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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #34 - September 29 - October 5, 2017

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

October 6 · Issue #34 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

BANKRUPTCY
Michigan automotive leather manufacturer, GST AutoLeather, will reorganize under Chapter 11. Normal operations will continue through the process as the company pursues a “363 Sale” that is aimed to allow them to exit Chapter 11.
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Castings PLC said Monday that Mark Lewis has decided to step down as head of CNC Speedwell Ltd, the company’s truck and automotive components manufacturing unit.
With the recent departure of their CEO and now the loss of their award winning marketing chief, Opel may have a hard time maintaining their brand identity.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
The EU is looking to kickstart domestic battery development and production. Next week EU auto manufacturers are meeting in Brussels to discuss creation of a consortium. The aim is to create a cradle to grave value chain to compete with Asia and the US.
LABOR DISPUTE
GM and Unifor remain far apart in settling the strike at GM’s CAMI plant in Ontario. Unifor Local 88’s president Dan Borthwick said that GM’s latest contract offer “did not address our issues” and added that “there is little progress being made”. 
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
BMW is looking for one more automaker to join it’s autonomous driving partnership to establish critical mass. Existing partners include FCA, Mobileye, Continental and Delphi.
High Road Capital Partners has finalized their sale of The Crown Group to PPG. 
Great Wall Motor Co. is investing $28m into Pilbara Mineral’s Pilgangoora lithium mining operation in Western Australia.
PLANT CLOSING
The last two automakers producing cars in Australia are set to close this month. Toyota will shut down their Altona plant this week putting 2,500 out of work. Holden will close its Adelaide plant on October 20, putting 944 out of work.
Honda is closing its Sayama assembly plant by 2022 in order to refocus their manufacturing toward EVs. Workers will transfer to the nearby Yorii plant and other domestic plants.
Pittsburgh Glass Works says “a combination of difficult realities” could lead to a 2018 closing of its Creighton plant in East Deer, Pennsylvania. The facility is one of the company’s eight automotive glass manufacturing plants in the United States.
Firestone announced the closing of the Woodstock, Ontario plant by the end of 2018. The textile plant produces cord material for automobile tires.
PLANT DISASTER
An explosion was reported at the Eastman Chemical Plant in Kingsport, Tennessee. Eastman said a “process upset” occurred in the area of the plant dealing with coal gasification. The location produces plasticizers and ester alcohol used in automotive coatings.
PLANT EXPANSION
Panasonic plans to start producing automotive lithium-ion batteries at its Himeji, Japan LCD panel plant. They are aiming to start production by April 2019.
PLANT OPENING
Lear has broken ground on a new plant in Flint, MI. The plant is being constructed on the former site of the Buick City complex and will be the first major automotive plant constructed in Flint in more than 30 years.
Hella will open a second electronics plant near Mehsana in 2019. This is in addition to a new lightning tech development center in Coimbatore, India.
Canadian Hematite will open its US HQ and its first US plant in Englewood, Ohio in 2018. The company produces acoustics and air / water management components with recycled materials.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
German steelmaker Salzgitter will build a new hot dip galvanizing line to increase its production of steel used for the auto industry. The new line will begin operating in the second half of 2020 and have an annual capacity of 500,000 metric tonnes.
REGULATION
Auto suppliers that invested heavily in R&D to meet CAFE standards are opposed to the Trump administration’s promise to roll back environmental regulations.
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