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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #160 - February 28 - March 5, 2020

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

March 6 · Issue #160 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

EARNING DIP
Passenger car sales in China fell by 80% in February as a result of the coronavirus. The Chinese Passenger Car Association did not provide full sales figures for the month.
HUMAN CAPITAL
General Motors is adding 1.2k new jobs at two plants in Michigan for producing crossovers and Cadillac cars. The latest positions include nearly 400 at the automaker’s Lansing Grand River Assembly plant and around 800 at its Lansing Delta Township Assembly.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Renault is selling off ten dealerships in France in preparation for a future in which the car buying process moves online.
LITIGATION
Hyundai has won $5m in a lawsuit against Miami-based auto parts company Direct Technologies International, who the automaker accused of selling knockoff Hyundai parts in the US. The International Trade Commission is investigating the case further at the automaker’s request.
Toyota is boosting a fuel pump recall from January by 1.2m vehicles. The automaker says the fuel pumps may stop operating and cause the engine to stall.
Federal prosecutors have charged former UAW President Gary Jones with corruption. The feds allege that he conspired with other UAW colleagues to embezzle over $1m from the union for private villas, golf outings, boozy meals, good cigars, and horseback rides on beaches.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Toyota and FAW are planning to build a new $1.22b EV plant in Tianjin, China. The plant is expected to open this year and produce 200k electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles every year.
Allstate Insurance and Ford have struck up a deal that will allow some of the automaker’s customers to share data with the insurer for its program that tracks mileage. The majority of Ford and Lincoln’s 2020 vehicles will be able to connect to the program.
PLANT CLOSING
BCS Automotive Interface Solutions will close its plant in Aurelius, New York, by the end of the year. The closure will see the loss of 200 jobs.
DISASTER
Japanese island Hokkaido has declared a state of emergency over the rapid spread of coronavirus there.
PLANT EXPANSION
Brose India is expanding its facilities in Hinjewadi, Pune, adding three times the existing manufacturing space. The facility produces door systems.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
Fujitsu Ten España, the joint venture between Denso and Fujitsu, is planning a shutdown starting March 16. The plant in Malaga, Spain, has a shortage of parts from China impacted by the coronavirus.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
Tata Motors warned that both the COVID-19 outbreak and a fire at its supplier Varroc Lighting were affecting production.
Honda is cutting back production in Japan due to difficulties sourcing parts from China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The production cuts should only result in an output reduction of a few hundred vehicles.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
MTA has resumed limited production at its facility in Codogno, Italy. The site closed last week due to the coronavirus outbreak.
FAW Jiefang has resumed production in China, including FAW-Volkswagen and FAW Toyota.
REGULATION
The European Union has imposed tariffs on steel wheels imported from China for the next five years. The tariffs are meant to punish Chinese exporters for allegedly selling wheels in the EU below cost.
RISK ANALYTICS
GM has enough parts to continue production “deep into this month.”
“All businesses must navigate a lengthy list of requirements to obtain permission from local authorities to reopen… To protect healthy workers, the automaker (Xusheng Auto) also had to show teams of inspectors that it is stocked with masks and disinfectants, and has enough space to serve as quarantine wards.”
A United Nations agency this week said that a 2% drop in China’s exports in February equated to a $50b loss for other countries and their industries. The agency says that the findings are preliminary and possibly a “conservative estimate.”
SUPPLY CHAIN
Tesla substituted prior generation “autopilot” chips due to supply chain disruptions. Upset owners noticed part number differences in the first run of Model 3s produced at its Shanghai facility. Tesla will replace the parts as they become available.
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