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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #68 - May 25 - 31, 2018


Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

June 1 · Issue #68 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

FCA is recalling 490,000 vehicles in Canada and another 4.8 million in the US over a software issue that can prevent drivers from deactivating cruise control. The automaker is warning drivers not to use the feature until the software updates have been applied.
As a part of their partnership in India, Toyota will begin building Suzuki cars at its plant in India. This works well for both sides since Toyota’s plant is only utilizing 30% of its capacity while Suzuki’s is fully utilized.
European Uber rival Taxify raised $175m in a funding round led by Daimler. The investment secured the company a $1b valuation, putting it into the ranks of Europe’s unicorn companies.
Japan’s SoftBank will invest $2.25B into GM’s Cruise self-driving car subsidiary. The investment gives SoftBank a 19.6% stake in Cruise.
GM’s Gunsan, South Korea plant closed for good yesterday. Around 600 workers of the plant’s 2,000 that did not accept severance packages will move to other plants or go on unpaid leave for up to three years while being given the chance to fill vacancies at other plants.
BMW Brilliance has started construction on an expansion of its newest battery plant in Shenyang, China. Once completed, the plant will produce new, more powerful batteries for the fifth generation of BMW eDrive.
Hyundai has announced a $388m expansion of their assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama. The expansion will upgrade tech in their engine shop, add engine head machining capabilities and create 50 new jobs.
Seating supplier Adient has opened a new plant in Kenitra, Morocco. Production begins at the end of the month and will focus on fabric lamination.
Mahindra has opened a new vehicle assembly plant in Durban, South Africa. The facility has an annual capacity of 2500 vehicles and will enter full production in July.
FAW-Volkswagen will open three new plants in China this summer. The new plants located in the cities of Qingdao, Tianjin and Foshan will build electric vehicles and SUVs.
AkzoNobel has started production at its new, $45m powder coatings plant in Changzhou, China. The plant is AkzoNobel’s largest and one of the largest of its kind in the world.
As a response to declining auto sales in 2017, Nissan is cutting its North American production by up to 20%. The cuts will not affect jobs and are expected to wrap up by the fall when the new redesigned Altima sedan launches.
PSA Group is increasing and reallocating some of its European production capacity in order to meet higher demand for SUVs. The automaker recently introduced 11 new SUV and crossover models.
After several months of declines, British auto production rose 5.2% in April. 
As prices for cobalt soar, Panasonic has announced their intent to develop cobalt-free car batteries. The head of their automotive battery business, Kenji Tamura, has said that they have “…already cut down cobalt usage substantially.”.
As of yesterday, the US has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico. The rates are a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum.
The EPA has sent the White House its proposed new fuel economy standards for review. No immediate details are available and the EPA says they will not comment while the proposed changes are under review.
Is President Trump aiming to ban Mercedes-Benz and other German luxury cars in the US? A report from a German newspaper says that the President said as much in a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron.
In an unusual move, Tesla flew six planes of robots and equipment from Europe to California late last week in an effort to speed up battery production for its Model 3.
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