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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #105 - February 8 - 14, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

February 15 · Issue #105 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Daimler has appointed former Airbus exec Harald Wilhelm as its new CFO. Wilhelm will take over for Bodo Uebber after the automaker’s annual shareholder’s meeting on May 22.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Toyota is accelerating R&D for its first self-driving car and is planning to have it available on the market by next year. The car will be a Lexus vehicle and will be able to operate autonomously on highways.
New data released by the state of California shows that Apple dramatically ramped up their autonomous vehicle testing in 2018 compared to the previous year. In 2018 they logged 79,745 miles of testing compared to only 838 miles in 2017.
LITIGATION
Three MIT professors have filed a lawsuit against Ford. The suit claims Ford is using dual-port and direct injection technology without permission in its EcoBoost engines.
Honda is recalling 437k vehicles due to a fuel pump issue. A software update or replaced fuel pump can fix stalling and limited acceleration.
Ford is recalling nearly 1.5m pickup trucks over a transmission problem that can cause the vehicle to downshift into first gear suddenly. The recall covers F-150 trucks from the 2011-2013 model years with six-speed automatic transmissions.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Honda has signed an agreement with CATL, which will provide lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Honda is working to diversify battery sources.
Ford and VW have progressed past previous hurdles and are moving forward toward an agreement. Past sticking points included VWs investment in Ford-backed autonomous tech Argo AI.
France is investing $791m over the next five years into projects to boost production of EV batteries in Europe and reduce their automakers’ reliance on dominant Asian rivals. 
GM is launching its Ariv brand of electric bicycles for the European market in the second quarter of 2019. The bikes can be fully charged in about three and a half hours and get nearly 40 miles of ride time with a single charge.
Tenneco is splitting into two companies: Tenneco and Driv. Tenneco will focus on powertrains while Driv will make aftermarket parts, shock absorbers, suspension systems, and brake parts.
PLANT DISASTER
A worker at Michigan Seamless Tube in South Lyon died after falling into a vat of sulfuric acid. The facility produces tubing used in automotive stabilizer bars and axle shafts.
PLANT EXPANSION
Japanese motor supplier Nidec will expand a Chinese plant they are currently constructing to double its capacity for making EV motors. They will invest $180-270m to build a second facility adjoining the factory now under construction.
PLANT OPENING
Nissan has signed a $160m JV agreement with a private partner to build a new car plant near Oran, Algeria. Production is slated to start in the first half of 2020 with a capacity of 63,500 vehicles per year.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
FCA is idling their minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario next week due to a parts shortage. The supplier having problems was not named.
RAW MATERIALS
The dropping price of Cobalt, used in electric vehicle batteries, has bottomed out. High levels of inventory should stop prices from drastic jumps.
REGULATION
The EU and Japan have backed a new draft UN regulation that would require new cars and light commercial vehicles to have advanced automatic braking systems starting in 2020. The new tech would cause a vehicle to brake automatically in the event of an imminent crash.
Ford has advised British Prime Minister Theresa May that it is making preparations to move production out of Britain in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The automaker says it will face a bill of up to $1b if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.
Tesla is shipping as many Model 3 sedans to China in an attempt to beat the clock on the tariff deadline. China reduced the 40% tariff by 25% during the 90-day negotiation window. Tesla has at least three ships carrying the cars.
RISK ANALYTICS
SUPPLY CHAIN
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