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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #96 - December 7 - 13, 2018

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

December 14 · Issue #96 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

BANKRUPTCY
The Schweizer Group has filed for insolvency. The plant in Hattenhofen, Germany produces die-cast aluminum drive components. These components were affected by the decrease in diesel engine production.
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Audi’s interim CEO Bram Schot has been appointed as the automaker’s permanent CEO starting on Jan. 1, 2019. Audi’s parent company Volkswagen had lined up BMW purchasing director Markus Duesmann to be the next CEO, but BMW refused to release him from his contract.
HUMAN CAPITAL
The UAW is warning workers at a Ford transmission plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan of the potential for up to 230 layoffs by March 2019. Ford has responded saying that “All full-time hourly employees affected will be offered jobs at another Ford plant”.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Hyundai and its suppliers are planning to invest $6.7b through 2030 into increasing hydrogen fuel cell production by more than 200-fold. The plan aims to boost production from 3k units to 700k units per year and create 51k jobs.
Tesla has patented a new Augmented Reality-based system for improving vehicle production. The system will allow workers to view instant data about the components they are working on.
As part of its plan to offer EV or hybrid versions of all its models by 2022, Daimler will spend $20b on battery cells and invest another $1.1b into eight new battery factories across the globe. The automaker says the battery investment will ensure steady supply until 2030.
LITIGATION
Nissan has found even more problems with their vehicle inspection processes and will recall 150k vehicles in Japan. This is the third problem with inspections discovered by the automaker following problems uncovered this past summer and late last year.
Japanese prosecutors have officially indicted Carlos Ghosn and Nissan itself for violating financial laws by underreporting Ghosn’s compensation.
Renault is keeping Carlos Ghosn at the helm after an internal investigation found that his salary complied with French law.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Tower International is selling its European division to a privately owned French auto supplier for about $291m. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.
PLANT CLOSING
GM’s Lansing Grand River, Lake Orion, Bowling Green Kentucky and Fairfax Assembly Plants are at risk of closure due to running at low capacity. With the UAW’s current contract expiring in September 2019, some expect these plants will be used in bargaining.
Ford is ending production at its Blanquefort plant in France by late August 2019. The announcement comes after Ford rejected a rescue deal from transmission supplier Punch Powerglide.
PLANT EXPANSION
Aluminum parts supplier Omen USA will invest $15m into expanding its plant in Richmond, Indiana. The expansion will include new production lines and up to 200 new jobs by 2022.
Automatic transmission clutch maker F.C.C. (Adams) is spending $24 to expand its Berne, Indiana plant by 88k sf. The expansion will create up to 51 new jobs by 2021.
PLANT OPENING
China’s Great Wall Motor will begin production of the Haval F7 crossover in March 2019. The plant in the Tula Oblast region of Russia will have capacity for 150k vehicles per year.
PLANT SHUTDOWN
FCA will idle production at its Windsor, Ontario assembly plant for the weeks of Dec. 31 and Jan. 7. The automaker hasn’t yet provided a reason for the shutdown.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
The Chinese automotive downturn that began in July declined even further in November.
REGULATION
The European Court of Justice has ruled that the UK is allowed to cancel Brexit without getting permission from the other 27 members of the EU. Despite the ruling, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay says that the UK will proceed with Brexit as planned on March 29, 2019.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has postponed a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal she negotiated with the EU. May conceded that if Tuesday’s vote had gone as planned, “the deal would be rejected by a significant margin.”.
SUPPLY CHAIN
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