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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #149 - December 13 - 19, 2019

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

December 20 · Issue #149 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

BANKRUPTCY
Dr. Gerald Weber, the former head of operations at Airbus, has organized a consortium to rescue Hesta from insolvency. The company spun into bankruptcy after orders slowed the first and second quarters of 2019. Hesta produces extrusion molding machines for automotive components.
GST Autoleather in Rochester Hills, Michigan, has implemented the Toyota Production System. The move has been central to its turnaround from bankruptcy in 2017.
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Hyundai Europe’s COO Thomas Schmid is stepping down after holding the position for nearly five years. The automaker has yet to announce Schmid’s successor and says that additional organizational announcements are forthcoming.
EARNING DIP
The latest forecast from the National Automobile Dealers Association predicts that US light-vehicles sales will drop 1.2% to 16.8M in 2020 due to slower job growth and lower consumer spending and affordability.
Top EV battery producers in China, along with Panasonic, saw a sharp decline in EV battery sales for October as demand weakened in the US and China. By capacity, Panasonic sales fell 38% while BYD plunged 66%. Sales by market leader CATL dropped by 17%.
HUMAN CAPITAL
Ford is investing $1.45B into it’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, and its truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The investment will create around 2,700 jobs in Wayne and 300 jobs in Dearborn.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Share Now, the car-sharing venture between BMW and Daimler is pulling out of North America and stopping service in Brussels, London, and Florence. The quick retreat from the business line demonstrates the difficulty of building new mobility services. Share Now continues to operate a network in eighteen European cities.
Automotive News: Purchasing outlook for 2020
LITIGATION
Mercedes-Benz USA will pay a $13m fine over its handling of vehicle recalls in the US. The NHTSA said that Mercedes did not notify owners of recalls in a timely fashion for some recalls and did not submit all reports. At least two recalls didn’t launch on time.
The NHTSA is upgrading a probe into 1.7M GM vehicles for windshield wiper failures. The inquiry, which the agency opened in November 2018, covers 2010-2012 and 2014-2016 Equinox and Terrain vehicles.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
China’s GAC Motor began selling vehicles in Russia last week. The automaker suspended plans to enter the North American market last year due to concerns over the trade dispute between China and the US.
FCA and PSA Group have signed a binding memorandum of understanding for a formal 50-50 merger. Barring any unexpected regulatory obstacles, the new combined company would become the world’s fourth-largest automaker by volume.
PLANT CLOSING
GM’s Oshawa, Ontario plant rolled its last vehicle, a 2019 GMC Sierra LD pickup, off the assembly line this week. The plant closure will put about 2,300 employees out of work and affect thousands more in the supply chain.
PLANT EXPANSION
GM is planning to invest $1.5B into its van and truck plant in Wentzville, Missouri. According to Missouri’s governor Mike Parson, the automaker is pledging to keep 4K jobs at the plant.
PLANT OPENING
Construction on Tesla’s Gigafactory 4 will start in January 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that the plant will build batteries, powertrains, and vehicles, beginning with the Model Y.
RAW MATERIALS
Ford and FCA, among others, are launching the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network this spring. The network will track cobalt from the mine to the manufacturer combating child and slave labor.
REGULATION
According to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, automakers will pay nearly $3B more in tariffs under the new USMCA trade agreement due to its stricter content rules. For autos to be eligible for tariff-free access across all borders, the USMCA imposes a 75% regional content requirement, up from 62.5% in NAFTA.
Ohio lawmakers have introduced a bill that would offer incentives for consumers to buy electric vehicles in Ohio. Individuals that want to buy an EV would receive a $500 sales tax break, while business would receive a $1K tax break on up to ten vehicles.
With a recent USMCA deal, Californian manufacturers expect to move forward with previously stagnate investments.
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