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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #74 - July 6 - July 12, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

July 13 · Issue #74 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
The UK is planning to boost spending on EV infrastructure starting with a $531m fund for companies that install EV charging points. Requirements for new street lights to have charging points in areas with on-street parking and a $53m program to test low cost wireless charging will also be introduced.
Toyota has launched a new car-sharing service in Honolulu that allows users to unlock and start cars with their smartphone to rent by the hour or the day. The service also tracks who uses car-sharing and when to help the automaker better manage its supply of cars.
LABOR DISPUTE
A small union representing some workers at FCA’s plant in Melfi, Italy has called a strike to protest the huge sums of money spent by the Juventus soccer club to sign soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus club is majority owned by Exor, the Agnelli family’s holding company that owns 30% of FCA.
LITIGATION
Germany’s top court has ruled that files seized from US law firm Jones Day in relation the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal can be reviewed by investigators.
Following a recent internal investigation, Nissan has announced that they altered exhaust emissions and fuel economy tests of new vehicles sold in Japan. This is the second recent scandal for the automaker following the recent discovery of improper inspections.
A U.S. Federal appeals court has upheld Volkswagen’s $10.03b settlement with the owners of around 500,000 polluting vehicles.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
ABB is acquiring Turkey’s AB Rotech. The acquisition will expand ABB’s automotive welding capabilities.
Honda is partnering with Panasonic to develop a detachable, portable lithium-ion battery to be used in cars, motorcycles, robots and other purposes. They will also develop tech that will allow the same battery to be used for multiple purposes.
BMW and Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors are starting a new 50:50 joint venture to build MINI EVs in China. The partners will build a new plant in the Jiangsu province as part of the deal.
Volkswagen has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s FAW Group and the China Intelligent and Connected Vehicles Research Institute regarding e-mobility, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies.
BMW is planning to increase its stake in their JV with China’s Brilliance Automotive, making them the first foreign automaker to have a majority stake in a joint venture in China. The automaker is planning to boost its stake to at least 75%.
DISASTER
Over 100 have died in southwest Japan as a result of heavy flooding and landslides this past weekend. 
PLANT OPENING
Tesla has signed a preliminary agreement with the government in Shanghai, China to build its first plant outside of the US. The plant’s planned capacity is 500,000 cars per year.
Faurecia is building a new 72,900sf plant on the grounds of the former Jeep Parkway plant in Toledo, Ohio. The plant will create 85 to 100 jobs and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019’s first quarter.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
BMW is increasing production at two of its JV plants with Brilliance Automotive in China. The new annual output from the two plants will be around 520,000 cars per year, up from last year’s target of 450,000.
RAW MATERIALS
In an effort to reduce costs, Panasonic says it plans to reduce the cobalt content of its car batteries by half within the next two to three years. The supplier said that they have achieved such batteries at the R&D level, but that more evaluation is necessary before mass-production is feasible.
REGULATION
In preparation for Brexit, BMW is holding customs clearance procedure training sessions for suppliers near its factories in Munich and Oxford, England. The automaker says a supplier survey showed a “clear need for support” with customs.
The city of Stuttgart, Germany is going to start banning the most polluting diesel vehicles meeting the Euro 4 or older standards starting in January 2019. 
President Trump has warned the EU that vehicle imports will face new restrictions if the bloc doesn’t treat the US fairly on trade. Trump is meeting with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on July 25.
SUPPLY CHAIN
With a current lack of production capacity, German carmakers may become reliant on foreign suppliers for sourcing automotive batteries.
Mazda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi faced production disruptions as a result of last week’s heavy flooding in Japan.
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