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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #293 - September 16 - 22, 2022

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

September 23 · Issue #293 · View online

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


BANKRUPTCY
Flying car startup Kittyhawk, backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, is closing its doors.
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Mahle named Arnd Franz as CEO and Markus Kapaun as CFO. Kapaun succeeds Michael Frick, who will become CFO of ZF Friedrichshafen on December 1. Mahle has had three CEOs in the past two years, not including many interim appointments.
After an inventory build-up of 45k unfinished vehicles, Ford is changing up its supply chain leadership. Its CFO, John Lawler, will manage Ford’s global supply chain operations. Ford also expanded Doug Fields’ role naming him chief advanced product development and technology officer.
DISASTER
The Mexican state of Michoacán was rocked by two earthquakes this week: a 7.6-magnitude quake on Monday and a 6.8 quake on Thursday. The seismic activity caused one death on Monday and two on Thursday.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
GM released a series of joint recommendations with the Environmental Defense Fund this week to ensure that at least 50% of new vehicles sold by 2023 are zero-emission.
LABOR DISPUTE
Automakers may feel more supply chain pressures as dock workers in Liverpool, UK, started a strike this week that will last until October 3. Despite recent pay increases, workers are looking for further additions to match inflation. Additionally, workers at the Port of Felixstowe in the UK plan to strike on Sunday, September 25.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
BorgWarner has acquired the EV charging business of China’s Hubei Surpass Sun Electric (SSE) for $58.4M.
OPENING
Chinese EV battery maker Gotion is looking to build a $3.6B plant in Big Rapids, Michigan. The plant would initially create 500 jobs and later expand to up to 2k within the next ten years.
Tokai Carbon is planning to build a new carbon black production plant in Rayong, Thailand. Construction on the $268M plant will begin in July 2023 and be completed by April 2025.
MAHLE is investing $4M into a new powertrain dynamometer facility in Plymouth, Michigan. The facility will focus on testing and developing powertrains for electric vehicles.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
As the chip shortage continues, Toyota says it will again make cuts to its global production plan. The automaker said it would cut production by 100k vehicles in October and 50k in November.
Honda is also cutting production this October by 40% at its Suzuka plant and 30% at its Saitama facility.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Stellantis is upping EV and HEV transmission production at its Mirafiori plant in Italy.
RAW MATERIALS
With EV sales on the rise, lithium prices in China have tripled in the past year.
RECALLS
Mercedes-Benz recalled 166k 2020-22 GLE and GLS vehicles due to a manufacturing defect that can cause the trim bars on the rear door window to detach.
Tesla recalled 1.1M vehicles in the US due to windows that can pinch a person’s fingers when rolled up. The problem stems from an automatic window reversal system that may not react correctly after detecting an obstruction.
RISK ANALYTICS
A new forecast from AutoForecast Solutions predicted that the microchip shortage would cause automakers to cut production by 48k vehicles in North America and China this week. Around 28k will come out of North America, with the rest coming from China.
SUPPLY CHAIN
Though only Ford warned of increased costs this week, auto industry suppliers are raising prices to their customers across the board.
Ford has an inventory of between 40k-45k SUVs and pickups sitting unfinished due to being unable to source all the needed parts. The automaker added that shortages and rising prices of supplies would cost it an extra $1B this quarter.
VW reportedly has enough natural gas reserves to run its plants into the spring of 2023. Recent Russian pipeline stoppages have heightened the risk of gas shortages halting production.
Cobalt producer Electra Battery Materials has signed a deal to provide LG Energy Solution with 7k tons of battery-grade cobalt from 2023-2025. The material will be supplied from North America’s only cobalt sulfate refinery located north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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