Latest automotive interviews


just-auto uses its unrivalled access to the top industry executives to bring you interviews with the personalities shaping the news all year round.


Lighter, more efficient transmissions – Q&A with Drive System Design

20 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Lightweight materials is a hot topic in automotive manufacture in the battle to reduce carbon emissions. Now a technical partnership between engineering consultancy, Drive System Design (DSD) and international chemical and advanced materials company, Solvay SA, is exploring the potential for large-scale use of plastic composites in transmissions and drivelines. To find out more, we spoke to DSD’s president, North America, Shaun Mepham.


Blueprint Acoustics on next generation audio solutions

19 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

While the automotive audio market is dominated by some well-known brands, smaller technology firms are attracting interest from OEMs. In this interview, Greg Turnidge, CEO of Blueprint Acoustics (Bluacs) explains how a niche Australian company is developing audio solutions for next generation vehicle platforms.


Car connectivity brings Big Data opportunities

16 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

With more and more cars offering some form of connectivity, opportunities are emerging for the automotive industry.  In this interview, Nilesh Auti, who is vice president and head of Auto & Discrete Manufacturing Vertical at Tech Mahindra, explains how correlating data on cars, drivers and their environment results in Big Data, pointing the way to new possibilities for car manufacturers and dealers.


Why games technology is driving automotive design - Unreal Engine Q&A

15 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

From engineering and styling to marketing and retail, real-time visualisation and Virtual Reality continue to demonstrate their potential to bring surprising changes to many functions within the automotive industry. We talked to Simon Jones, who is director of Unreal Engine Enterprise, the company that develops the core technology driving this innovation, to find out how the technology is being used and where we go from here.


DSM Engineering Plastics on solutions for future mobility concepts

14 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with global automotive material suppliers, Ralph Ramaekers, global marketing director, automotive at DSM explains how the supplier’s engineered plastics and new processes can support OEMs in designing tomorrow’s car.


SABIC on the opportunities for polycarbonate automotive glazing

13 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Interest in polycarbonate (PC) automotive glazing is gaining momentum.  Compared to the shape limitations of glass, PC glazing is versatile, lighter with high impact resistance. In this interview, Umamaheswaran Venkatakrishnan, who leads global marketing for SABIC’s automotive business, explains why PC glazing remains interesting to OEMs and for which window applications.


Johnson Matthey Battery Systems on trends in the advanced automotive batteries market

12 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Johnson Matthey Battery Systems, part of the Johnson Matthey group and formerly known as Axeon, develops and manufactures battery systems for a number of applications, including performance hybrids and PHEVs. In this interview, company executives explain how the business has evolved since acquiring the battery materials business of Clariant and update us on some materials research and market trends.


Strakka Racing on why motorsport has greater relevance outside the car industry

5 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

From technology transfer through to changing perceptions of a brand, motorsport is a powerful tool for OEMs. Yet increasing costs of motorsport coupled with the relevance to today’s younger audience - who appear less passionate about buying cars - are concerns. Dan Walmsley, team principal at Strakka Racing, explains the issues surrounding reliance on motorsport for revenue can cause and the opportunities to broaden its appeal.


Design and engineering drivers for Honda’s new NSX

10 Aug 2016 | Dave Leggett

Honda Vehicle engineering leader Jason Bilotta talks about new technology applications and the design principles for the new Honda NSX


Apollo Tyres vice chairman & MD on European expansion plans - Q&A

8 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with global tyre makers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and managing director of Apollo Tyres. Since its attempt to buy US-based Cooper Tyre, the company has become more focused on organic growth and currently concentrating on a greenfield expansion in Hungary. It is also targeting a share of the Malaysian replacement tyre market and Indian two-wheeler tyre market.


Convergent Science on combustion modelling trends – Q&A

5 Jul 2016 | Matthew Beecham

As automotive engineers push back the boundaries of combustion, an increasing number of studies are being carried out in the virtual world. The use of in-cylinder computational fluid dynamics (CFD) provides insight on what is happening as the combustion process takes place, shedding new light on everything from thermal efficiency to pollutant formation. Software developer Convergent Science was formed in 1997 by a group of combustion specialists. The company’s Converge CFD code has been developed with combustion simulation in mind. Convergent Science’s director of global marketing, Rob Kaczmarek, gives us his take on what the future holds for combustion modelling.


Engine downsizing has peaked say Federal Mogul

4 Jul 2016 | Calum MacRae

In a wide-ranging interview, as part of Federal Mogul Powertrain’s recent Technology Briefing days held in Augsburg, Germany just-auto’s Calum MacRae interviewed the division’s Chief Technology Office, Gian Maria Olivetti. Mr Olivetti has been with Federal Mogul since 2007. Before Federal Mogul he enjoyed stints at Fiat Powertrain Technologies and Iveco. 


SRG Global Inc VP on the active grille shutter market

4 Jul 2016 | Matthew Beecham

SRG Global Inc, a subsidiary of Guardian Industries Corp, provides high value coatings on plastics for a number of applications, including automotive. It also makes active grille shutters which respond to the driving environment in order to reduce drag and improve fuel economy. SRG Global Inc’s vice president of engineering, tooling and advanced development, David Dunford explains its Integrille system and how the market for active grilles is developing worldwide.


Arxan Technologies on security risks with connected cars – Q&A

29 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

US-based Arxan Technologies specialises in application security. Its solutions are used to protect a number of applications across a range of industries, including automotive. With an increasing number of cars fitted with wireless connectivity, Matt Clemens, security solutions architect at Arxan Technologies explains the security risks and what a driver can do to stay safe.


Bang & Olufsen on developing smart audio solutions - Q&A

20 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Bang & Olufsen branded audio products are available in a range of Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz car models. Greg Sikora, manager acoustic systems engineering, Bang & Olufsen automotive audio at Harman lifestyle division explains what such OEMs expect, how it is staying premium in an increasingly commodity market and whether the rise of electric and hybrid cars will impact our listening habits. The automotive business of Bang & Olufsen was acquired by Harman in May 2015.


Volvo Cars' Anders Eugensson on strategy – Interview

16 Jun 2016 | Chris Wright

When Volvo announced its 20/20 vision in 2008 - that no one would be killed or seriously injured in one of its cars by the year 2020 - autonomous cars and connectivity were virtually nowhere on the automotive agenda.


Hella Gutmann Solutions on ADAS camera calibration – Q&A

15 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

While self-driving cars are not yet available to the public, there are a number of models offering some form of advanced assistance to the driver. These include adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning systems that require a camera to be fitted, typically behind the windscreen. Upon replacing the windscreen, the camera typically needs to be recalibrated. To learn more, we spoke to Hella Gutmann Solutions GmbH’s managing director Björn Rietschel about the company’s camera calibration tool and the prospects for self-calibrating systems.


Thatcham Research on why European OEMs should follow US on autonomous emergency braking fitment – Q&A

9 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

A car fitted with an autonomous emergency brake system (AEB) can scan the road and apply the brakes independently of the driver to avoid a collision. Given this critical piece of car safety technology, a voluntary pact was recently agreed between 20 OEMs to make AEB standard on all vehicles sold in the US by 2022. In the light of this, UK-based Thatcham Research is calling on European automakers to follow the example set in the US.


rFpro on driver input in virtual development processes - Q&A

7 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

We hear a lot about the increased use of virtual development processes, so it may come as a surprise to hear an expert in simulator software argue the case for the importance of input from a real driver. Chris Hoyle, technical director of UK simulator software company, rFpro explains what a driver can contribute to this process.


Federal-Mogul Motorparts on the consumer appeal and aftermarket coverage of Champion wiper blades – Q&A

6 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

In theory, the wiper blade is a service replacement item. In reality, some of us prolong the moment until the squeaks and juddering of a worn out wiper blade force a pit stop. It has been suggested that the European wiper blade aftermarket could double if motorists appreciated what a safety-critical component it is. While some believe that wiper blade manufacturers have a way to go to change consumer habits and achieve market growth, Champion reports that its latest marketing efforts have shown "great promise for future growth." Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with tier one suppliers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Jerry Banks, Federal-Mogul Motorparts senior product manager, wipers about trends in the automotive wiper blade aftermarket.



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