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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #64 - April 27 - May 3, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

May 4 · Issue #64 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

EARNING DIP
After a strong March, auto sales slowed in April amid higher gas and diesel prices.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
A new study from Capgemini says that the automotive industry could see up to $160b in annual productivity gains by 2023 if they adopt smart factory technologies
LABOR DISPUTE
Playing hardball or harsh reality? Lear stated it will close its Ajax, Ontario, Canada seating plant in response to an ongoing strike by workers.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
George Thanopoulos, former CEO of Metaldyne, is partnering with private equity firm KPS Capital for a new automotive supplier called Autokiniton Global Group. The new company will acquire metal stamper L&W Inc., which has 23 facilities across Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.
Automakers and suppliers, including GM, BMW, ZF and IBM, have formed a new consortium dedicated to developing blockchain technologies for automotive uses. The group will be led by Chris Ballinger, who recently left his role as CFO at the Toyota Research Institute.
PLANT DISASTER
Chin-Poon Industrial, a Taiwan-based PCB maker, suffered a deadly fire damaging two of its factories. The PCB maker specializes in the automotive applications and estimates that 15% of its revenue will be affected by the disaster. There are two other older factories on the site that were not affected by the blaze.
A fire broke out at the Meridian Magnesium Products plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday, injuring 2 workers and setting off a series of explosions. Around 150 workers were evacuated and fortunately no one was seriously injured.
PLANT EXPANSION
Toyota is investing $170m into their Blue Springs, Mississippi plant for installing new production lines. The expansion will create 400 jobs over the next year.
Harman International has expanded its plant in Suzhou, China in an effort to optimize order handling and scheduling. The plant produces audio and connected car products.
Rubber product supplier Orotex is investing $10.3m to add 60,000sf to its plant in Novi, Michigan. The expansion is needed to accommodate future production that has already been booked and will create 60 jobs.
PLANT OPENING
Subaru celebrated the grand opening of its new North American headquarters in Camden, New Jersey late last week. The new site is double the size of the automaker’s previous headquarters and will consolidate employees from four sites into one.
Samvardhana Motherson Peguform has opened a new 700,000sf auto parts facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The plant will make products such as door panels, bumpers and roof spoilers for the nearby Mercedes-Benz plant.
Toyota is building a new closed-course automated vehicle testing center in Ottawa Lake, Michigan. The course will simulate real-world conditions as the automaker sets out to create “a human driven vehicle…incapable of causing a crash”.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
Failed negotiations between the Unifor union and Lear have halted production at FCA’s Brampton plant. The 320 Lear workers are on strike at Lear’s seating plant in Ajax, Canada. The plant supplied seats for the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger.
REGULATION
Russian automaker GAZ Group says that they may have to halt vehicle production in June due to US sanctions that have blocked the import of parts from the US, Germany and the Czech Republic. 
RISK ANALYTICS
Missy Cummings: Level 3 autonomy is the deadliest phase on our path of innovation, where a car hands over control back to a human.
SUPPLY CHAIN
As part of a plan to impose unprecedented security measures for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia is likely to cease importing most automotive components and spare parts from May 25 to July 25. Plans have yet to be finalized, but a source in Russia’s automotive industry said that automakers have been advised to build up stock now.
Ford is creating a new distribution service in China that will allow them to sell and service all of their vehicles sold in China regardless of where they are built and whether they are locally assembled or imported. The new division will replace the current Changan Ford sales company.
A vulnerability in industrial software used in manufacturing plants across the globe could give remote attackers the ability to disrupt plant operations. Users of Schneider Electric’s InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition are being urged to update the software immediately.
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