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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #51 - January 26 - February 1, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

February 2 · Issue #51 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Ford China CEO Jason Luo has resigned from his position a mere 5 months after taking the job. The news comes less than a week after a disappointing annual earnings report that included declining sales in China.
MAHLE has appointed Dr. Jorg Stratmann as its new CEO, replacing Wolf-Henning Scheider. Scheider recently left the company to head ZF Friedrichshafen.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
The Renault-Mitsubishi-Nissan alliance was the top selling global automaker of 2017. The automaker dethroned Volkswagen, who has held the top spot for the last couple of years.
Mazda is developing a new internal combustion engine that they say will be as clean as an electric vehicle.
Will China’s electric vehicle mandate trigger a series of mergers in its fragmented industry?
Two Michigan researchers have been awarded a patent for a device that could help prevent passengers from experiencing motion sickness while riding in autonomous vehicles. 
As far as city planners are concerned, the era of autonomous cars and delivery vehicles is well underway. Planners in North America, Europe and Asia are designing streets with curbside drop-off and delivery areas while architects are laying out office and residential buildings with space for stacking packages and delivery lockers.
However, consumers are growing weary: “It’s 2018, so where are the self-driving cars?
LABOR DISPUTE
Around 68,000 IG Metall union workers in Germany continue to strike over their pay and working hours. They have had 24-hr strikes for the last two days and are calling for strikes to continue through the end of this week.
LITIGATION
German automakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are facing backlash after it came to light that the companies funded research that forced monkeys to breath toxic diesel fumes.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Mazda and Changan Automobile will form a 50-50 joint venture to develop electric vehicles. The first model, a small crossover, will be release in China by 2019.  
Cummins has acquired Johnson Matthey’s UK battery systems business that specializes in high-voltage automotive battery systems for EVs and hybrids. The two suppliers have also agreed to collaborate on the development of new battery materials.
Gestamp has signed a new JV with Beijing Hainachuan Automotive Parts that will increase their footprint in China by two new plants.
PLANT CLOSING
Jeep instrument panel supplier Toledo Molding and Die is closing their North Toledo, OH plant this spring, eliminating 120 jobs.The closure is a direct result of FCA’s decision to award the work on the next Jeep Wrangler to another supplier.
PLANT DISASTER
A fire caused explosions at TMK Ipsco Tubular Corp’s Koppel Steel Plant this past week. The cause of the fire at the Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania facility has not been released. The plant, which produces billet, had not reported any injuries.
PLANT OPENING
E-coating provider Tru-Tone Finishing is investing $4.6m into a new plant in Lexington, KY. The facility will employ 120 and is expected to begin operations this summer.
Nikola Motor Co. has chosen Phoenix, AZ for its new $1 billion hydrogen-fueled heavy-duty truck manufacturing plant. They will begin construction in 2019 with a goal to start production by 2021.
RAW MATERIALS
Copper prices are expected to rise due to a lack of production, declining grades and elevated strike risk. With few new mines planned, companies are growing capacity through acquisition.
REGULATION
Negotiators are making slow progress addressing disagreements in NAFTA talks. Mexico suggested, last Friday, that talks may be extend to an extra round at the end of February.
SUPPLY CHAIN
Automaker recalls cost $22.1b in 2016, a 26% increase over the previous year, according to a new study.
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