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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #58 - March 16 - 22, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

March 23 · Issue #58 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Two Ford executives, based in Silicon Valley, have elected to leave the company. No explanations were provided for the departures of Musa Tariq and Raj Rao.
GM is promoting John Roth to president and managing director of GM Africa and Middle East operations. He is the current VP of GM Canada Marketing, Sales and Service. He will succeed Mario Spangenberg, who will retire July 1, 2018.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Ford is launching a new service called Ready.Shop.Go that will allow customers to buy their car online. The program rolls out for a few Midwestern states this month with a nationwide launch planned by the end of the year.
Siemens PLM Sotware is teaming with Hackrod to develop a platform that will allow consumers and enterprises alike to engineer and design cars in virtual reality. Using Siemens’ software, Hackrod will create the world’s first 3D printed car designed in virtual reality and engineered with AI.
Boston-based startup Affectiva is launching a new Automotive AI software that will monitor the alertness of drivers with the goal of reducing car accidents. 
LITIGATION
Uber is putting the brakes on its autonomous vehicle testing after a woman was struck and killed by one in Tempe, AZ earlier this week. It is believed to be the first death caused by autonomous vehicle testing.
In the wake of Uber’s autonomous car related fatality in Tempe, AZ, Toyota has announced that they are temporarily suspending their own public road testing of autonomous vehicles. The decision only affects testing in the US and Toyota has not said when testing will resume.
The US Dept. of Labor has filed a lawsuit against car battery maker East Penn Manufacturing over alleged violations of overtime laws. The suit is aiming to recover tens of millions in back wages and damages for employees.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Blackberry has partnered with Jaguar to supply its QNX platform for autonomous vehicles.
Chassix has completed the acquisition of Benteler Automotive’s aluminum casting business in Farsund, Norway. The acquisition is part of Chassix’s strategy to vertically integrate in Europe. 
Seating supplier Adient is forming a new JV with textile supplier Arvind to make automotive fabrics in India. 
PLANT EXPANSION
Lear Corporation has expanded its automotive seating structures plant in Valenca, Portugal. The plant size was increased by 118,000sf and employs 300 people.
PLANT OPENING
ExxonMobil is planning to a build a new plastics plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast to meet rising demand in Asia. The plant is expected to open by 2021 and will have an annual capacity of 450,000 tons.
Ficosa has opened a new plant in Rabat, Morocco to build automotive vision systems. The 12,000sm plant will employ around 700 people.
RAW MATERIALS
Glencore, the world’s biggest producer of cobalt, agreed to sell a third of its output to China’s GEM. Expected supply shortages of cobalt have fueled a rally that has put prices to $39 a lb, from near $10 a lb in January 2016.
REGULATION
President Trump announced that the US is imposing tariffs on as much as $60b worth of Chinese goods. On top of the tariffs, the Treasury Department will restrict Chinese investments in American Tech companies.
New regulations for vehicles sold in Canada will require automakers to design lighting systems that automatically activate exterior lights in low visibility conditions. The regulations will go into effect starting in 2021.
SUPPLY CHAIN
Tesla Inc. is reaching a make-or-break point in getting its automotive supply chain up to speed. Reaching a production goal of 5,000 Model 3s a week is crucial to provide needed cash to operate.
New trials have shown that blockchain technology will help reduce the costs of shipping for automotive suppliers by streamlining the process. 
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