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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #26 - August 5-11, 2017

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

August 11 · Issue #26 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

​CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Xu Liuping, former head of China Changan Automobile, has taken over as chairman of the China FAW Group. To turn FAW around, he’ll need to rebuild the company’s management team and streamline operations.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Continental CFO Wolfgang Schaefer thinks that German automakers may only have about six more years of internal combustion engine development before they focus fully on alternatives.
Mazda will release the first ever commercial version of a compression ignition engine in 2019. The new engine is 20-30% more efficient than their current engines and uses technology that has eluded their deeper-pocketed rivals.
GM is gearing up to expand its Maven Gig car sharing service for gig economy workers into Boston, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Detroit. The program is aimed at drivers for apps like Uber and Grubhub that don’t own a vehicle.
Despite Elon Musk’s declaration that more than half of US auto production will be electric in 10 years and recent EV announcements from top automakers, several of the world’s top auto suppliers aren’t buying all the hype of electric vehicles.  
LABOR DISPUTE
Employees at Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi plant have voted nearly 2-to-1 against joining the UAW.
LITIGATION
Takata has asked a federal judge to suspend lawsuits against automakers that were brought by people injured by its faulty airbag inflators. They say litigation would distract from completing the company’s sale to Key Safety Systems and could threaten the supply of replacement airbag inflators.
Korean automakers are threatening to leave Korea if the Korean Metal Workers Union wins its lawsuit against Kia alleging that it owes union members billions of won in back pay.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
PSA Group completed its takeover of Opel and Vauxhall from GM on August 1.
Nissan will sell its Lithium Ion battery subsidiary to GSR, a Chinese investment firm. The sale might ruffle regulatory feathers in the US on the transfer of sensitive technologies. Chinese firms are responding to the governmental push for a huge increase in domestic Electric Vehicle production.
Toyota, along with Intel, Denso and other technology and auto companies are forming a consortium to create an ecosystem for big data used in connected cars.
PLANT CLOSING
Adient is closing their Recaro seat assembly plant in Auburn Hills, MI and moving production to its Bridgewater Interiors joint venture plant in Detroit. The move will affect 129 employees.
GE closed down their 71 year old automotive lighting facility in Mattoon, Illinois this week, laying off around 130 employees.
PLANT OPENING
Electric car startup Faraday Future has signed a lease on a 1m sf building in Hanford, CA. COO Stefan Krause says the new site is a “major step forward” after a year of exec. departures, lawsuits from suppliers, and an impending cash drought.
French car maker Renault will open a factory in Iran that would produce 150,000 cars a year.
RAW MATERIAL COSTS
The weak dollar and Chinese manufacturing activity have boosted copper prices to their highest levels since 2014.
REGULATION
Amid the North Korea threat, the US will delay opening an intellectual property probe on China.
The UK’s Department of Transport has issued cybersecurity guidelines for manufacturers of smart or connected cars.
SUPPLY CHAIN
Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas are in a race to become the next big automotive supply chain hub. The states are competing to become the site for the Toyota / Mazda assembly plant.
Toyota’s venture with Mazda will redraw the supply chain, depending on where the plant is located. With an estimated 4,000 people producing 300,000 vehicles, the plant will have a far reaching impact shifting programs, parts and borders.
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