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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #114 - April 12 - 18, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

April 19 · Issue #114 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Hyundai has named former Nissan exec Jose Munoz as its new global COO and president and CEO of American operations. Munoz will report to top leadership in Seoul and will be based at Hyundai’s North American headquarters in Fountain Valley, California.
Henniges Automotive has named Larry Williams as its permanent CEO after serving in the role on an interim basis for over two years. Williams will also continue his role as a board director and president of the company.
EARNING DIP
New car sales in Europe fell by 3.6% in March, with sales declining to 1.77m compared to 1.84m a year earlier. The steepest registration dips were seen by Nissan and Ford.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
In a victory for Volkswagen, Renault, and Toyota, EU lawmakers this week endorsed Wi-Fi over 5G as the new standard for Internet-connected cars. Backers for 5G tech include Daimler, Ford, PSA Group, Samsung and more.
LABOR DISPUTE
Canadian auto union Unifor is meeting with FCA officials this week to discuss the automaker’s recent announcement that they would be eliminating one of three shifts at its minivan assembly plant in Windsor. Unifor says that they will insist that the automaker assign new production to the plant.
LITIGATION
Suzuki is recalling 2m cars in Japan after admitting it cheated on safety tests, conducted improper inspections and filed false fuel-efficiency reports. The automaker expects to book a one-off loss of $700m as a result.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Ford is teaming up with Mahindra group to co-develop a midsize SUV for sale in India and other emerging markets. The move intends to help Ford grow its presence in other expanding markets.
China’s state-backed Qilu Transportation Development Group is building the country’s first site for testing autonomous vehicles under highway conditions. The test site will utilize a section of the existing highway and is expected to start operating in September.
After spending most of last year under US sanctions, Russian aluminum supplier Rusal is investing $200m into a new aluminum rolling mill in Kentucky. Rusal will take a 40% stake in the project led by US startup Braidy Industries.
Volkswagen is pushing its JV partners, such as South Korea’s SK Innovation, to build new EV car battery plants with at least one Gigawatt manufacturing capacity. The automaker is retooling 16 factories to build EVs and plans to start producing 33 different EVs by mid 2023.
PLANT EXPANSION
Tesla and Panasonic are reportedly halting plans to expand capacity at their Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada due to underwhelming EV sales. The partners had allegedly intended on raising capacity by up to 50% in 2020.
PLANT OPENING
Honda has opened a new $448m assembly plant in Wuhan, China. The plant currently has a production capacity of 120,000 vehicles per year.
NVH solutions supplier Vibracoustic is building a new plant in Chongqing, China. The plant is scheduled to open in 2020.
REGULATION
The Trump administration estimates that its new North American trade deal will create around 76,000 jobs in the automotive sectors. The jobs would come as a result of automakers investing some $34b in new plants to comply with new regional content rules.
However, the International Trade Commission’s published an assessment of the USMCA’s potential impact. The report states it may add 28k automotive jobs. However, higher manufacturing prices would cut assembly jobs. Higher production costs would be a drag on US manufacturing.
SUPPLY CHAIN
Tesla’s Elon Musk is blaming Panasonic battery cell production lines at the EV maker’s Nevada gigafactory for holding up production of the Model 3. “Pana cell lines at Giga are only at 24GWh/yr & have been a constraint on Model 3 output since July”.
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