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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #151 - December 27, 2019 - January 2, 2020

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

January 3 · Issue #151 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

BANKRUPTCY
German EV startup e. GO Mobile continues to have financial difficulties and delivery issues.
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Nissan’s recently appointed vice-COO Jun Seki has resigned after less than a month in the job. It is believed, though not confirmed, that Seki had a significant disagreement with new CEO Makoto Uchida over how to deal with alliance partner Renault.
HUMAN CAPITAL
India’s Bosch Ltd will cut “a couple of thousand” jobs in the next four years. Bosch says they were affected by regulatory changes, electrification, a liquidity crunch, and an economic slowdown.
A new study reveals that adults in the US are much more likely to die from opioid overdoses if they live in a county where a car assembly plant closed in the past five years. Researchers found that opioid overdose deaths were 85% higher than in counties without closures.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Robert Bosch is set to debut a new lidar sensor at CES in Vegas next week that could help lower the cost of the technology and speed the development of self-driving vehicles. A Bosch spokesman said that they are working to make the sensors “production ready” and that they are focusing on “affordable mass market” technology.
Analysts predict that fuel cell and battery-powered electric vehicles will develop concurrently. The lack of refueling stations will encourage commercial adoption.
LITIGATION
Ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is now an international fugitive after skipping bail in Japan and fleeing to Beirut, Lebanon, earlier this week. Ghosn said that he can now “finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week.”
A federal judge in California rejected Tesla’s attempt to toss out a lawsuit brought against them by former employees alleging they faced “severe and pervasive racial harassment” while working at the automaker’s factory in Fremont. The trial will begin on May 11, 2020.
FCA will likely ask a federal judge in Detroit to dismiss the lawsuit that GM brought against them back in November. They only have until “late January” to respond to the trial in some way.
VW is in settlement talks with Germany consumers who are suing over excessive pollution related to the diesel scandal.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Toshiba, Denso, and Suzuki are teaming up to build the first EV battery cell factory in India. The plant is expected to start production by the end of the year and could create around 1k jobs by 2025.
Ainstein and ADAC Automotive have formed RADAC Automotive, a joint venture to produce automotive mmWave radar-based sensing solutions.
Eaton has completed the sale of its Automotive Fluid Conveyance division to Quantum Capital Partners. The division manufactures hydraulic power-assisted steering, active ride systems, oil cooling, a/c, and plastic components.
PLANT OPENING
Tesla rolled its first 15 Model 3 cars made in China off the assembly line at its plant in Shanghai early this week. The facility will ramp up production through January and is aiming for an annual production capacity of 150,000 Model 3’s per year.
CATL has begun construction of its plant in Yibin, China. The facility will produce battery cells, with the second phase of expansion in 2 years.
Plastics supplier Grupa Azoty SA has launched a new plastics manufacturing and compounding plant in Tarnow, Poland. The plant will have a production capacity of 50k tons per year.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
US Steel will shutdown significant portions of Great Lakes Works in River Rouge, Michigan. The facility provides steel for automakers.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
VW says that they are ahead of schedule and will have produced 1m electric vehicles by 2023, two years ahead of their original projection of 2025. The automaker now expects to have produced 1.5m by 2025.
REGULATION
Ride-hailing company Uber and courier service Postmates have brought a lawsuit against the state of California, alleging that the state’s new gig worker law, set to take effect this week, is unconstitutional. Backers of the bill say that the law protects workers’ rights while Uber, Postmates, and other app-based companies say the bill compromises the flexibility prized by their workforce.
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