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Elm Analytics - Supply Chain Risk Digest #18 - June 10 - 16, 2017

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

June 16 · Issue #18 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

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BANKRUPTCY
Airbag maker Takata is preparing to file for bankruptcy as early as next week. They are still working toward a preliminary deal for financial backing from US parts supplier Key Safety Systems. They face billions in liabilities stemming from defective airbag inflators and are $850m in debt to major global automakers.
INDUSTRY DIRECTIONS
Amazon is planning to start selling cars in the UK. They are already selling a limited offering of FCA vehicles in Italy as a test run.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that they are moving into the auto industry. Instead of building their own cars, they hope to develop the computing technology for powering autonomous vehicles.
Is FCA a supplier of Waymo? Sam Abuelsamid makes a case for smaller automakers to become the Tier 1 suppliers to Apple and Waymo.
The speed of change is increasing in the auto industry. Daron Gifford of Plante Moran has an interesting editorial on how auto suppliers can drive new opportunities with communication and insight.
LABOR DISPUTE
Starting next Tuesday, workers at VW’s Slovakia plant will strike for a 16% wage raise. The union said that the strike would be unlimited and stop production. VW said that demands for a 16% pay hike were unacceptable and has offered a pay raise of 4.3%.
Truck drivers and warehouse workers will strike June 19 at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. They are battling to become classified as employees rather than independent contractors. They contest that the misclassification leads to lower wages and no benefits.
LITIGATION
A Dutch group representing 180,000 VW owners is preparing a claim against them over their use of software designed to conceal true emissions in its diesel cars. The group says they have decided to take the step after discussions since 2015 with VW, Bosch and Dutch dealerships have proved fruitless.
Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) issued $32.4m in fines to shipping lines, saying they acted as a cartel to increase prices. The cartel had increased the costs of services provided to companies from the automotive industry.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Rigid plastic supplier Trinseo plans to acquire Italy’s API Applicazioni Plastiche Industriali. API’s soft-touch plastics will complement Trinseo’s line in automotive.
Dow Chemical and DuPont won US antitrust approval for their $73b merger. Although the automotive division is a small part of the new company, the merger will affect the Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers.
PLANT CLOSING
Goodyear will close its tire plant in Philippsburg, Germany on July 31, 2017. This is five months sooner than was originally announced. The closure is part of the tire maker’s efforts to address redundancies and overcapacity.
PLANT OPENING
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors opened its Planá nad Lužnicí production plant in the Czech Republic. The plant will produce instrument panels and door panels for passenger cars.
Carcoustics will invest $6m in a new Buford, GA plant and create 200 new jobs. Stefan Vallentin, project manager at Carcoustic said that they would be “….logistically well located between BMW in South Carolina and Mercedes in Alabama.”
Chinese supplier Minth Group is opening a $13m plant in Lewsiburg, TN, with plans to create 200 new jobs. They will renovate an existing 125,000sf facility that will serve as a manufacturing plant and distribution warehouse. Minth is a manufacturer of structural body, trim and decorative parts.
Robert Bosch, is investing $1.12b in a semiconductor plant in Dresden, Germany. It is set to start production in 2021 and will employ 700 people. The semiconductors are expected to be used in autonomous vehicles.
PRODUCTION DECREASE
GM will extend the typical summer shutdown due to slow sales and increased inventory. It will idle its Kansas City Chevrolet Malibu plant and a small-car factory in Lordstown, Ohio.
SUPPLY CHAIN
Honda and Toyota feel that they have had time to prepare for the coming Takata Bankruptcy.
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