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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #102 - January 18 - 24, 2019

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Two? In two weeks, the Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest will celebrate two years of weekly publica
 

Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

January 25 · Issue #102 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

Two?
In two weeks, the Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest will celebrate two years of weekly publication. 🎂
As a thank you to you, our loyal readers, we will be drawing the names of two of our subscribers.
  • One subscriber will receive a paid two-year subscription to Numerus Basic ($1,080 value).
  • The other subscriber will receive a paid two-year subscription to Numerus Premium ($5,400 value).
If you’d like to increase your odds, encourage a colleague to sign up for this free newsletter before our drawing on Friday, February 8th, 2019.
Each person, who subscribes to the Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest on your recommendation, will earn you a second entry.
All the best,
Tor, Steve & Nick

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Renault has named Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard as its new chairman to replace embattled former chairman Carlos Ghosn. Senard will take up the new role immediately with deputy CEO Thierry Bollore taking over Ghosn’s former role as CEO.
Dyson has hired former Infiniti chief Roland Krueger to lead its new automotive division in preparation for the launch of its first EV in 2021. Dyson CEO Jim Rowan says that the company will invest over $1b into the EV project this year alone.
EARNING DIP
Ford’s latest profits have analysts concerned that restructuring isn’t happening fast enough.
Hyundai posted its first quarterly net loss in at least eight years this week due to slumping sales in China. 
HUMAN CAPITAL
Tesla is cutting 7% of its workforce, or around 3,400 jobs, to lower costs as it aims to boost production of the lower-priced version of its Model 3 sedan. The job cut is Tesla’s second in seven months.
Apple has laid off 200 employees from its secretive Project Titan in a restructuring move.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Ford, among others, is piloting a blockchain platform for tracing and validating ethically sourced cobalt.
Boeing’s flying car prototype hovered briefly in the air during a test flight this week. The aerospace company is looking to achieve a range of 50 miles with two flying car models capable of carrying two and four passengers each.
LABOR DISPUTE
Tensions continue to escalate toward a strike at the maquiladora plants in Matamoros, Mexico.
LITIGATION
An employee at Ford’s truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan is suing the automaker over claims that she was sexually harassed by a male supervisor. Ford says the accused supervisor was fired in December after an internal review.
VW engineering subsidiary IAV has pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiracy for helping VW to develop the defeat device software used to cheat emissions testing. As part of the plea deal, the company has agreed to pay a $35m fine and operate under the guidance of a court-appointed monitor for two years.
Four managers from VW subsidiary Audi have been indicted as part of the U.S. government’s investigation into the automaker’s emissions cheating scandal. All four managers come from Audi’s engine development division in Germany.
PLANT EXPANSION
GM will invest $22m in its Spring Hill, Tennessee engine plant. The investment is for a V8 for the upcoming Cadillac XT6 crossover.
PLANT OPENING
Bosch is investing $1.1b to build a new plant in Germany and double production of its semiconductors. 
PSA Group has started producing three-cylinder gas engines at a former GM plant in Tychy, Poland. The plant is projected to have an annual capacity of 460,000 1.2-liter engines per year.
Mercedes-Benz is investing $1.12b into a new battery production plant in Jawor, Poland. The plant will be located next to the automaker’s existing engine plant in Jawor.
Mercedes-Benz is also planning to build an assembly plant in Egypt. 
Self-driving company Waymo is planning to spend up to $13.6m to open a new autonomous vehicle assembly plant in southeast Michigan. The company is seeking up to 200,000sf of existing manufacturing space and plans to create up to 400 jobs.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
FCA Canada is idling production at its assembly plant in Windsor, Canada during the week of February 11. The shutdown will be the third week-long shutdown for the plant so far this year.
Subaru has shut down production at its plant in Japan after discovering a potential defect with a power steering component. The plant, which account for around 60% of the automaker’s global production, has been out of action since mid-last week.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
Opel is planning to halve vehicle production at its assembly plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany. Yearly output will drop from 123,000 vehicles per year to 68,000.
REGULATION
The EU is ready to add $23b in tariffs, should the US follow through with a threat to tax European cars and parts. This is the first escalation since a truce was struck six months ago. The value of EU automotive exports to the US is 10x that of the currently taxed EU steel and aluminum.
SUPPLY CHAIN
The use of returnable packaging is making inroads on long-range routes, often for critical parts in the automotive supply chain.
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