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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #220 - April 23 - 29, 2021

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

April 30 · Issue #220 · View online

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


CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Renault has hired one of Apple’s Siri voice assistant inventors as its new chief scientific officer. Luc Julia will oversee R&D and technologies such as AI, man-machine interfaces, connectivity, and software at the automaker.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
New Honda CEO Toshiro Mibe said late last week that the automaker aims for a 100% electric vehicle lineup by 2040.
LITIGATION
German prosecutors have charged another 15 VW executives for involvement in the diesel emissions scandal. None of the charged execs have been named.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Switzerland’s Sika AG is acquiring automotive adhesive supplier Hamatite. This move will allow Hamatite’s current parent company, Yokohama Rubber Co., to focus on its existing core business.
Ford is considering using VW’s MEB platform for a second model to be launched in Europe.
PLANT CLOSING
Toyoda Gosei is pulling out of the UK, closing its plants in Swansea and Rotherham. The company “does not foresee growth of its business” in the UK.
Grammer AG is closing its Toledo Molding and Die auto component plant in Jefferson, Ohio. Eighty-nine people will be put out of work by the closure.
PLANT DISASTER
Stellantis confirmed the death of a crane operator at the Sterling Heights, Michigan stamping plant. Police stated the accident involved the shifting weight of a press.
PLANT EXPANSION
Toyota is expanding its Princeton, Indiana plant to build two new SUVs.
PLANT OPENING
VW began the construction of its Anhui plant in China. The facility will produce VW’s MEB electric car platform.
Opel is planning for its battery plant in Kaiserslautern, Germany, to supply 500k vehicles a year. Automotive Cells Company is a JV between Stellantis and Total.
Ford announced Ion Park, a new battery development facility in Michigan.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
An outbreak of COVID-19 has shut down Toyotetsu’s facility in Simcoe, Ontario. The plant’s 1.2k employees produce brake pedals, radiator supports, hood locks, and rear axle beams for Toyota Canada.
Semiconductor Shortage:
  • Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico plant will stop producing the Bronco Sport from May 3-17 due to microchip shortages.
  • Stellantis’ Melfi plant in Italy will pause from May 3-10.
  • Honda is suspending production at two plants in Saitama and one in Suzuka, Japan, for 5-6 days in May. The shutdown is due to the ongoing chip shortage.
  • Though it’s been able to avoid it for months, BMW is shutting its Oxford, England Mini plant for three days. The company is also reducing shifts at its Regensburg, Germany factory.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
The semiconductor shortage is also forcing Mitsubishi to drop global production by 16k vehicles in May.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is investing $2.8B to increase the production of automotive semiconductors in China. The investment will add new production lines at the company’s existing plant in Nanjing, China.
Taiwan chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp. will invest $3.59B over the next three years to increase production capacity at its plant in Tainan City, Taiwan.
REGULATION
The EMMA told the US Senate that auto suppliers oppose a firm date to end sales of gas-powered vehicles.
The EPA this week released a formal notice asking for public comment as it considers restoring California’s waiver to mandate its vehicle emissions standards.
The UK announced this week that it would be the first country to regulate the use of self-driving vehicles at slow speeds on motorways. The first such vehicles could appear on public roads as soon as this year.
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