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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #125 - June 28 - July 4, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

July 5 · Issue #125 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Audi has promoted its local sales chief in China, Gaby-Luise Wuest, to president of China operations. Wuest joined Audi China in April 2018.
EV startup Lucid Motors has hired former Tesla exec Peter Hochholdinger to head its manufacturing operations. Hochholdinger’s departure from Tesla was just announced last week.
Tesla has reportedly lost two more executives amidst CEO Elon Musk’s push for employees to “go all out” to increase quarterly deliveries. Europe chief Jan Oehmicke and vice president of interior and exterior engineering Steve McManus have both left the automaker.
EARNING DIP
U.S. auto sales continued to fall overall in June, making it the sixth straight monthly decline for the year. 
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
China’s “father of EV,” industrial policy advisor Wan Gang told a conference in Boao, China this week that the country needs to invest in hydrogen cell production infrastructure. He says it is important in order to “accelerate commercial applications of the technology.”
VW CEO Herbert Diess this week said that the automaker expects 50% of their sales in China to come from new energy vehicles by 2035. More than half of their planned 22 million EVs will be made in China by 2028.
LITIGATION
Mazda is recalling around 33,000 vehicles via two separate recalls. 8,000 2018 CX-9 vehicles are being recalled over faulty wiring harness connector terminals, and 25,000 2019 Mazda3’s are being recalled due to a risk that the wheels could detach while in use.
Volkswagen is recalling over 600,000 Atlas crossover and Passat sedans made at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee to fix a headlight defect. The headlights may be missing parts that cause them to be incorrectly adjusted.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Louisville, Kentucky-based automotive supplier Beach Mold & Tool has been acquired by Livonia, Michigan-based NYX LLC. The supplier was acquired for an undisclosed amount.
PLANT EXPANSION
Volvo is investing $400m to expand and upgrade its heavy-duty truck plant in New River Valley, Virginia. The project will take six years to complete and create around 777 new jobs at the plant.
PLANT OPENING
Nexteer Automotive has opened a new plant in Kenitra, Morocco. The plant is the auto supplier’s 27th plant globally and will make electric power steering systems for Groupe PSA, as well as driveline systems for FCA, Groupe PSA and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
Nexteer has also opened a new plant in Liuzhou, China. The new plant will replace an old facility that Nexteer previously rented and will produce column-assist electric power steering systems.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
FCA has extended the summer shutdown for it’s Windsor, Ontario minivan plant from three weeks to five weeks. The plant, which makes the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan, will be shut down starting the week of July 8 through the week of August 5.
REGULATION
The U.S. Dept. of Commerce has hit Vietnam with tariffs of as much as 400% or more on imported steel. The U.S. is accusing some companies of shipping products from Vietnam to avoid paying tariffs when shipping from other countries such as China.
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