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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #123 - June 14 - 20, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

June 21 · Issue #123 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Volvo has named Qin Peiji as its new sales chief in China. Peiji has more than 20 years’ experience in auto sales and joined the automaker in 2011.
HUMAN CAPITAL
A battle between GM and the UAW may be brewing as the automaker is reportedly looking to hire more temporary workers at its U.S. plants and trim its healthcare costs. The union will be negotiating with the automaker this summer for a new four year labor deal.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
According to a new survey from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, many consumers are confused by many automakers’ driver-assist systems due to their names. In a survey of over 2,000 consumers, 48% thought it would be safe to take one’s hands off the wheel even though none of the systems are fully self-driving solutions.
LABOR DISPUTE
For the second time since 2014, the UAW lost its bid to organize workers at VW’s assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The final vote was 833 against the union and 776 for it.
Around 2,000 hourly workers at Faurecia’s plant in Saline, Michigan are gearing up for a possible strike this week as their collective bargaining agreement expires. The UAW says “after many long hours at the bargaining table, we have yet to reach a tentative agreement with the company”.
LITIGATION
Following several recent EV fires, China is requiring carmakers to conduct safety checks on their vehicles. They will need to check for potential issues with battery boxes, waterproof protection, wiring harnesses and onboard charging devices.
For the fourth year in a row, GM has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for an exemption from the Takata air bag recalls for a number of its vehicles. The automaker says that their testing shows that the Takata inflators are “inconsequential” to the safety of its vehicles.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Waymo is partnering with Renault and Nissan to research how commercial autonomous vehicles could work for passengers and packages in France and Japan. The companies referred to this as a “first step”, suggesting a more substantial partnership may be possible down the road.
Denso is collaborating with Israel-based teleoperation company Ottopia to build a new automotive teleoperation platform. The platform would enable remote control of autonomous vehicles.
PLANT EXPANSION
Honda of America is planning a $15m expansion of its engine plant in Anna, Ohio. The automaker has declined to provide any details of the expansion at this time.
PLANT OPENING
After three years of construction, PSA Group finally opened its new assembly plant in Kenitra, Morocco this week. The plant is aiming to produce 200,000 cars per year by 2020.
REGULATION
President Trump said this week that he will have an “extended meeting” with Chinese president Xi Jinping at next week’s G-20 summit in Japan. The summit is scheduled for June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is meeting with senators, members of Congress and President Trump this week to discuss efforts to ratify the new North American trade deal in both countries.
RISK ANALYTICS
The results of the 19th annual North American Automotive OEM-Tier 1 Supplier Working Relations Index study were released this week and they show that U.S. and Japanese automakers are making limited progress in their supplier relations.
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