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Elm Analytics - Supply Chain Risk Digest #16 - May 27 - June 2, 2017

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

June 2 · Issue #16 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

HUMAN CAPITAL
Continental Structural Supply will idle 164 workers for 3 months beginning July 31 in Huntington, Indiana. The automotive supplier makes composite materials and structural plastics. One of its customers is suspending its contract for that length of time. The supplier had received a $33.5 million expansion investment last year.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Daimler and its Chinese joint venture partner BAIC Motor Corporation will upgrade the Mercedes-Benz factory in Beijing (Beijing Benz Automotive Co) to make electric cars.
Toyota Boshoku is teaming with Mitsui Chemicals to commercialize and market a high-performance impact modifier for polypropylene compounds used in automotive. The additive increases impact strength without sacrificing rigidity.
Continental has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China’s Baidu to develop autonomous and connected-car technologies.
PLANT OPENING
Brose Group opened a plant in Shenyang, China to produce door panels for BMW / Brilliance locally produced cars. The 57,049sf factory will supply the 1, 3, and 5-series sedans and the X1 crossover.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Automotive lock component manufacturer GECOM is investing $26 million into its Greenburg, Indiana operation. The new production lines, opening in 2019, will allow GECOM to make more door lock and latch components for Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, and Subaru.
Suppliers were actively opening facilities in Oakland County, Michigan this week:
- A. Raymond Corporate North America Inc. plans to build a new North American headquarters in Rochester Hills. A Raymond is supplier of quick fastener systems.
- Italian industrial automation systems maker Comau LLC, will invest $1.5 million in its facilities in Southfield, Royal Oak and Novi.
- Gedia, a supplier that makes stamped and welded parts, is purchasing a facility in Orion Township that will be Gedia’s U.S. headquarters. It will house production, engineering and development.“
Schaeffler is expanding its North American manufacturing headquarters in South Carolina with more space. The Fort Mill plant will expand its thrust bearing production to support 8, 9 and 10-speed transmissions.
REGULATION
The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that patent lawsuits must be filed by companies on the defendant’s turf. The decision is expected to protect US automakers from predatory patent litigation.
North American auto supplier executives are concerned about uncertainty. A May survey finds rising anxiety about possible changes to NAFTA and concerns about political discord in Washington.
China granted BMW a license to export vehicles from its local BMW Brilliance joint venture, opening up the possibility of exporting their China produced cars to the US and Europe. Currently, BMW has no plans for exporting.
Sales of electric vehicles in Denmark have plummeted after tax incentives were phased out. The drop in sales suggests that the EV market is not yet competitive with gas / diesel powered vehicles.
RISK ANALYTICS
Autonomous vehicle engineers are having to turn to inserting signals and running simulations to save time and money.
SUPPLY CHAIN
BMW stopped production of certain models due to a shortage of parts caused by delivery problems from supplier Bosch. Bosch had been unable to provide enough steering gears.
Bosch later announced that it would take over Albertini Cesare, the Italian steering gear supplier.
Responding to increasing pressure from the Trump administration, Daimler says it will increase the amount of parts it uses from American suppliers. The move comes shortly after reports of President Trump highlighting Daimler’s role in a $15.4 billion automotive trade deficit with Germany.
May’s devastating storm is still causing delays at the Mexican border crossing in Laredo, Texas. Cargo entry is limited for at least two more weeks as damage is repaired.
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