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This Week in Power & Motion: Nikola Acquires Battery Manufacturer to Aid In-House Production

Aug. 5, 2022
Nikola's acquisition of Romeo Power will aid in-house design and manufacturing of batteries for electric trucks, Trelleborg is set to acquire Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, and more industry news you may have missed.

Batteries and company mergers were the theme for much of this week's news. Acquisitions are nothing new, but feeling all too frequent these days as companies look to either bolster their business position or bring more design expertise in house to meet evolving industry trends such as electrification. 

READ MORE: What are the Impacts of Industry Consolidation?

On the electrification front, new announcements were made on the battery front particularly those related to design and manufacturing so companies can continue to meet the growing demand for electric powered vehicles and machinery. As more people and industries move toward electrification the need for components such as batteries is growing and challenging already strained supply challenges. Through new manufacturing initiatives and acquisitions, OEMs are hoping to meet the increasing market desire for these vehicles. 

A big announcement came this week on the heavy machinery side of things from CASE Construction Equipment which unveiled its new Minotaur DL550. Considered an industry first, the machine brings together features of compact track loaders and dozers to provide a compact yet productive machine. High-flow auxiliary hydraulics enable use of high-powered attachments while electrohydraulic controls ease operation for users. 

Read more about the new CASE Minotaur DL550 from our colleagues at Construction Equipment and stay tuned for more details on the hydraulic features of the machine.

There is much going on in the world of fluid power and motion control, from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. Each week the Power & Motion team collects some of the latest industry news to help keep our readers up to date on what's happening in the industries in which they work.

Cummins Completes Meritor Acquisition

Power system manufacturer Cummins Inc. has completed its acquisition of Meritor Inc., developer of drivetrain, braking and electric powertrain systems. It was first announced in February that Cummins would acquire Meritor to bring together their complementary technologies and further advance development of zero-emissions solutions.  

Cummins states in its press release announcing the completed acquisition that the integration of Meritor’s people, products and capabilities in axle and brake technology will position the company as a leading provider of integrated powertrain solutions across internal combustion and electric power applications. Increased demand for electric powertrains will bring about the need for more integrated systems and packaging; by bringing these companies and their expertise together, better solutions can be provided. 

"We are excited to welcome Meritor’s employees into Cummins," said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins’ President and Chief Executive Officer. "Together, Cummins and Meritor will move further and faster in developing economically viable decarbonized powertrain solutions that are better for people and our planet."

Volvo Group to Produce Batteries in Sweden

The Volvo Group plans to establish a large-scale battery production facility to help meet increasing demand for battery-electric vehicles. After conducting a site localization study, the company has determined the Skaraborg region in Sweden will be a suitable location for the battery production facility. 

Volvo's proposed site is near its main powertrain plant and is located in an area with existing industrial and logistics infrastructure which will make it easier to transport products to customers. The company aims to produce the batteries using fossil free energy which is also plentiful in the region of choice for the production site. 

Volvo is planning to scale up production of batteries and reach large-scale capacity by 2030. Batteries produced by the company will be designed specifically for commercial vehicle applications such as heavy-duty trucks and construction equipment. 

In May, Volvo Trucks announced the opening of its first battery assembly plant. The company sees electrification as an imperative to reducing global carbon emissions as well as a business opportunity. Establishing more battery production and assembly plants will enable Volvo to meet growing demand for electric vehicles in various industries and its own target of having at least 35% of the products it sells be electric powered. 

READ MORE: Volvo Sees Continued Growth Opportunity in Electrification

Concentric Appoints New Leadership for Hydraulics Division

Concentric AB has announced the appointment of Fernando Palmero to the position of Senior Vice President Hydraulics Division. In this role he will be responsible for driving profit growth for the division as well as aid with ensuring the hydraulics division aligns with the company's electrification strategy. 

Palmero earned his Industrial Engineering Degree from Universidad Politécnica in Valencia, Spain. 

Martin Kunz, Persident and CEO of Concentric AB said in the company's press release announcing Palmero's appointment that he brings years of leadership and engineering experience that will be valuable to his new role as Senior Vice President. 

Palmero will succeed Jesse Smith who left the company in June.

Trelleborg Acquiring Minnesota Rubber & Plastics

Trelleborg Group has announced plans to acquire Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, a manufacturer of polymer and thermoplastic components for various applications. 

According to Peter Nilsson, President and CEO of Trelleborg Group, the acquisition will help strengthen Trelleborg Sealing Solutions' business in North America.  

"Minnesota Rubber & Plastics is well-known to us for being an innovative and customer-oriented company. The acquisition makes us the natural development partner for sealing solutions for both local and global customers. The company's new state-of-the-art innovation center enables accelerated product development and strengthens us in R&D and areas such as healthcare & medical," said Peter Hahn, President of the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions business area, in the company's press release announcing the acquisition.

Trelleborg anticipates finalizing the acquisition before the end of 2022. 

Nikola Acquiring Battery Manufacturer

Electric truck OEM Nikola Corp. has formed an agreement to acquire battery manufacturer Romeo Power Inc. Doing so will help to improve battery production and costs for Nikola.

Romeo specializes in the design and manufacturing of lithium-ion battery packs and modules for commercial vehicle applications as well as development of battery management systems. The latter will also be a beneficial aspect to bring into Nikola's portfolio. 

By acquiring Romeo, battery production can be brought in house and aid with integration into Nikola's battery-electric Class 8 truck model. This also helps to improve domestic supply of batteries. 

"Romeo has been a valued supplier to Nikola, and we are excited to further leverage their technological capabilities as the landscape for vehicle electrification grows more sophisticated. With control over the essential battery pack technologies and manufacturing process, we believe we will be able to accelerate the development of our electrification platform and better serve our customers," said Mark Russell, Nikola's Chief Executive Officer, in the company's press release announcing the acquisition. "Given our strong relationship with Romeo and ongoing collaboration, we are confident in our ability to successfully integrate and deliver the many expected strategic and financial benefits of this acquisition. We look forward to creating a zero-emissions future together."

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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