Gestamp backs diesel as EC tightens emissions rules

"When we talk about CO2 emissions diesel is better than gasoline" - Gestamp executive chairman Francisco Riberas

"When we talk about CO2 emissions diesel is better than gasoline" – Gestamp executive chairman Francisco Riberas

Gestamp says the automotive sector is "killing itself" as the furore surrounding the diesel sector shows no sign of going away.

The fuel has been subject to huge criticism during the past few years, mainly sparked by the Volkswagen Group 'dieselgate' crisis, but has also weathered a sustained barrage from campaigners concerned about air quality.

Adding to the pressure on diesel is also a concerted effort by the European Commission to drastically reduce CO2 emissions with tough new limits proposed the body triggering a strong reaction from OEMs and suppliers.

"We are killing ourselves," Gestamp executive chairman, Francisco Riberas told just-auto at the opening of the supplier's vast new facility near Cannock in the West Midlands. "Regarding emissions it is very important to send a message. When we talk about CO2 emissions, diesel is better than gasoline.

"I think the European Union [to] some extent is going a little bit of the extra mile. That means they are putting a bit of extra pressure to the OEMs. Of course it is important not only in Europe but all over the world."

Riberas also noted the increasing importance of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) trends and particularly highlighting Evs as crucial in reducing emissions, but with the sector requiring work to cut battery weight.

The Gestamp chairman made his remarks at the inauguration of the new 50,000 square metres Cannock plant, which is gradually replacing production capacity of its existing nearby site, which transfer work across protecting 800 jobs.

An investment close to GBP50m (US$66m) to date will upgrade the company's industrial capabilities in the region and an additional amount could be invested depending on future projects. Gestamp has opened five facilities worldwide in 2018 including the West Midlands in the UK.

Gestamp says the new plant will bring a 'completely innovative technology of hot stamping'. That includes one of the biggest hot stamping lines in the world aiming to provide a better service to customers including JLR, Nissan-Renault, Volvo, Ford, BMW, Toyota and Honda.

The factory will also manufacture aluminium parts in a transfer servo press, including battery boxes for electrical vehicles. The equipment will comprise laser cells for cutting and welding.

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