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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #80 - August 17 - 23, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

August 24 · Issue #80 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Former Key Safety Systems CFO Joseph Perkins has left the supplier to become the new CEO for Busche Performance Group. While at Key, Perkins led the push to acquire Takata in a $1.6b deal.
EARNING DIP
Continental lowered its forecast for revenue for a second time this year. Its stock plunged 15% after markets reacted to concerns about demand, trade uncertainty and rising costs.
HUMAN CAPITAL
Volkswagen is planning to fire a group of managers and engineers implicated in the emissions-cheating scandal according to reports in the German press. Former brand development boss Heinz-Jakob Neusser is the highest ranking among the six expected firings.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
LABOR DISPUTE
Volkswagen has averted a potential strike in Mexico by agreeing to a 5.5% salary increase for its workers this year and another raise for next year. 
LITIGATION
A former Tesla employee is accusing the automaker of spying on employees at its gigafactory in Nevada and failing to act on a tip that a Mexican cartel might be dealing drugs inside the plant. Tesla says that the allegations were taken seriously but were either false or could not be corroborated. 
Volkswagen is recalling around 700,000 Tiguan and Touran cars worldwide over a possible roof lighting defect. Humidity can cause a short circuit in the panoramic roof’s LED lighting strip that could lead to scorching damage on the roof or even a vehicle fire.
FCA is recalling 209,000 minivans and SUVs to fix a brake problem that can cause longer stopping distances. Vehicles affected by the recall are the 2018 Dodge Journey, 2019 Jeep Cherokee and the 2018 and 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan and Jeep Compass.
Ford has announced a recall for some of its electric vehicle charging cables sold with vehicles in North America over risk of an electrical fire. The cables were sold with over 50,000 plug-in hybrid and electric cars produced from 2012 to 2015 as well as several Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi hybrids made between 2013 and 2015.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Proton is setting up a new joint venture with Geely to assemble and sell cars in China. The cars will be primarily built on existing Geely platforms, while the external design will be completed by Proton.
Bosch has taken a 4% stake in Ceres Power Holdings to jointly develop solid oxide fuel cells. The cells can be used as a power supply for EV charging ports.
Car-sharing startup Getaround has raised around $300m in its latest round of funding led by Japan’s SoftBank Group. The service currently operates in 66 US cities and the company says the new funds will help them expand in North America.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Toyota is planning to increase production at its plants in Guangzhou and Tianjin, China. The increases will boost its manufacturing capacity in China by about 240,000 vehicles per year.
Nissan will build a new plant in China with the goal of boosting its annual production capacity there by over 20%. In addition to the new plant, the automaker will also expand production lines at its existing plants in China.
Volkswagen is planning to increase annual production at its plant in Wolfsburg, Germany to 1m units by 2020. Production will be shifted from its Zwickau, Germany and Puebla, Mexico plants.
Several Taiwanese diode suppliers including Eris Technology, HY Electronic, Lite-On, and Taiwan Semiconductor are ramping up production to better serve automotive markets. 
REGULATION
The US and China this week implemented new 25% tariffs on $16b worth of each other’s goods even as talks between mid-level officials from both sides resumed this week. Up to now, both countries have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on a combined $100b of products since early July, with more in the pipeline.
Auto suppliers have been voicing concern over President Trump’s proposed 232 tariffs. Companies like Lucerne International worry about keeping the doors open if tariffs go through.
RISK ANALYTICS
Press coverage of the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars surfaces the uncertainty and concerns of many of Michigan’s auto suppliers. 
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