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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #56 - March 2 - 8, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

March 9 · Issue #56 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Bo Andersson was named President and CEO of Yazaki North and Central America, replacing Yutaka Inagaki.
Cadillac has named former Chrysler marketing exec Deborah Wahl as its new global chief marketing officer. She is replacing Uwe Ellinghaus, who left Cadillac at the end of last year.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Chinese EV startup SF Motors have begun testing their autonomous vehicle technology on roads in Michigan and California. They will introduce their first vehicle later this month.
LABOR DISPUTE
Workers at ZF-TRW in Windsor, Ontario, Canada are on strike after they voted against a tentative agreement reached over the weekend. The plant produces transmission and chassis systems.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Toyota, Denso, and Aisin Seiki are investing a combined $2.8b into a new joint venture that will create software for self-driving cars. The new venture will be based in Tokyo and initially employ 300 people. 
Despite earlier reports to the contrary, it turns out that Chinese automaker Geely tried to acquire FCA for $22b last spring.
GKN may be nearing a deal to acquire Dana Incorporated within the next couple weeks according to sources for Reuters.
Continental is forming a new JV with China’s CITC Ltd. to produce “mild” hybrid batteries that simply add electric power to existing cars that run on gasoline. They are still considering making systems with solid-state battery cells, but will wait for more advances to be made.
Denso is raising its stake in Renesas, a semiconductor manufacturer. The move to 5% ownership centers around autonomous vehicle control systems.
PLANT DISASTER
After declaring force majeure over fears of water contamination last week, Norwegian aluminum maker Hydro has only been able to run their Para, Brazil alumina refinery at 50% capacity. They are still unable to set a date for a return to full production.
PLANT OPENING
Constellium has opened a new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico that will supply aluminum crash management systems and structural components to automakers. The 54,000sf facility plans to employ 100 by 2019 and may eventually expand to 140,000sf to adapt to future demand.
Borgwarner has opened a new 70,000sf plant in Rayong, Thailand. The plant will make turbochargers.
SAF-Holland will build a new factory in Yangzhou, China. The plant will manufacture suspension systems and axles.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
Jaguar Land Rover had to stop production at its Solihull plant earlier this week due to a water pipe burst. The break was repaired by the following day.
Volkswagen will idle production at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant for two weeks this spring in response to slowing sales of its Passat sedan. The first week will consist of retooling, while the second week will be a complete shutdown.
Ford will idle its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI from May to October for retooling. The closure will temporarily lay off 2,000 hourly workers as the plant gets prepped to build the 2019 Ranger.
REGULATION
President Trump is following through with tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum. The deal will go into effect in 14 days and initially apply to all countries except Canada and Mexico.
President Trump is facing plenty of pushback from the auto industry over his tariff threats and talk of a trade war with Europe. “Tariffs are not good for anybody,” said Ford Europe head Steven Armstrong.
RISK ANALYTICS
Worth the read: National Law Review published an automotive sector summary of the section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.
SUPPLY CHAIN
US freight volatility is increasing as the number of truck drivers is down and automotive production increases. 
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