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Elm Analytics - Supply Chain Risk Digest #14 - May 13 - 19, 2017

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Ever wonder just how many US Auto Suppliers there really are? by Tor Hough
 

Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

May 19 · Issue #14 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.


HUMAN CAPITAL
Ford is planning to cut about 10% of its global workforce. The goal is to reverse their sliding stock price and boost profits.
Automotive test systems and industrial position sensor firm, MTS Systems, informed analysts last month a company investigation had found “certain senior and middle level Chinese employees” in the company’s materials testing segment in China started “a business to compete with MTS in a low end of the Chinese materials testing market.” Damage was limited and MTS Systems says no intellectual property was stolen.
LABOR DISPUTE
The biggest trade union in Britain, Unite, is suspending further strike action at BMW’s British plants so that workers can review a new offer regarding pension provisions. Last month they had planned four strikes at eight sites in protest of the proposed pension changes.
Several Tesla employees have shared stories of workplace injuries. They have called for the electric vehicle maker to improve safety standards. Tesla CEO Elon Musk maintains that worker safety and satisfaction remain top issues. 
LITIGATION
Volkswagen supplier Grammer is being investigated for market manipulation allegations. Grammer’s biggest shareholder, Bosnia’s Hastor family, on Thursday accused the company of artificially depressing its own share price to allow a rival investor, China’s Ningbo Jifeng, to build a stake.
The European Commission has launched legal action against Italy for failing to respond to allegations of emissions-test cheating by Fiat Chrysler. The letter of formal notice requests that Italy respond to concerns about insufficient actions taken in the matter.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
BMW and Intel have strengthened their self-driving car alliance by adding Delphi. It is also said that the company is in “very deep discussions” to add other automakers to the alliance, possibly “within a few weeks”.
Air bag manufacturers, Daicel Corp and Toyoda Gosei Co, will invest 1B yen in each other’s equity to expand business. The Toyota and Honda suppliers are filling a void left by Takata.
PLANT DISASTER
An explosion at FAG Schaeffler’s factory in Bavaria, Germany has left 13 people injured. The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time.
PLANT OPENING
Grupo Antolin has broken ground on a brand new $61.2 million plant in Shelby Township, MI. The plant will produce, assemble, and sequence door panels and overhead systems for the 2019 Dodge Ram Truck. 
Primearth EV Energy, subsidiary of Toyota, may build a US plant to make lithium-ion batteries. This move would allow Toyota to produce its own batteries. Additionally, it would reduce quality risk from shipping lithium-ion batteries from Japan
After 5 years of not being produced, the Karma Revero, formerly the Fisker Karma, started rolling off the assembly line at Karma’s new Moreno Valley, CA factory on Monday.
Japanese steelmaker, Kobe Steel, started production at its plant in Tianjin China. The plant produces automotive aluminum sheets. They estimate that the Chinese market will expand annually to 300,000 tons from the current 50,000 tons by 2025. 
Honeywell International opened a plant to produce eco-friendly automotive refrigerant in Geismar, Louisiana.
RAW MATERIAL DISRUPTION
A limited supply of isocyanates has reduced the amount of MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) available for use in insulation. Recticel, who suffered a fire earlier in the year, has cut production of it’s MDI insulation by 15%. Conditions are not expected to improve before July 2017.
REGULATION
Mexico’s Federal economic Competition Commission has fined Panasonic, Panasonic Europe, Ficosa Inversion and Pindro Holding 14.02 million pesos ($751,000) each for not telling authorities that Panasonic’s acquisition of Ficosa would give them a more than 35% indirect stake in Ficosa Mexico.
Canadian auto suppliers say proposed changes to Ontario’s labor laws would make them less competitive and hurt auto-related investment. These changes include raising the minimum wage, changing the union certification process and giving more job security to temporary workers.
MARKET
General Motors will stop selling vehicles in India by the end of this year. They are also selling operations in South Africa.
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