Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #261 - February 4 - 10, 2022

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

February 11 · Issue #261 · View online

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


CLOSING
Honda has reportedly ended vehicle production at its assembly plant in Sayama, Japan, as part of its shift to EV production. The plant will still produce some vehicle parts.
EXPANDING
Volvo will spend $1B to revamp its Torslanda plant in Sweden to produce EVs. As Volvo’s oldest and largest plant, it will begin mega-casting aluminum body parts. The process, also used by Tesla, creates less scrap with fewer component pieces.
LITIGATION
California is suing Tesla for “severe racism” at its Fremont assembly plant. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing reportedly received complaints from hundreds of workers who faced discrimination.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
The Faurecia and HELLA group rebranded as FORVIA.
OPENING
This week, Australian EV charger manufacturer Tritium announced that it would build a new plant in Lebanon, Tennessee, this year. The plant will reach a capacity of 30k chargers per year and employ 500 people over the next five years.
Volvo is teaming with battery maker Northvolt to open a new battery plant in Gothenburg, Sweden. The plant will create 3k jobs and open in 2025.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
GM is telling its suppliers that it is planning to increase its production of EVs six-fold this year.
Toshiba will invest around $1.09B into doubling its semiconductor production. The investment will see a new plant built in Japan and upgrades to existing plants.
RECALLS
Hyundai and Kia recalled nearly 485k vehicles in the US due to a problem with the ABS that can start a fire even when the car is not running.
Tesla recalled over 26k vehicles due to an issue with the windshield defroster software. An over-the-air software update will address the problem.
In its fourth recall in just two weeks, Tesla is focusing on 579k vehicles with the “Boombox” function that allows drivers to play sounds while the cars are moving. The NHTSA says the feature violates safety standards in its current form.
REGULATION
The White House is rolling out a plan to allocate $5B to states for funding EV charging stations. The investment is part of a planned $7.5B into the country’s EV charging network.
Last week, the US House passed a bill to ensure $45B of investment into a new “Supply Chains for Critical Manufacturing Industries” fund and $52B to support semiconductor production.
Foley & Lardner LLP break down the differences in interpretation of the USMCA’s rules of origin. The USMCA dispute panel should reach a decision around September 2022.
RISK ANALYTICS
We’ve been following Automotive News’ live updates of the U.S.-Canada bridge blockade.
Stellantis, GM, Ford, and Toyota have all halted or slowed production at some Michigan and Canadian plants due to the anti-vaccination “Freedom Convoy” protests happening near U.S.-Canadian border crossings in Michigan.
Blockade related parts shortages affected:
  • Stellantis Windsor and Brampton
  • GM Lansing Delta Township Assembly
  • Ford Windsor Engine Plant
  • Toyota Kentucky and Ontario
Automakers and suppliers are creatively exploring all options to keep plants running. Ford is flying in parts to its Windsor Essex engine plant. Magna is using other ports of entry into Canada and the US.
SHUTDOWN
Due to chip supply constraints, Ford is reducing or halting production at eight plants in North America next week.
SUPPLY CHAIN
Stellantis has updated its supplier terms to state that “all future events are deemed foreseeable” by a supplier and that the supplier must bear the cost if a supply disruption occurs. It also states suppliers must pass any cost savings on to the automaker.
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