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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #81 - August 24 - 30, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

August 31 · Issue #81 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Rolls-Royce has appointed veteran BMW Group executive Martin Fritsches as its new head of operations in North America. Fritsches will replace Pedro Mota, who is moving on to head Porsche’s North American marketing.
Toyoda Gosei (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. is reorganizing from a management company to a new holding company - Toyoda Gosei (China) Investment Co. Ltd. The company hopes to speed up management decisions in China.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Japan is enlisting companies such as Uber and Airbus in the push to develop flying cars. They hope to have flying cars in the country within the next decade.
LITIGATION
Ex-FCA executive Alphons Iacobelli has been sentenced to 66 months in federal prison for tax evasion and his role in the UAW training center bribery scandal. 
Mahindra is seeking an injunction against FCA’s recent patent violation complaint aimed at stopping Mahindra from exporting a Jeep-like vehicle to the U.S. Mahinda claims that the complaint is “without merit” since they had executed a design agreement with Fiat in 2009.
Nissan Canada is recalling over 13,000 vehicles over an ignition switch problem that could cause the vehicle’s engine to shut off while driving. The automaker says the recall will expand into the U.S. and Europe, but did not specify details.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Denso, Aisin Seiki, Jtekt and Advics will form a new joint venture that will combine their self-driving technologies to better compete with automotive component giants such as Bosch. Denso is expected to hold the majority stake in the venture.
Toyota is investing $500m into a partnership with Uber to jointly develop self-driving cars. The deal will involve mass-production of vehicles based on Toyota’s Sienna Minivan with pilot trials beginning in 2021.
Swiss Datwyler Sealing Solutions has acquired Brazilian BINS Indústria de Artefatos de Borracha Ltda to improve access to the South American automotive industry.
Magna is forming a new joint venture with Rohinni LLC to produce “game-changing” ultra-thin micro LED lighting solutions. The technology is said to be brighter, lighter and more energy efficient than alternative technologies, including OLED.
PLANT DISASTER
A Penske Logistics employee was killed when struck by a truck driven by a coworker at the Woodstock Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada plant.
PLANT EXPANSION
Hatch will expand its Howell, Michigan plant, doubling the size, adding 50k sf. The manufacturer of fuel, braking and seating systems will add new lines and equipment to the robotic welding facility.
PLANT OPENING
Faurecia Interior Systems is building a new 145k sf plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The plant will manufacture door panel assemblies and employ 143 workers.
Japan’s Dowa Thermotech will open a plant in Sanford, North Carolina. The new factory will produce heat protection equipment for metal engine parts and transmissions.
Subaru is planning a new $48.2m tech center in Van Buren Township, Michigan. The 60k sf facility will employ 101 people and be completed by 2022.
Chinese automaker Geely is building a new plant to produce bigger-sized cars in Ningbo, China. The plant will have capacity to produce around 250,000 cars per year.
REGULATION
Canada has rejoined NAFTA discussions this week after President Trump announced a bi-lateral deal with Mexico on Monday. President Trump and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau have both expressed optimism that a deal could be reached by today, with Trump setting a deadline of today for the potential trilateral agreement.
The EU’s top trade official has announced that the bloc is willing to reduce “car tariffs to zero, all tariffs to zero, if the U.S. does the same”. 
Volkswagen says that only half of their core VW models in Germany have gained regulatory clearance for the new WLTP emissions standards going into effect next month. Their top-selling Golf model is among the vehicles still waiting for clearance.
Trump administration officials met with California clean air regulators this week to discuss vehicle emissions standards. The two sides say that they will continue to have future meetings to work towards the goal of a single national standard.
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