Automation specialist Kuka has received a mayor order from the GAC Group based in Guangzhou. They ordered 430 industrial robots for building electric cars on a mass scale as GAC’s is modernising their EV production in Guangzhou.
The order value lies in the high double-digit million euro range according to Kuka. The specialist firm also counts Tesla among their clients. Still, the order from China is a strategic advance. Says Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG: “We are further strengthening our position in the growth market of Asia and profiting from the megatrend towards automation.”
To automate their production line, GAC opted for robots of the KR QUANTEC series & KR FORTEC series. They will be used for joining and handling tasks in body-in-white production. The order includes the cloud-based platform KUKA Connect. It affords customers easy access to the data of their robots.
The order has been placed in Q2 2018. A date for delivery has not been disclosed. However, GAC has been seen readying itself for moving into the new energy vehicle market. Even joint venture partner Toyota will sell GAC’s ix4 through their showrooms reportedly. Moreover, GAC is planning to have 4 all-electric cars in their lineup by 2020 (we reported).
In order to secure battery supply, the Chinese automobile manufacturer teamed up with CATL recently. They have founded two joint ventures in Guangzhou to produce and market batteries for BEVs and PHEVs. With a starting capital of 1 billion yuan (about 127 million euro) the first JV, called Amperex GAC Power Battery will focus on manufacturing and developing batteries, as well as after-sales and a consulting service. The second one will start with a fund of 100 million Yuan (13 million euro) and will be called GAC Amperex Power Battery System. Their focus is exclusively on battery development and sales. GAC and CATL each own 51 and 49% of the companies, respectively.