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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #168 - April 24 - 30, 2020

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

May 1 · Issue #168 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Hyundai Motor design chief Luc Donckerwolke is stepping down from the automaker due to personal reasons. The automaker will not name a new design chief for their entire group of brands.
EARNING DIP
New car sales in Italy fell by 98% in the first 24 days of April compared to the same period last year. Sales were already down by 85% in March.
HUMAN CAPITAL
Volvo is cutting 1.3k white-collar jobs in Sweden as part of an ongoing business restructuring accelerated by the pandemic. The automaker is also looking to reduce its use of consultants.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, an industry trade group, introduced a solution for rolling out vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. The proposal allows two completing standards to co-exist for five years, with the winner gaining the remaining 20Mhz band of the spectrum. Members pledged 5m V2X radios in infrastructure and vehicles by 2025.
A survey by PwC predicts a trend of “moving away from low-cost supply chains toward fully pricing in supply chain risk to the cost of goods.”
LITIGATION
McLaren recalled more than 2.7k of its supercars over a faulty foam pad near the fuel tank that could increase the risk of a fire. The recall covers the 720S, GT, 570GT, and the $1m Senna.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Ford and Rivian have canceled plans to collaborate on a new Lincoln EV due to the coronavirus outbreak. Both companies say that their partnership remains strong, and they are continuing to work on an alternative vehicle based on Rivian’s architecture.
PLANT OPENING
FCA restarted work at its assembly plant in Melfi, Italy, this week bringing back around 1k of the plants nearly 7.4k workers.
Korean battery maker SK Innovation is planning to spend $727m on a second EV battery plant in the US. Construction for the Georgia plant will begin in July with a planned opening in 2023.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
Detroit’s big three have pushed back their US production restart dates from May 4 to May 18. Tesla has also backed off its original April 29 restart date, and Honda will restart its US plants on May 11.
Instead of reopening next week as planned, Toyota has delayed its production restart in North America from May 4 to May 11, while Volkswagen has delayed its North American restart plans indefinitely.
Nissan has delayed the reopening of its plant in Sunderland, England to early June. The plant halted production on March 13 due to the coronavirus.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
Nissan is reportedly planning to decrease production in Japan by 78% in May as a result of reduced demand due to coronavirus. Alliance partner Mitsubishi is also planning to slash its output in Japan by nearly one-third over the next two months.
REGULATION
The German auto industry is pushing to introduce government incentives for new vehicle purchases.
Tesla’s sales of regulatory emissions credits to automotive manufacturers jumped to $354m. Analysts predict these will increase as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on electrification investments.
Mexico plans to restart auto manufacturing and “will ensure that the reopening will be orderly, gradual, and cautious.” This statement came after public pressure increased from the US ambassador to Mexico.
Car dealerships in France will start to reopen on May 11 as the government begins to ease lockdown restrictions. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that most stores would be allowed to open, but added that travel will still be restricted.
French finance minister Burno le Maire said that week that any stimulus for the auto industry would not appear before September. The French government wants more time to consider the best way to restart the French economy following coronavirus shutdowns.
RISK ANALYTICS
JD Power says that automotive sales showed signs of stability in the first half of April, with sales rising slightly in the two weeks following the week of April 5. Despite the slight growth, demand is still down significantly year over year.
SUPPLY CHAIN
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