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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #104 🎂 - February 1 - 7, 2019

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One hundred and four issues ago, we began publishing the Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest. Today,
 

Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

February 8 · Issue #104 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

One hundred and four issues ago, we began publishing the Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest.
Today, we’re proud to celebrate two years of weekly publication.
As a way of thanking our loyal readers and we have drawn two names from our subscribers.
We’re happy to announce that in today’s drawing:
  • Ting Ting will receive a paid two-year subscription to Numerus Premium ($5,400 value).
  • Donna will receive a paid two-year subscription to Numerus Basic ($1,080 value).
We’ve appreciated every thumb up and each comment that you’ve sent. 
Thank you for your dedication and for subscribing to Elm Analytics’ Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest.
All the best,
Nick, Steve, Tor and rest of the team at Elm Analytics

EARNING DIP
New car sales in Italy dropped by 7.6% in January. The most significant contributor to the drop is a 31% fall in diesel car sales.
Jaguar Land Rover has posted a $4.4b quarterly loss after taking a big write-down in the value of its cars and plants. It is the automaker’s third straight quarterly loss.
HUMAN CAPITAL
General Motors will shrink its white-collar workforce in North America 15% out of 54k. About 4,000 pink slips were distributed Monday as part of a November 2018 restructuring effort. 
Ford will layoff 1000 Flat Rock factory workers by April 1, 2019. Most workers will be moving to jobs at the Livonia, Michigan Transmission Plant. Around 400 unprotected, non-UAW temporary workers are not guaranteed jobs.
General Motors is planning to hire 1,000 workers to build new heavy-duty pickup trucks at its plant in Flint, Michigan. The automaker says that priority for the jobs will be given to workers laid off at other plants.
Slowed processing of H-1B visas is hurting auto suppliers looking for high tech workers. 
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Software in the automotive supply chain is a significant risk. It is not keeping pace with technology in connected vehicles. SAE and Synopsys commissioned: Securing the Modern Vehicle: A Study of Automotive Industry Cybersecurity Practices
Japanese manufacturer Funai Electric Co. is starting production of an amphibious electric car this month to sell in Southeast Asia. The car is being built in Bangkok through a partnership with Japanese EV startup Fomm Corp.
LITIGATION
A federal judge in New Jersey has given the green light to a class-action lawsuit filed against Mercedes-Benz USA and Robert Bosch over diesel emissions cheating. The suit says that Mercedes had Bosch install a “defeat device” in its BlueTEC vehicles that released illegally high, dangerous levels of emissions.
FCA recalled 882,000 pickup trucks across the globe for steering and pedal issues. The automaker says that a nut could come loose and prevent steering and the brake pedal could get detached if moved to the rear-most position on the affected vehicles.
Volvo recalled 167,000 XC60 SUVs across the UK, China and Sweden over faulty tailgate lifting arms. The automaker says that they “may freeze under certain conditions” and “lead to noise or loss of function…with risk of separation of the tailgate lifting arms.”
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Tesla plans to acquire Maxwell Technologies. Maxwell has been developing dry electrode technologies to be used to create ultra-capacitors.
Daimler is in talks with Chinese automaker Geely over deepening their level of cooperation. Apart from a ride-hailing JV announced last year, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says the new talks “have a bigger dimension.”
German supplier Freudenberg has purchased a majority stake in Michigan-based EV battery supplier XALT Energy. The deal will help XALT to ramp up R&D and manufacturing at its plant in Midland, Michigan.
PLANT DISASTER
An employee of Ryder, a carrier for Toyota, was killed in an accident at the Toyota Manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.
PLANT EXPANSION
China’s CATL is expanding its plans to build a battery factory in Erfurt, Germany. CATL aims to produce 100+ gigawatt hours capacity annually by 2026.
Ford is investing $1b to expand its SUV plant in Chicago, Illinois. As part of the expansion, they will also add 500 new jobs.
REGULATION
U.S. trade talks with China will resume in Beijing next week. On March 2nd, U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will increase from 10% to 25% without an agreement.
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