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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #78 - August 3 - 9, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

August 10 · Issue #78 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
In a tweet earlier this week, Elon Musk announced that he is considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share. He says that Tesla can be more efficient and focused on long-term goals by not having to face the same pressures as other public companies.
Andra Rush has sold her ownership stake in Detroit Manufacturing Systems, LLC and stepped down as CEO. The new co-owner and CEO is Bruce Smith, who is also co-owner and CEO of BTM Co., LLC in Marysville, MI.
EARNING DIP
Subaru has reported a 52% drop in profit for the second quarter of this year compared to the same quarter last year. The drop is being attributed to declining North American wholesale volume and rising US incentives.
HUMAN CAPITAL
Ford has started implementing body tracking technology and a wearable exoskeleton system to help its plant workers avoid fatigue and injury.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
A new study from UK-based analytics firm GlobalData predicts that there could be around 300 million EVs on the road by 2040.
Deemed an industry first, a new development kit made by Microchip Technology will allow OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to add security to their networked vehicle systems. The kit is designed to be very flexible and has the ability to conform to various specs and standards.
Amazon has released an Alexa development kit that will allow automakers to incorporate it into vehicles. BMW, Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen’s Seat brand have already begun working to integrate Alexa into their vehicles.
LITIGATION
FCA is taking legal action against Mahindra & Mahindra to stop them from selling a vehicle they say too closely resembles a Jeep.
BMW South Korea has apologized over a spate of engine fires related to defective exhaust gas recirculation systems in around 106,000 of its diesel vehicles. There have been an estimated 27 engine fires since January of this year, and the automaker has issued a recall for the affected vehicles.
BMW has expanded its South Korean recall to Europe where they are recalling 96,300 vehicles. A fault in the vehicles’ exhaust gas recirculation systems can cause an engine fire.
The NHTSA is investigating five complaints alleging that fires were started after the activation of seat-belt pretensioners made by ZF TRW and Takata in Ford F-150 Supercrew pickup trucks. It’s estimated that 1.4m vehicles from the 2015-2018 model years could be affected.
Japanese automakers Mazda, Suzuki, and Yamaha Motor have apologized for conducting improper vehicle emissions tests on cars sold in Japan. None of the automakers found significant problems with actual emissions and fuel economy, so they are not planning any recalls.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Schaeffler is acquiring a drive-by-wire technology called Space Drive created by German company Paravan. The technology allows vehicles to be steered and stopped purely electronically without a steering wheel or steering column.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
As a result of damage caused by flooding last month in Celaya, Mexico, Honda is suspending production at its assembly plant there until November. The Celaya plant is the only plant making the Honda Fit, which means there will be a four and a half month shortfall in production of that model.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
Opel will decrease production at two of its German plants in response to slow sales. Production will be cut from 55 to 42 vehicles per hour at its Ruesselsheim plant and from 37 to 30 vehicles at its Einach plant.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Audi is ramping up their vehicle production ahead of the September start for new WLTP pollution rules that will make it harder to register vehicles in the EU as roadworthy. Vehicles produced before the deadline can still be passed to dealerships after September.
REGULATION
Fleet emissions forecasts from IHS Markit show that several automakers are at risk of having to pay total fines in excess of $16b to the EU if they can’t comply with tighter emission regulations starting in 2020. The forecast report says that only a “seismic shift” in demand for EVs would lower the emissions forecast.
Daimler is dropping plans to expand in Iran in reaction to renewed US sanctions. The automaker says they have ceased their restricted activities in Iran in accordance with sanctions.
GM is seeking a tariff exemption for its Chinese-made Buick Envision Crossover. The automaker argues that profit from Envision sales will be reinvested in the US.
Two of America’s biggest steel manufacturers, Nucor and US Steel, have successfully objected to hundreds of requests by other American companies that buy foreign steel to be exempted from Trump’s metal tariffs. Commerce Dept. officials say they have not granted any steel exclusion requests that drew an objection.
New York City has placed a temporary cap on new cars picking up fares through Uber, Lyft, or other app-based ride-hailing companies. The package of bills includes a one-year moratorium on new licenses for for-hire vehicles and a minimum driver wage.
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