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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #57 - March 9 - 15, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

March 16 · Issue #57 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Fred Diaz will become President, CEO and Chairperson of Mitsubishi North America.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
GM will invest $100m into two Michigan plants for production of its self-driving Chevy Bolt EV, dubbed the Cruise AV. Production of the new vehicle is expected to start in 2019. 
LABOR DISPUTE
Workers at Toyota’s parts distribution center in Torrance, CA have rejected the automaker’s latest contract offering. The Teamsters union representing the workers have authorized a strike if a settlement can’t be reached. 
ZF-TRW workers approved a new contract, ending a two day strike that shut down the FCA Windsor Assembly Plant. The plant produces minivans for FCA.
LITIGATION
A new class action lawsuit filed in Michigan this week alleges that GM, FCA, Volkswagen and Mercedes knew about defect in Takata airbag inflators years before recalling vehicles. Similar suits were also filed against Volkswagen and Daimler AG in Virginia and Georgia, respectively.
Ford is issuing a safety recall for 1.38m vehicles in North America over the possibility of steering wheels becoming loose or detached. The recall covers the 2014-2018 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ.
Federal prosecutors have charged a fifth person in the UAW-FCA training funds scandal: Keith Mickens, a former senior official in UAW’s FCA Department. 
A federal judge ruled this week that Mercedes-Benz must face the bulk of claims of a proposed class action lawsuit over allegedly defective heating, ventilation and A/C systems. The suit was brought by two car owners in Georgia who aim to represent a nationwide group of plaintiffs.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Confirmed: GKN will merge its Driveline division with US-based Dana in a deal worth $6.1b.
It looks like GM is planning to launch an ‘Airbnb’ like service for cars. Sources say that the automaker will launch a pilot program this summer that will allow GM vehicle owners to rent their cars to others while they are not using them.
PSA Groupe has entered a JV with Naza Automotive in Malaysia establishing shared operation of Naza’s assembly plant in Gurun, Malaysia. The plant, operational since 2004, will produce PSA branded cars for Malaysia and other markets in Southeast Asia.
Magna is investing $200m into Lyft as part of a multi-year partnership to develop self-driving cars. The vehicles will be Level 4, meaning they will operate without human intervention.
PLANT OPENING
Germany-based automotive interiors supplier MöllerTech is opening a new $46.3m plant in Woodstock, AL. The plant will make interior parts for new Mercedes SUVs and will provide around 222 jobs.
Spain’s Truck & Wheel Group has opened a new 127,000sf wheel assemblies plant in Vance, Alabama. The facility is the company’s first US facility.
Germany’s ElringKlinger will build a 60,000sf factory in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The facility will produce aluminum shielding systems for acoustic and thermal protection in passenger cars and commercial vehicles. 
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Volkswagen announced this week that they are going to massively increase production of electric vehicles worldwide. Currently producing electric vehicles at three locations, the automaker plans to produce EVs at 16 locations around the globe by 2022.
RAW MATERIALS
PPG Industries is raising prices for some coatings products for automotive OEM customers in the Americas. The price change will go into effect immediately or as contracts permit.
A study identifies a supply risk for lithium and cobalt by 2050. Researchers expect demand to be twice that of reserves.
REGULATION
An unprecedented joint inquiry by four committees of MPs (Members of Parliament) are calling for the car industry to pay millions of pounds to solve the UK’s toxic air crisis. They also say that the government must ban diesel and petrol cars sooner than the currently planned year of 2040.
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