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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #72 - June 22 - 28, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

June 29 · Issue #72 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
According to a new study from AAA, Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are marginally less distracting for drivers than many stock infotainment systems in new vehicles. Despite these findings, the study still found that using any systems while driving is rarely safe.
LABOR DISPUTE
LITIGATION
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the risk of non-collision fires in some Kia and Hyundai vehicles. The agency says they have received 402 complaints regarding collision and non-collision fires involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Jaguar Land Rover will invest $18b over the next three years towards their goal of offering electrified versions of all its nameplates. The automaker will add “electrified elements” to every vehicle it launches starting in 2020, though some may just be hybrids as opposed to full-electric.
BP is buying the largest EV charging network in the UK, Chargemaster. Chargemaster currently runs a network of over 6,500 EV charging points and also sells and maintains the charging units.
DENSO Korea Electronics Corporation, DENSO Korea Automotive Corporation and DENSO International Korea Corporation are being combined to operate as DENSO Korea Corporation.
GM has struck up a partnership with Vietnamese rival VinFast that will see the company becoming the exclusive distributor for Chevrolet vehicles in Vietnam. VinFast will also launch a new global small car licensed from GM next year that they will manufacture and sell under their brand.
PLANT EXPANSION
Chery Jaguar Land Rover is expanding its plant in Changshu, China to increase production capacity so they can meet rising demand in China. The expansion will boost annual capacity by 70,000 vehicles.
Denso Air Systems Michigan Inc is building a 48,000sf addition to its Hopkinsville facility in Kentucky. The production increases will expand aluminum HVAC pipes, tubes and hose assemblies.
Unipres is investing $40m into an expansion at their plant in Steele, Alabama. The expansion will add new hot stamping equipment and create 70 new jobs.
PLANT OPENING
British automotive engineering company Cosworth has opened a new $50m, 60,000sf manufacturing plant in Shelby Township, Michigan. The plant will employ 30 production workers, around 100 engineers, scientists, and programmers and is producing V-8 cylinder heads.
Canadian plastic auto parts supplier Hematite has opened their new $19m, 106,000sf facility in Englewood, Ohio. The company’s top officials also announced an additional $6m investment into the facility by 2021.
Grupo Antolin has opened its new 366,000sf plant in Shelby Township, Michigan. The plant is producing door panels and roof systems for new Dodge Ram vehicles.
LyondellBasell is opening a new JV polypropylene manufacturing plant in Ulsan, South Korea. The plant will start operations in 2021 and have a capacity of 400,000 tons per year.
Mercedes-Benz is close to completing construction on a new engine plant in Jawor, Poland. The plant will make engines for hybrid and conventional vehicles, will employ 1,000 people, and will begin production by the end of 2019.
Volkswagen has opened Rwanda’s first ever car assembly plant in the city Kigali. VW is planning to both sell vehicles in Rwanda and neighboring regions and use them as part of an Uber-like car-sharing system.
Chinese EV maker BYD Co. is building what will become the world’s largest vehicle battery factory when it reaches full production next year. The plant will be larger than 10m sf and have an annual capacity of 24 gigawatt-hours.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
Volkswagen says it will shut down its Wolfsburg, Germany plant 1-2 days a week between August and September due to issues with a new engines emissions test cycle. The test cycle has resulted in higher CO2 readings, delaying road certification and sales.
REGULATION
According to a company executive, BMW would close its British factories that make Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles if Brexit causes serious supply chain disruptions.
Canada is lobbying the Big Three to push back on Trump’s proposed auto tariffs. Last week, Trade Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne met with senior officials from GM and FCA in Detroit and visited a Ford plant in Windsor as part of the effort.
Toyota says that the cost of America’s best-selling car, the Camry, would go up by $1,800 if Trump makes good on his threat to enforce 25% tariffs on auto imports.
China announced that it will ease limits placed on foreign investment in the auto industry. Currently, caps are set at 50% for investments and joint ventures.
Publicly visible applications for tariff exemptions from US manufacturers are exposing competitive information.
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