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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #218 - April 9 - 15, 2021

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

April 16 · Issue #218 · View online

Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.


Bloomberg continued coverage of the looming natural rubber crisis:
We’re proud to share Tor Hough’s contributions to the article.

HUMAN CAPITAL
GM plans to lay off 215 out of its 770 workers at its Rochester, New York plant. The plant produces fuel system components. It is outsourcing some production work to one of BorgWarner’s facilities in Mexico.
LITIGATION
SK Innovation will pay $1.8B to LG Energy Solution to settle an EV battery IP lawsuit. The settlement avoids a 10y import ban on SK’s batteries and helps Ford and VW prevent vehicle launch issues.
Toyota recalled just over 279k Venza crossovers from 2009-2015 over potentially damaged wires that could cause the airbag sensor to malfunction.
This week, a German court ruled that Volkswagen must fully compensate customers who took out loans to buy diesel cars fitted with emissions-cheating devices.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Intel is in talks with semiconductor designers to begin producing automotive chips. Production would start in the next 6 to 9 months to alleviate the current shortage.
Israel’s REE Automotive announced a partnership with Magna to introduce a fully Modular Electric Vehicle. The venture will combine REE’s flat “skateboard” EV platform with Magna’s vehicle systems integration experience.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Advent Technology, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory announced a partnership this past week. The group is collaborating to introduce high-temperature proton exchange membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells. These cells convert hydrogen and other renewable fuels into electricity.
PLANT DISASTER
Renesas will restart production at its fire shuttered facility next week. Press reports expect normal production levels to return in late June.
PLANT EXPANSION
GS Yuasa will expand to double its production for HV lithium-ion batteries. They will build a second plant near and add additional capacity to their Blue Energy facility in Kyoto, Japan.
PLANT OPENING
Taiwanese electronics supplier Pegatron plans to build a new plant in El Paso, Texas, to supply components to Tesla.
Japan’s Nidec will open a new factory in Novi Sad in Serbia. The factory will produce EV motors.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
Ford is extending production cuts at plants that make the F-150 for two more weeks amid the ongoing semiconductor shortage. The automaker’s Chicago, IL, and Flat Rock, MI plants, and the F-150 and transit van lines at its Kansas City, MO plant, will be shut down the weeks of April 19 and 26.
Hyundai suspended production for two days at its Asan plant in South Korea due to the semiconductor supply chain issues. The company had avoided the shortage so far by maintaining a stockpile of chips.
GM idled its Delta Township, Michigan plant this week due to the semiconductor shortage.
REGULATION
President Biden met with CEOs from chip-affected manufacturers earlier this week. His $50B plan for semiconductor manufacturing and research has bipartisan support.
NHTSA has opened a new probe into Joyson’s (formerly Takata) airbags. The cushions may have been incorrectly folded and prevent deployment.
NHTSA is also investigating a potential malfunction with an airbag indicator light affecting nearly 750K GM trucks.
RISK ANALYTICS
A lead strategist from the Bank of China projects that China’s use of copper in EVs will increase fivefold by 2025. Head of global commodities strategy, Fu Xiao, says demand could reach around 540k tonnes in 2025, up from 110k tonnes in 2020.
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