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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #63 - April 20 - 26, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

April 27 · Issue #63 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

EARNING DIP
GM’s first quarter operating profits and net income dropped by 27% and 59%, respectively, compared to last year. The drops are being attributed mostly to planned plant downtime and the automakers’ restructuring in Korea.
HUMAN CAPITAL
Amid falling sales of more than a third so far in 2018, Nissan will be cutting hundreds of jobs at its Sunderland assembly for the “short-term”. The Unite union says they have been assured that job reductions will be done “on a voluntary basis and on enhanced terms”.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Ford is moving ahead with plans to stop producing most of its passenger cars in North America to focus on its much more profitable trucks and SUVs. The only cars they will continue to produce are the Mustang and the new Chinese-built Focus Active crossover.
LABOR DISPUTE
GM Korea reached a tentative deal with its labor union early this week, averting talks of filing for bankruptcy. The union had to accept concessions on pay, bonuses and benefits.
LITIGATION
Honda says that there are over 60,000 people still driving their vehicles that have Takata airbags affected by the recall.
Volkswagen Canada is recalling another 3,339 vehicles as part of the ever expanding Takata airbag recall. The affected vehicles are Passats from model years 2016 and 2017.
Audi is recalling 1.2m cars over faulty electric coolant pumps that can overheat and potentially cause a fire. The recall covers four vehicles within the 2013-2017 model years.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Chinese online retailer Alibaba is teaming up with Daimler, Audi and Volvo to implement home-to-vehicle communication technology in new vehicles. The system allows users to operate their car’s door locks, a/c systems and more from a remote location.
Geely and Aisin are forming a new JV in China for manufacturing 6-speed automatic transmissions and components. The $117m facility will start production in 2020 with a production capacity of 400,000 transmission per year.
LG is acquiring automotive light maker ZKW for $1.3b. The acquisition is part of their plan to develop new lighting tech for self-driving cars and increase their market share in the automotive components market.
Saint-Gobain has purchased a 50% stake in JJG’s flat glass production line in Shandong, China. The acquisition will allow Saint-Gobain to almost double its production of basic glass in China.
PLANT OPENING
Autocar has officially opened its new $120m heavy-duty truck plant in Birmingham, Alabama. Once it reaches full production, the plant will employ around 746 workers.
Precision turned parts supplier Paul Bippus Gmbh is investing $16.1m into its first US plant in Summerville, South Carolina. The 42,000sf plant will create around 45 new jobs for the area.
Voestalpine has started construction on the first steel-making plant in Europe in 40 years. Construction on the $475m plant is expected to take three years and create up to 1,000 jobs.
Wiring system supplier Leoni has opened a new plant in Nis, Serbia, its third in the country. The 215,278sf plant is making wiring harnesses for a “premium carmaker” and currently employs 1,200.
RAW MATERIALS
Despite the increased focus on electric vehicles, IHS Markit reports that strong demand for oil will continue through 2020.
REGULATION
A new study from the Ann Arbor, MI based Center for Automotive Research suggests that tougher NAFTA auto origin rules would be likely to hurt US sales and exports.
RISK ANALYTICS
Data from the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s April Manufacturing Survey results show that manufacturing is pressing on despite trade and tariff uncertainty. The “Selected Comments” section is worth reading.
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