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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #61 - April 6 - 12, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

April 13 · Issue #61 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Volkswagen has replaced CEO Matthias Mueller with its core brand head Herbert Diess. The also announced a new management structure they say will enable faster decision making as autonomous and electric cars transform the industry.
HUMAN CAPITAL
It is hard to grow when you can’t hire people. Engineering shortages are affecting suppliers like Varroc Lighting Systems.
LITIGATION
Ford is recalling 350,000 trucks and SUVs in North America due to potential transmission problems that could cause the car to be in a different gear than the one shown on the shift indicator.
“Collision Avoidance System” vs “Collision Mitigation System”?
Communicating the capabilities and limitations of autonomous vehicles are key to avoiding litigation. But from a liability perspective, nothing has changed - suppliers still take the majority of the risk.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Tenneco is acquiring Federal-Mogul for $5.4b from billionaire investor Carl Icahn. The deal is poised to create two separate publicly traded companies with one focused on aftermarket parts and the other on powertrain technology.
Kumho Tire has been acquired by Chinese competitor Qingdao Doublestar. They will purchase a leading 45% stake for $605m and have agreed to not sell the shares for three years. 
Key Safety Systems has completed their acquisition of Takata for $1.6B. The deal was financed with help from Key’s parent company Ningbo Joyson Electronics and two outside investors.
Changan Automobile Company is forming a JV with Tencent to develop an internet of vehicles platform (IoV). They will also conduct big data analysis in facial recognition and driver drowsiness detection technologies.
Valeo and Docomo will jointly develop products and solutions that will offer new mobility services for connected cars. The focus will be on 5G and V2X (Vehicle to everything) communication technologies.
PLANT CLOSING
South Korea has declared the city of Gunsan an “industrial crisis zone” in the wake of GM’s plans to shutter its plant there. The central bank also offered $37m in aid to the region a couple weeks back.
PLANT DISASTER
A fire, destroying a storage building, at Kasai North America’s Prattville, Alabama plant has been ruled an arson. The plastics facility produces interior trim parts.
PLANT OPENING
Nissan is planning to build a new battery recycling and refurbishing plant in the former exclusion zone near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that suffered a meltdown in 2011. The plant will be built and run by 4R Energy, a JV between Nissan and Sumitomo.
BMW is opening a new autonomous driving research lab in Unterschleissheim, Germany near its Munich headquarters. The facility will employ 1,800 and will focus entirely on autonomous driving research.
HD map provider HERE Technologies has opened a new self-driving car R&D center in Boulder, Colorado. The site will be used a testing location for proof of concepts, work with production-ready methods and putting the technology into the market.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Silicon Valley-based LIDAR producer Luminar has announced that they have drastically increased their production in addition to lowering the cost of each unit produced to $3. They say they now have the capacity to equip every self-driving car on the road by the end of the year.
RAW MATERIALS
While lithium prices have been high since 2016, they are expected to decline in 2019 as supply levels outpace demand.
REGULATION
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced this week that his government will “significantly lower” tariffs on vehicle imports this year. 
The center of NAFTA negotiation sticking points: % of Automotive Content. The US has softened its proposal to 75% from an initial 85%. The current qualifications for tariff-free trade are 62.5% sourced from NAFTA countries.
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