc.

21.04.2021 - The automotive world looks to Shanghai

Since Monday, our company has been live with its own booth at Auto Shanghai; the world's most visited auto show. In an interview with a regional newspaper, CEO J. Wolfgang Kirchhoff talks about electro mobility, our growth in China and more.

In Shanghai, we present our latest welding and joining technologies, lightweight construction concepts, as well as an advanced system that improves the crash management of the entire vehicle. "Particularly with electric vehicles, load management is quite different from that with internal combustion engines," explains J. Wolfgang Kirchhoff in an interview with the newspaper.

Due to the restrictive quarantine regulations for travelers coming into the city, he cannot be present in Shanghai this year. But he is all the more looking forward to the IAA, which is scheduled to take place in Munich in September. "The IAA is certainly still ahead in terms of innovation and importance - for now," he says. Among the exhibitors in China, he says, are also many manufacturers who produce less complex cars that would not be possible to sell in Europe. "But China is gaining a great deal of experience, especially in the field of electro mobility," added J. Wolfgang Kirchhoff.

You can read a translation of the entire newspaper article in the attachment.

20.04.2021 - We are ready to go

Four days to set up - anyone who takes longer has to pay a penalty. Thanks to perfect team coordination, we made it just in time. Our stand at this year's Auto Shanghai has been up and running since 6 p.m. Sunday evening.

On Wednesday, the world's largest auto show with around 1000 exhibitors opens its doors to trade visitors. Journalists already have access to the exhibition grounds on Monday and Tuesday to report on the latest trends, innovations and concept cars.

For more than 10 years our KIRCHHOFF Automotive stand has been an integral part of Auto Shanghai. But this year everything was different... For the first time, it was not possible to travel to China and accompany the preparations, set-up work and the first days of the trade fair directly on site due to the strictest Corona protection regulations - unless you had taken on a four-week quarantine.

But new challenges also lead to new paths. Thanks to perfect cooperation and intensive digital coordination between the Chinese team, the German and Chinese stand builders as well as our corporate marketing, the trade fair appearance at Auto Shanghai was implemented in KIRCHHOFF Automotive Design in the shortest possible time.

Our Chinese site manager sums it up just before she leaves for the next project: "Thank you so much for letting me be part of this worldwide teamwork via zoom/teams/bluejeans/whatsapp/wechat and email."

We are now looking forward to the official start of Auto Shanghai on Wednesday and to many visitors.

16.04.2021 - Finally a trade fair again

Embracing Change...this is the theme of the largest and most important automotive show in Asia, the Auto Shanghai. It will be taking place under the strictest Coronavirus safety regulations from April 19 to 28 in Shanghai/China. We are very pleased to be able to show new products and innovative technologies for the next generation of lightweight automotive construction on a 90-m2 stand.

Under the motto MAKING. MOBILITY. SAFE., we have invited our customers across Asia to our exhibition stand at Auto Shanghai. Safe mobility is important to us. We will be presenting our visitors with product developments that will make tomorrow's mobility safe. For example, a hybrid crash management system developed by us acts like a protective shield in the event of a frontal collision and ensures that all those involved in the accident are optimally protected in the event of a crash. Body structures developed specifically for e-mobility are also the focus of our trade fair presentation. In addition, we will present structural parts made of aluminum, in the development of which our many years of experience in the design and production of aluminum parts have played a decisive role.

This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the planning of the exhibition stand and the entire logistics had to be handled completely via video conferencing for the first time. Also, the usual support of our international colleagues from central departments (Marketing/Sales) at the stand was unfortunately not possible, as no one from Europe or North America was able to enter China in time with the current quarantine measures in place.


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