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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #148 - December 6 - 12, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

December 13 · Issue #148 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

BANKRUPTCY
North America’s largest trucking carrier abruptly filed for Chapter 11 protection this week. Its fleet was responsible for a significant amount of automotive logistics traffic between Mexico and the Midwest.
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz will retire next year, ending his 38-year career in the auto industry. Lentz will step aside on April 1, 2020, and will be succeeded by current COO Tetsuo “Ted” Ogawa.
The UAW is disbanding its corruption-marred Region 5 after director Vance Pearson’s resignation. Pearson was charged with money laundering and embezzlement. His predecessor, Gary Jones, resigned as the president of the union last month after being implicated in the scandal.
EARNING DIP
Car sales fell in China again during November, making it the country’s 17th decline in the past 18 months. The market in China shrank last year for the first time in decades.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
IHS Markit highlights its findings on China’s use of hydrogen.
LABOR DISPUTE
Labor negotiations between the UAW and Detroit’s Big 3 came to an end this week as FCA workers approved a new four-year labor contract. The new contract secured $18.2B in new investments from FCA, the creation or retention of 25.4k US jobs, and allowed the closure of a handful of plants.
LITIGATION
Canada is charging Volkswagen for violating the country’s vehicle emissions standards. It is saying that the automaker illegally imported nearly 128k vehicles equipped with “defeat devices.”
Ford has issued two safety recalls for around 265k vehicles in North America. The first recall covers a problem with select 2017-19 F-250, 350, and 450 Super Duty trucks for unintended tailgate opening. The second includes a problem with certain 2020 Explorer and Aviator vehicles, where the protective sleeve on the liquid fuel line is not long enough.
Michigan’s Van Buren Township has filed suit against Visteon Corporation. The breach of contract complaint regards property tax concessions.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Denso and Toyota will form the Mobility Innovative Research Institute for Semiconductors (Mirise). The new joint venture will develop semiconductors used in electric and autonomous vehicles.
Vietnam’s richest man and owner of the startup automaker VinFast, Pham Nhat Vuong, is planning to invest up to $2B of his own money to sell electric vehicles in the US.
GM is selling its plant in Togliatti, Russia, to its former JV partner Avtovaz. The automaker first suggested pulling out of Russia in 2015.
PLANT CLOSING
GM Canada is planning to end production at its Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant next week, though no official dates have been announced. The plant closure will leave about 2.3k employees out of work.
PLANT EXPANSION
German supplier Mann+Hummel USA will expand its Dunlap, Tennessee facility. The plant aims to increase its production of air intake manifolds and filtration systems.
PLANT OPENING
BASF is doubling the production capacity at its automotive refinish coatings plant in Jiangmen, China, by building a new facility. The new plant will start production in the first half of 2022.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
GM continues to struggle to produce enough crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks. Recovery from the strike, compounded with competitive incentives, and inventory weigh against maintaining quality levels during the surge.
REGULATION
The US House of Representatives approved the new USMCA trade deal this week, bringing it halfway through the approval process. The agreement still has to be approved by the Senate, but majority leader Mitch McConnell says there are no plans to vote on it before 2020.
The FCC voted this week to advance a plan to split part of the 5.9 GHz spectrum. The bands were initially set aside for auto safety to accommodate the growing number of wireless devices. The block was reserved for automakers in 1999 but has not used.
SUPPLY CHAIN
A new white paper from Avetta asserts that slavery in supply chains around the world is still a very real problem.
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