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Elm Analytics - Supply Chain Risk Digest #17 - June 3 - 9, 2017

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

June 9 · Issue #17 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

LABOR DISPUTE
Spain’s 6,000+ Stevedores went on strike this past Monday, crippling the country’s 39 cargo ports. Monday’s strike is the first in a series of nine planned strikes meant to take place over this week and the following two. The dispute arose from disagreements over job protections.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Ayala Corporation, through its subsidiary AC Industry Technology has closed a deal to acquire German-based auto supplier MT Misslbeck Technologies GmbH for around $30m.
Bosch and mapmaker TomTom are developing a high-resolution mapping system using Bosch’s radar sensors. The technology is intended for self-driving cars, helping them determine their location within centimeters.
Delphi is partnering with Transdev Group, a public transport service controlled by the French government, to create an automated on-demand shuttle service in Europe. Set to launch in 2019, it would be the first commercial application on public roads of fully automated vehicles.
Renault-Nissan plans to build a 100 megawatt power storage plant in Europe. Like Tesla’s energy storage business, the venture could fuel the second-hand battery market and develop the energy infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Continental will supply Chinese electric-vehicle startup NIO with parts for self-driving vehicles. This is the second Chinese client the German company has announced relationships in the last week.
Chinese ChangAn Motor and Groupe PSA signed an agreement to further deepen their cooperation DS in China. This investment will be made to boost production at the DS Shenzhen plant.
PLANT CLOSING
Associated Fuel Pump Systems Corp. of Anderson, South Carolina will close in 2018. Bosch and Denso are dissolving their partnership formed in 1989 which had established the company. Bosch plans to move its fuel pump manufacturing to Brazil. Denso will relocate its fuel pump manufacturing to Athens, Tennessee.
PLANT OPENING
Tower International opened its new $75m, 264,000sf production facility this week in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. The Michigan manufacturer will build metal components and assemblies for BMW.
Hematite has started construction on their new US headquarters in Englewood, Ohio. The $18m plant is expected to employ 100 and begin production in the first quarter of 2018.
Fukai Toyotetsu Indiana Corp. has opened a new 125,000sf facility in Jamestown, Indiana. They have also announced plans to expand the facility to 250,000sf and add up to 155 new jobs by 2020. The supplier makes stampings and welding body structural parts for Subaru of Indiana.
Austria’s Borealis Group will build a dedicated automotive polypropylene compounding plant in Taylorsville, North Carolina. The company plans for the plant to be operational in early 2019.
Multimatic will be opening a new facility in New Haven, Indiana. The site was the former Vera Bradley facility.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Mexican auto production and exports rose by 17.3% and 13.9% in May, respectively. All told, both Mexican output and exports rose by more than 14% in the first five months of 2017.
RAW MATERIAL COSTS
The price of cobalt is up 70% this year, from demand from battery manufacturers. Rechargeable batteries used over half of all cobalt bought or sold last year, up from 20% in 2006. Demand is only expected to grow as more electric vehicles come to market.
REGULATION
Despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate treaty, automakers such as GM and Ford have reaffirmed their commitments to combating climate change.
RISK ANALYTICS
Highly connected autonomous vehicles generate lots of data, both about the passengers and the vehicle itself. But the ball is in the air as to who will profit from it.
Morgan Stanley equity analyst Adam Jonas says that “A stretched auto consumer, falling used prices, and technological obsolescence of current cars are ingredients for an unprecedented buyer’s strike.”  Jonas has cut 1 to 4 million units from his U.S. auto sales forecast for each year through 2020.
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