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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #115 - April 19 - 25, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

April 26 · Issue #115 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

EARNING DIP
Tesla has posted a $702m loss for Q1 2019 following the loss of a buyer tax credit on January 1. Company executives expect another decline in Q2 before a return to profitability in the second half of the year.
Cockpit electronics supplier Visteon has posted a 78% drop in Q1 net income compared to a year earlier, causing shares to plummet by more than 20% this week. Unfavorable vehicle production volumes and currency trends were reportedly significant factors for the decline.
HUMAN CAPITAL
GM is adding 400 hourly jobs at its plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky for production of the new mid-engine Chevy Corvette. 
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Automotive Logistics has an interesting overview of the proceedings from the Finished Vehicle Logistics North America conference.
China’s Huawei Technologies has launched what it claims is the world’s first 5G communications hardware for the automotive industry. The module will help their plans to begin commercializing 5G automotive network technology by the second half of this year.
LITIGATION
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expanding an investigation into malfunctioning airbags to include 12.3m vehicles from Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and FCA from the 2010 through 2019 model years. The investigation involves airbag control units made by ZF-TRW.
BMW USA is expanding a recall from 2017 by 185,000 vehicles over a potential fire hazard. The recall expansion covers 3 Series, 5 Series and Z4 models built in 2006.
FCA is recalling over 320,000 Dodge Darts in North America over a roll away risk caused by defective shift-cable bushings. The recall covers 2013-2016 model year Darts with automatic transmissions.
Japanese authorities have brought yet another charge against former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn right as he was scheduled to be released from custody. Allegedly, Ghosn redirected payments made to Nissan by a supplier for his “personal enrichment.”
Carlos Ghosn has been released from jail for the second time in Tokyo on a $4.5m bond. As a condition of his release, Ghosn is forbidden to meet or communicate with his wife without prior permission.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Uber’s autonomous vehicle division has raised $1B from a consortium of investors including SoftBank, Toyota, and Denso. The investment comes ahead of an expected public stock offering sometime next month.
Ford is investing $500m into electric truck maker Rivian to build a new EV for the Detroit automaker. Ford says it will develop a new vehicle using Rivian’s skateboard platform.
PLANT EXPANSION
Continental Tire broke ground on an expansion to its Sumter, South Carolina facility. The new building will bring in new processes, but not add overall tire production capacity.
PLANT OPENING
German startup automaker Sono Motors is repurposing Saab’s former factory in Trollhattan, Sweden to build solar-powered electric cars. Sono is planning for the plant to produce 260,000 vehicles at the factory between 2020 and 2028.
German roofing and heating systems supplier Webasto is investing $48m into a new plant in Plymouth Township, Michigan. The 300,000sf facility will create 441 new jobs and produce automotive roof systems.
Waymo is partnering with American Axle to complete final assembly of their self-driving vehicles at an existing facility in Detroit. The project will create 100 jobs, with potential for up to 400, and will be a $13.6m investment.
The joint venture between Volkswagen and China’s Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. will build a new electric vehicle factory in Hefei, China. The plant expects to be able to produce 100k vehicles per year.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
Honda will temporarily idle the second shift at its Marysville, Ohio assembly plant in August to prepare the plant for future production of electric vehicles. The line will be idled for several years and will lead to a decrease in Accord and Civic production.
REGULATION
The Center for Automotive Research published the second part of its analysis on possible outcomes for SAFE fuel economy and emissions regulation.
IHS Markit discusses the economic effects of changes to fuel economy legislation. Of note is the reduction of fuel tax revenue.
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