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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #83 - September 7 - 13, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

September 14 · Issue #83 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Adient has announced that it has appointed Douglas G. DelGrosso as its new President and CEO. DelGrosso is currently the President and CEO of Chassix but will start his new position on October 1.
Tesla has promoted former Model S program director Jerome Guillen to the position of automotive president. Guillen has a reputation for being a “fixer” and has been with the automaker since 2010.
HUMAN CAPITAL
An employee at Ford’s Sterling Axle Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan was found dead in a restroom stall according to police reports. Some witnesses say the employee may have fallen before entering the restroom, but the reports are currently unconfirmed.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Volkswagen is gearing up to start using HP 3D metal printing technology to mass produce car parts within two to three years. Some parts that would be made include gear knobs and custom tailgate lettering.
LITIGATION
Shareholders representing 1,670 claims took Volkswagen to court this week over the hit to the automaker’s share price as a result of the emissions scandal. They are seeking $10.7b in damages.
General Motors is recalling 230,000 2018-2019 Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles in the U.S. and Canada over a brake system defect that could increase the risk of a crash. The issue stems from defective pistons in the brakes.
General Motors is also recalling 1.2m pickup trucks and SUVs mainly in North America over an issue with power steering. The automaker says that power steering can fail momentarily during a voltage drop and suddenly return, mainly during low-speed turns.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Japan’s Renesas is acquiring US chip maker IDT. Renesas is one of the largest automotive semiconductors manufacturers. They are looking to bring IDT’s focus on wireless, power and memory to connected and autonomous vehicles.
Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart are forming a new joint venture to build hybrid and electric vehicle batteries. The plant will open in early 2019 and create around 90 new jobs.
Tenneco’s shareholders have approved the company’s plan to purchase Federal-Mogul for $5.4b. The company says that the deal has received all necessary regulatory approvals and they expect it to close on October 1.
Uber is investing $150m into a new autonomous vehicle engineering hub in Toronto, Canada. The investment will be spent over the next five years and Uber expects to hire hundreds of new employees.
NATURAL DISASTER
Toyota resumed production in Japan this week following a shutdown caused by last week’s deadly earthquake. The automaker says they are still determining whether the production stoppage will have any impact in North America or elsewhere overseas.
Many facilities closed Thursday in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. Denso shut down its Greenville, North Carolina plant that produces wiper and fan assemblies. Bosch closed three facilities in North and South Carolina. IHS Markit expects “minimal sustained disruption” to supply chains, though the Port of Charleston may be disrupted.
In preparation for Hurricane Florence, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo suspended production at their plants in South Carolina. The new Mercedes-Benz van plant just opened last week.
Auto analytics firm LMC Automotive has released a preliminary Hurricane Florence impact assessment report and says that a supply chain disruption could be far reaching. The report suggests that the BMW plant in Spartanburg, SC alone could face a daily production loss of 1,400 units.
PLANT EXPANSION
Flex-N-Gate is doubling the size of its 60,000sf plastic parts plant in Danville, Illinois. The new $20m plant will manufacture upper and lower grilles for Ford and Toyota and will be completed in 2019.
Constellium has expanded its operations in Dahenfield, Germany to increase the supply of aluminum automotive structures. The new production hall expands the production area by around 97,000sf and the supplier expects to create around 30 new jobs by the end of 2019.
REGULATION
EU lawmakers are backing a more ambitious plan for reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. They would also set an interim goal of reducing emissions by 20% by 2025.
Following a complaint from FCA, The U.S. International Trade commission is launching a patent probe into Mahindra’s Jeep-like Roxor vehicle. FCA alleges that the vehicle infringes on their intellectual property.
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