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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #134 - August 30 - September 5, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

September 6 · Issue #134 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

From Wednesday:
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
GM has promoted Cadillac chief marketing officer Deborah Wahl to be the automaker’s new global chief marketing officer, the first since 2012. Along with the change, the automaker has also shifted five other executives across the US and Canada into new positions.
Struggling EV maker Faraday Future has chosen former BMW executive Carsten Breitfeld as its new global CEO. Breitfeld replaces Jia Yueting who will step down to assume the role of chief product & user officer.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Major automakers this week agreed to equip US vehicles with systems to remind motorists of passengers in the back by 2025. The tech is an effort to avoid the deaths of young children left behind in hot cars.
Porsche is expanding it’s $3,100/mth app-based subscription service to four new cities across the US and Canada. The automaker is adding Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix and Toronto to the pilot program it started in Atlanta almost two years ago.
LABOR DISPUTE
Unionized employees at Nemak’s plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada began picketing outside the plant this week as they fight for Nemak to reverse its decision to close the plant. Unifor President Jerry Dias says that employees won’t return to work until they reach a settlement.
Hyundai workers in South Korea reached a deal with the automaker this week, avoiding a walkout by workers for the first time in eight years. The offer they accepted was the lowest bonus offered in nearly two decades.
LITIGATION
Former UAW official Michael Grimes has pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering. Grimes retired from the union’s GM division and admitted to receiving at least $1.5m in kickbacks from union vendors.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) will work with Germany’s Robert Bosch to develop battery cells. The compact 48v batteries will be used in Bosch’s hybrid powertrain made in Wuxi, China.
Japan and France have agreed to start talks regarding sharing information and exploring deeper cooperation in next-generation auto technology. The move may also be aimed at repairing the strained alliance between Nissan and Renault.
Toyota and BMW have partnered with Israel’s autonomous tech startup Cortica AI. Unlike most existing AI systems, it “does not use human-labeled data for deep learning.” The company competes with Intel’s Mobileye.
GM is partnering with Google to integrate the tech company’s voice assistant and apps into GM vehicles starting in 2021. The partnership is not exclusive, and data produced from the new system will be shared between both companies.
Brazil’s CAOA has an initial agreement to buy Ford’s plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. Ford announced in February 2019 that the plant would shut down.
Continental is preparing to spin-off its Powertrain division. With worsening market conditions, this is an alternative to the planned partial IPO.
NATURAL DISASTER
As Hurricane Dorian continues moving along the east coast, auto dealers in coastal North and South Carolina have closed locations in anticipation of landfall. Personnel at the coastal region dealerships have been moving inventory to less-vulnerable areas and generally securing their stores.
PLANT OPENING
Yazaki is planning to open its 4th plant in Kenitra, Morocco. The facility will supply a nearby PSA plant and Renault site in Tangier.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
FCA is investing $1.1B into a new production line at its assembly plant in Pomigliano, Italy. The new line will start building the Panda hybrid and the new Alfa Romeo Tonale compact SUV in the first half of 2020 and 2021, respectively.
MG Motor India is evaluating a second shift at its factory in Halol. MG is looking to increase production capacity of its new Hector SUV to 3k units this month.
REGULATION
GM CEO Mary Barra met with President Trump in the oval office yesterday, but details of the meeting have yet to be provided. Leaving the White House, Barra said only “We had a productive and valuable meeting.”
The EPA and the NHTSA are reportedly moving to revoke California’s authority to set vehicle greenhouse gas standards. The plan would not revoke California’s ability to set low-emission vehicles standards that have been in place since 1990.
SUPPLY CHAIN
EV battery production bottlenecks and supply issues reportedly have Audi in talks with China’s BYD. Audi currently uses cells from Contemporary Amperex Technology and has a supply deal with Samsung SDI.
Daimler is storing thousands of Mercedes-Benz GLE SUVs at the former Ahlhorn military airport in northern Germany. Problems with a supplier in the US caused production bottlenecks.
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