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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #158 - February 14 - 20, 2020

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

February 21 · Issue #158 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Daimler is restructuring its management to gain tighter control over 2019’s losses from the Mercedes-Benz luxury car unit and vans division.
EARNING DIP
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and extended Lunar New Year holidays, new car sales in China dropped by 18% in Jan. The decline marks the 19th consecutive month that auto sales have fallen in China.
LITIGATION
Swedish brake producer Haldex has filed a complaint against its top shareholder Knorr-Bremse arguing that the rival brake maker’s stake is hurting its ability to do business. Haldex Chairman Jorgen Durban said that the stake “…affects both Haldex’s appeal as an investment opportunity and Haldex’s relationship with its customers and ultimately consumers”.
Volkswagen will compensate some German owners of its heavily polluting diesel vehicles in a $901m settlement. The offer comes despite a breakdown in talks between VW and German consumer association VZBV.
Former UAW official Mike Grimes was sentenced this week to 28 months in federal prison for accepting more than $1.5m in bribes and kickbacks from a union vendor. Judge Bernard Friedman sentenced Grimes to a longer sentence than sought by prosecutors to “…send a message to (UAW) members that they can get their loyalty, integrity, trust, and pride back.”
The SEC may be scrutinizing the financing arrangements of Tesla’s Shanghai factory.
In continued Tesla news, a German court on Thursday overturned an injunction that halted Tesla from clearing trees to build its Berlin plant.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
As part of its ongoing global restructuring, General Motors says it will wind down its operations in Australia and New Zealand and sell a plant in Thailand to China’s Great Wall Motors. The moves are part of GM’s effort to prioritize profit margins over sales volume and global presence.
PLANT CLOSING
Honda has confirmed that its plant in Swindon, England, will close in July 2021. The closure will affect 3.5k workers.
PLANT OPENING
Automotive sensor supplier TE Connectivity will build a new $15m plant in Tangier, Morocco. The plant will be TE’s fourth in Morocco and is expected to create over 500 jobs.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
FCA is temporarily shutting down its plant in Serbia due to supplier issues linked to COVID-19. A spokesman for the automaker says disruption affects the supply of audio systems.
An FCA spokesperson says that the automaker will resume production at its plant in Changsha, China, soon, but did not provide a specific date. The automaker resumed production at its Guangzhou plant on Feb 17.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
Flint, Michigan UAW officials, warned members that production is threatened at the Arlington and Fort Wayne GM plants. COVID-19 is impacting essential parts for SUVs produced there.
Aptiv reports a significant number of production delays through the end of the month due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Operations are expected to resume near the end of the month, reaching full production through March.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Toyota’s Changchun, Guangzhou, and Tianjin plants in China were to resume production this week.
Valeo reported that its plants outside of Hubei had resumed production. Valeo also has three facilities within Wuhan, still impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic.
REGULATION
RISK ANALYTICS
The Japanese government and auto industry have formed the “New Coronavirus Countermeasures Automobile Council.”
SUPPLY CHAIN
Jaguar Land Rover is warning that it could run out of auto parts at its British factories by the end of next week due to COVID-19. JLR chief executive Ralf Speth said, “We have flown parts in suitcases from China to the UK.”
Reports are in that Nissan may be facing potential disruptions at its plants in the US and Europe due to parts shortages stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. The automaker is concerned that it may run out of the more than 800 parts it receives from suppliers in Hubei if plants in the province stay idled beyond Feb 21.
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