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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #179 - July 10 - 16, 2020

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

July 17 · Issue #179 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

EARNING DIP
Auto sales in China fell by 22.4% for the first half of 2020 due to coronavirus shutdowns. Despite the drop, total vehicle sales rose 11.6% in June.
HUMAN CAPITAL
GM will begin laying off the third shift at its Wentzville, Missouri assembly plant next week. The layoff is likely to affect around 1,250 workers with no time frame set yet on the layoff’s length.
Indian tire maker Apollo Tyres says that it cut 528 jobs at its Enschede plant in the Netherlands. The company says the plant will shift its focus to produce only high-performance Vredestein tires.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Ford has rejected a call from some of its employees to stop producing police vehicles as a stand against police brutality. Ford vehicles currently make up around two-thirds of the US law enforcement market.
Volvo is readying a reboot of its “Care by Volvo” vehicle subscription service to satisfy complaints from its dealers in California after initially launching the program in 2017. An investigation by California’s DMV found that the first iteration of the service failed to notify dealers about changes to their franchise agreement properly and failed to provide adequate lease disclosures to subscription customers.
LABOR DISPUTE
Labor representatives for Daimler said that discussions with management over potential layoffs and cost cuts have become “rougher.” Over 15,000 jobs at the automaker are at risk.
LITIGATION
Following a complaint about the cost and terms of charging EVs, Germany’s antitrust watchdog group is starting a probe into the country’s electric car charging stations. The Federal Cartel Office said its inquiry should identify potential problems with the chargers’ price and location.
A court in Germany ruled this week that Tesla cannot run ads for its Autopilot system because they improperly claimed the vehicles have “full potential for autonomous driving.”
Hyundai recalled over 272K cars in the US due to a dashboard electrical socket that can pose a fire risk. The recall covers some 2011 and 2012 Elantras and Sonatas, as well as the 2012 Accent and Veloster.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
FCA and PSA Group announced their new post-merger name this week: Stellantis. The name will only be used as a group name and not as an individual brand for vehicles.
Honda is buying a 1% stake in Chinese battery maker CATL to develop EV batteries jointly. Honda will launch its first vehicle with CATL’s battery in China in 2022.
Navistar has purchased a stake in self-driving tech company TuSimple. It will co-develop self-driving trucks by 2024 as it rolls out a national autonomous freight network.
BMW has signed a $2.3B deal with Swedish battery maker Northvolt to power its upcoming EVs. Northvolt will start delivering batteries in 2024 as part of a long-term contract.
PLANT OPENING
Korean EV battery maker AtlasBX is nearing completion of its new $80M plant in Clarksville, Tennessee. The 210K sf plant set to employ around 190 people expects to be making batteries by the end of the year.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
Toyota Kirloskar Motor is stopping production at its plant in Bidadi, India until July 22nd due to the rising coronavirus cases in the state of Karnataka. The plant had only been operating 40-45% of its regular production levels.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer warned this week that “If Michiganders don’t mask up when we go out in public….we could be forced to close down more of our businesses, including auto manufacturing plants that employ thousands.”
PRODUCTION DECREASE
This week, Nissan announced that it would cut its worldwide output by 30% through the end of the year due to a drop in demand.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
US vehicle and motor part manufacturing rose by 105% in June, and output rose 11.6%. The production of motor parts and vehicles remains almost 25% below what it was in February.
REGULATION
Italy is helping its automotive sector with a new $22.73B stimulus package. Just under $1B will be used to strengthen sales incentives, and another $10B will be used for temporary layoff schemes to help companies furlough staff rather than firing them.
Officials in 15 states, and the District of Columbia, are teaming up on a plan that would phase out gas and diesel-powered trucks over the next three decades and replace them with zero-emission alternatives. The move follows California’s recently announced plan to start work towards a similar goal by 2024.
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