Ficosa, the global Tier 1 supplier engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of high-technology vision, safety, connectivity and efficiency systems for the automotive and mobility sectors, has closed its first contract to supply rotary shift-by-wire systems to an Asian automobile manufacturer.
With a total value of 34.5 million euros (Rs 263 crore), the order placed for this latest-generation product expands Ficosa’s portfolio of products in the shift-by-wire field. Furthermore, as added value, the company is not only providing the rotary shifter selector but the whole system, which includes the electronic control unit (ECU) and the gearbox actuator (GBA).
According to Ignasi Castelló, Ficosa’s Command & Control Systems Business Unit Director, “This is the first time in the history of the company that we have closed a contract for a rotary shift-by-wire system, a great milestone that is expanding our portfolio of products. This order, in addition to reaffirming our position as leaders in shift-by-wire systems, also further strengthens our expertise as systems integrators, as we will deliver the whole system, including the ECU and GBA”.
The software for this system has been developed at the Viladecavalls Technology Centre while the product itself is being manufactured at the Taicang Technical Centre (China). This rotary shift-by-wire system stands out for being lightweight, just 1.35kg, eliminating transmission vibrations and being highly intuitive for users. Plus, it provides extra safety: if the driver leaves the vehicle with the gear shift in D (Drive), the system’s ECU activates the gearbox actuator (GBA) to automatically put the transmission into P (Park).
Shift-by-wire lever contract
Ficosa has also closed a contract with another renowned Asian car manufacturer to produce a shift-by-wire lever, valued at a total of 6.9 million euros (Rs 52.7 crore). The company has already begun mass-production of this product at the Taicang plant.
Castelló highlights the same by saying, “These important orders from two Asian automobile manufacturers strengthen Ficosa’s already solid position in China, where these products are already being manufactured. In this way, China is a key market for the company, in which we are present with plants in Taicang, where our engineering centre is also located, Chongqing and Shenyang, with the main aim of being close to our clients in order to give them the best possible service.”
Under this contract, Ficosa will be supplying the second generation of its shift-by-wire lever, which has important improvement from the previous version. The system offers a modular design, making it more compact and considerably reducing development time as well as costs. Plus, it is monostable, meaning the gear-selector lever has one fixed position and when it is moved in any of the directions allowed, it returns to its stable position automatically.
According to the company, these orders from Asian clients further strengthen its leadership in shift-by-wire systems, which only use electronic controls without any mechanical connection between the gearshift and the transmission.
Founded in 1949 and based in Barcelona, Ficosa currently has more than 10,280 employees in 17 countries worldwide in Europe, North and South America and Asia, with consolidated sales of 1.169 billion euros (Rs 8,935 crore) in 2016. The rear-view system (interior/side mirror) is Ficosa’s main business, known worldwide and recognised by top global OEMs.