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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #174 - June 5 - 11, 2020

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

June 12 · Issue #174 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

BANKRUPTCY
Germany’s MKTSN has filed for insolvency. MKTSN manufactures kinematic and non-kinematic plastic components and is owned by India’s Minda Corporation.
Revere Plastic Systems is acquiring two injection molding plants from Techniplas. Techniplas filed for Chapter 11 in May and is selling the Auburn, Alabama, and Ankeny, Iowa facilities. Revere is looking to expand its automotive business.
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Volkswagen has named current COO Ralf Brandstaetter as the brand’s next CEO. Brandstaetter will replace current CEO Herbert Diess on July 1.
Startup EV maker Rivian has appointed Rod Copes (formerly of Royal Enfield motorcycles) as its new COO. The automaker also named Matt Horton (formerly of Proterra, a California maker of electric buses) as its new EVP of energy and charging solutions.
EARNING DIP
New car sales in Russia fell by 52% in May. The good news is that it’s not as severe as April’s 72% drop.
HUMAN CAPITAL
Facing pandemic related slump in demand, Continental will lay off employees. The company reportedly “…must save hundreds of millions of euros in costs…”
Diesel-engine catalyst producer Johnson Matthey is cutting around 2.5k jobs over the next three years. The cuts are part of a new plan to achieve annualized savings of at least $101m.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Tesla supplier CATL claims that they are ready to start producing an EV battery with a range of 1.2m miles over a 16-year lifespan. The supplier added the battery would cost 10% more than its existing cells.
LABOR DISPUTE
Canadian auto union Unifor says they will continue to fight FCA’s decision to cut the third shift at its assembly plant in Windsor, Canada. The union will begin negotiations on a new labor contract with the automaker this summer.
LITIGATION
India’s antitrust body, The Competition Commission of India (CCI), has ruled that units of SKF, Schaeffler, and Tat Steel, along with local firm National Engineering Industries, are guilty of conspiracy and fixing prices of vehicle ball bearings. Despite the decision, CCI decided not to impose a penalty and instead is asking the companies to “…cease such cartel behavior and desist from indulging in it.”
Nissan is recalling 1.8m Altimas made between 2013-2018 due to a faulty secondary hood latch. The problem affects the entire production run of the vehicles in the U.S.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Ford and Volkswagen announced plans to offer a new small city van, a larger cargo van, a small pickup truck, and an EV. The first products under the partnership will be the cargo van, expected in 2021.
PLANT EXPANSION
Germany’s Adler Pelzer is expanding its North American operations, moving into a 100k sq ft facility in Oregon, Ohio. The location will manufacture acoustic and thermal insulation.
PLANT OPENING
Audi will reopen its plant in Puebla next week after two months of coronavirus related disruptions.
Germany’s Konig Metall began production at a new 5k sq m machining facility in Ivanjica, Serbia, this week.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
Honda shut down production facilities on Tuesday after a ransomware attack brought down information systems.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Ford expects production levels at its U.S. vehicle assembly plants to return to pre-COVID levels by July 6. COO Jim Farley said that in the three weeks following their May 18 restart, the automaker built around 96% of its planned volume.
REGULATION
Tesla got the go-ahead to produce and sell Model 3s with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in China. LFP batteries don’t use cobalt, making them less expensive, but less energy-dense.
Japan wants to eliminate automotive tariffs as it begins post-Brexit trade talks with Britain.
President Trump has once again threatened to impose new tariffs on cars imported from the EU… unless the bloc agrees to drop its tariff on American lobsters.
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