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Elm Analytics - Supply Chain Risk Digest #12 - April 29 - May 5, 2017

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

May 5 · Issue #12 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

​CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Corrado Lanzone, former operations director of Ferrari’s racing division, has joined California’s autonomous vehicle startup Zoox as its new VP of manufacturing operations. Lanzone joins Zoox after a two decade career with Ferrari.
EARNINGS DIP
Sales at all six of the biggest US automakers dropped again in April led by Ford and Honda each posting declines around 7%.
After the seizure of their Venezuelan plant last week, GM has said it will take a $100 million charge against its profits as a result. They plan to “deconsolidate” operations from their accounting books.
LABOR DISPUTE
Union workers at ArcelorMittal’s Mont-Wright iron ore mine in Quebec have given the steelmaker a 72-hour strike notice after rejecting their contract offer. Some 2,000 union members will strike if a new collective agreement is not reached in 72 hours.
LITIGATION
The US International Trade Commission is investigating whether thermoplastic components used in some Japanese and German vehicles sold in the US violate patent laws. 25 companies are listed in the probe with BMW, Honda, Toyota, and Japanese parts suppliers Aisin Seiki and Denso among them.
EU antitrust regulators have closed their investigation into Faurecia, Eberspacher and Tenneco regarding anti-competitive practices. 
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating complaints of brake malfunctions on some 2009 Nissan Muranos. The complaints allege that the brake pedal loses pressure and causes increased stopping distances.
The US Department of Justice is starting a criminal investigation against Uber for the use of its recently uncovered “Greyball” software. The software had been used, in some cases, to identify and circumvent government officials who were trying to clamp down on Uber where its service had not yet been approved.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Samsung has received approval from the South Korean government to test its self-driving cars on public roads. They will be outfitting Hyundai vehicles with its own suite of sensor and modules along with powerful AI and learning tech.
Magna International is starting a technology advisory council to bridge the divide between the automotive industry and Silicon Valley. A key member of this council will be Tony Fadell, co-founder of Nest, former executive at Apple and Alphabet and co-creator of the iPod. 
Delphi is separating into two entities: one dedicated to internal combustion technology and the other focused on electrification and automation.
ZF and Faurecia are teaming up to develop innovative safety and interior features for autonomous vehicles. No capital will change hands under the agreement which runs through June 2019 with a possibility for extension.
PLANT OPENING
Auto parts manufacturer Topre America will invest $38.2 million to add 40,000 square feet and create 35 new jobs at its Smyrna, TN plant. Topre makes stampings and body structure assemblies for Nissan, Honda, and Toyota.
A.G. Simpson is investing $9 million and creating 50 new jobs at its Sterling Heights, MI plant. They manufacture impact system assemblies, stampings, and complex welded assemblies for the auto industry.
Toyota unveiled a new 135,000 square foot Purchasing and Prototype Development Center to its York Township, MI R&D Center this past Wednesday. They also have announced a $28 million plan to expand its Ann Arbor R&D Center.
China’s FAW Group plans to setup a new vehicle assembly plant in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe this year. The plant will employ between somewhere around 150-200 people.
Finland tire maker, Nokian, plans to build its first US plant in Dayton, TN. They plan to start constructing the $360 million plant in 2018 with production starting in 2020. The plant will employ 400 and produce 4 million tires a year.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
GM’s Oshawa plant will be ramping up production to produce more trucks in the second quarter of 2018. They will be adding 500 new jobs next year.
REGULATION
According to Power Minister Piyush Goyal, India is aiming to have an all-electric car fleet by 2030 with the goal of lowering the fuel import bill and running costs of vehicles. Goyal: “…The idea is that by 2030, not a single petrol or diesel car should be sold in the country.”
SUPPLY CHAIN
Audi is introducing new sustainability rating for its suppliers starting this month. The ratings are based on checks at the suppliers’ plants as well as on self disclosure. The end goal will be to only place order with suppliers that obtain and maintain positive ratings.
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