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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #106 - February 15 - 21, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

February 22 · Issue #106 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

EARNING DIP
HUMAN CAPITAL
BMW is planning to add up to 2,000 jobs at its plant in Dingolfing, Germany over the next few years. The jobs will be focused on the production of e-drive components.
Dakkota Integrated Systems in Brownstone, Michigan will layoff 106 employees. The supplier is a joint venture between Rush Group and Magna International. The facility sequences components for Ford.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Anjani Trivedi: Automakers have been “exposed to almost every global concern.” Combine this with Brexit risks will “likely leave a skeletal car industry in the U.K.”
LABOR DISPUTE
Hungarian autoworker strikes have increased. The past month has seen many labor disputes including strikes at Audi and Suzuki plants.
LITIGATION
South Korean prosecutors raided the offices of Hyundai in Seoul this week as part of a probe into how the automaker and its affiliated Kia handled vehicle recalls over engine defects. The automaker is also being investigated in the US over its recall of nearly 1.7m vehicles related to engine defects.
A jury in Alabama awarded $151.8m to a man paralyzed in a 2015 rollover accident involving a Ford Explorer. Ford is planning to appeal the decision.
PLANT CLOSING
Ford has announced that they are closing their oldest Brazilian plant in the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo. The closure could cost more than 2,700 jobs.
Honda is shutting down its car factory in Swindon, England in 2022. The shutdown will potentially put 3,500 people out of work, though the automaker says no job losses are expected until 2021.
Following a 35% drop in vehicle sales last year and a decline in the value of local currency, Honda has decided to close its factory in Gebze, Turkey. The automaker says the closure was pre-planned and is not related to the slowdown in the Turkish economy.
PLANT EXPANSION
GM will invest $36m in its Lansing Delta Township plant in Lansing, Michigan for the midcycle refreshes of the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave. No jobs are expected to be created from the investment, and the automaker declined to provide specific details.
GM is also investing $20m into its powertrain plant in Romulus, Michigan to increase production of 10-speed automatic transmissions. A timeline for the investment was not announced.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
FCA shutdown it’s Windsor, Ontario minivan plant a week early. The closure was due to parts shortages from maquiladora plant strikes in Mexico. The three shift, 6,000 worker plant produces 1,500 minivans per day. This is the third temporary shutdown of this facility in 2019.
RAW MATERIALS
Europe’s first lithium mine, Keliber Oy in Finland, is looking for investors from the automotive industry looking to secure their supply of the key battery material for their EVs. The company expects to have the capability to deliver enough lithium to comprise 25 gigawatt hours of battery cell supply by the end of 2021.
REGULATION
US and Chinese negotiators have outlined trade commitments for six memorandums of understanding. These include:
  • forced technology transfer and cyber theft
  • intellectual property rights
  • services
  • currency
  • agriculture
  • non-tariff barriers to trade
The US administration has hinted the March 1 deadline is extendable.
Center For Automotive Research recently published U.S. Consumer & Economic Impacts of U.S. Automotive Trade Policies
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess says that new potential tariffs from the US could eat into profits and cost the automaker up to $2.8b this year.
Talks between the Trump administration and the state of California over fuel-economy standards have broken down completely. Both sides blamed the other for the breakdown in negotiations.
The European Commission is investigating whether Chinese producers are dumping steel wheels to gain market share.
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