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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #184 - August 14 - 20, 2020


Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

August 21 · Issue #184 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

After seeing a slide from an internal Goodyear presentation restricting its employees from wearing MAGA merch on the job, President Trump took to Twitter to encourage his 80 million followers to boycott Goodyear tires.
Automotive interiors supplier UGN, Inc. is looking to add 80 workers to its plant in Monroe, Ohio. The plant opened in 2015 with 280 employees and now has 545.
Chinese EV maker Nio has an interesting plan to reduce the cost of its EVs: leasing the battery. The “Battery as a Service” program would reduce vehicle cost by about $10k and have owners pay a monthly lease of around $140 for the battery.
J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Tech Experience Index study has revealed that the most popular new in-vehicle features are rearview and groundview cameras. The least popular feature, by far, is gesture controls.
Volkswagen Mexico has agreed to increase its plant workers’ pay and benefits by 5.46% as part of its new collective contact with the union for 2020-21. The deal was reached after more than three weeks of negotiations.
A federal judge late last week tossed out GM’s bid to amend its original racketeering suit against FCA. Judge Paul Borman, who also threw out the original suit, said “GM’s newly discovered evidence does not create a reasonable inference that FCA was bribing indiduals to infiltrate GM as part of a scheme to directly harm GM…”.
Daimler has agreed to pay out over $2.2B in settlements with U.S. authorities and a class-action lawsuit over vehicle emissions. In addition, the automaker will continue to cooperate fully with U.S. authorities.
Daimler has lost a court case brought against them by Nokia in Germany alleging that they violated Nokia’s mobile-technology patents by not licensing the technology. Daimler said “We cannot understand the verdict of the Mannheim court and will appeal”. 
An appeals court in California has allowed Uber and Lyft to keep their business models in place while they challenge a judge’s order to comply with the state’s gig worker law. A ballot measure in the Nov. 3rd election will put the decision into the hands of California voters.
Amazon is teaming with Toyota to build a platform to help manage and monetize data gathered from the automaker’s global vehicle fleet. Toyota says the platform will be user to develop vehicle services such as ride and car sharing, behavior-based insurance and maintenance notifications.
Rolls-Royce will close its plant in Prince George, Virgina by the middle of 2021, putting 280 employees out of work. The automaker previously layed off 120 workers at the plant in June.
Toyota and Mazda are investing another $830M into the JV plant they’re building in Huntsville, Alabama, bring total cost up from $1.6B to about $2.3B. The automakers say the money will go towards improving production processes and accomodations for design changes to vehicles built there.
Chinese battery maker CATL is developing a new type of EV battery that contains no nickel or cobalt. The supplier gave no details on the makeup or the cost of the new battery type.
Ontario, Canada has setup a $10M program to help automotive suppliers fund manufacturing upgrades at their plants in the province. Approved suppliers can receive up to 50% of eligible project costs up to $100,000 CDN.
The United Kingdom is planning to ’copy and paste’ the EU’s CO2 targets for car and vans when the country finishes leaving the EU on Jan. 1, 2021. 
The State of California early this week confirmed it has finalized binding agreements with automakers including Ford, VW, Honda, and BMW to cut vehicle emissions in the state. Thirteen states that follow California’s standards have said they support the agreements.
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