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Elm Analytics - Supply Chain Risk Digest #3 - February 26 - March 3, 2017

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Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest

March 3 · Issue #3 · View online
Weekly highlights of the events that impact supply chain risk within the automotive industry.

LITIGATION
Takata formally admits guilt with flawed airbags. $850m allocated to automakers, $125m to injured.
Google’s Waymo / Uber Lawsuit over stolen LiDAR IP may be the tip of the iceberg. Automated driving patent wars may rival those in the smartphone industry.
MERGERS, VENTURES, AQUISITIONS
PSA reaches deal to buy Opel from GM, wins board approval, town halls planned.
Piston Group to buy Irvin Automotive from Takata Corp for $175m. The move expects to bring $2.8b in revenue to Piston by 2018 and a lifeline to ailing Takata. Piston Group will become the largest minority-owned supplier.
Vitro, S.A.B. de C.V. has purchased the Meadville Pittsburgh Glass Works plant from LKQ Corp. This is the second time the plant has been sold within a year.
PLANT DISASTER
Firefighters battled a fire on Monday night at the Alcoa West plant in Massena, New York
Delivieries from Recticel’s Most plant are up and running again, but “the situation still has not been normalized”. They are the sole manufacturer of a patented polyurethane skin for auto interiors.
PLANT OPENING
Grupo Antolin plans to invest nearly $10.4 million to establish a manufacturing facility in Alabama that will employ 150 people.
Big River Steel, the world’s first smart mill, had their grand opening this week. CEO Dave Stickler has a goal for Arkansas to “be the winner of the next automobile stamping plant sweepstakes”.
A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and systems, has opened a new plant in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
PRODUCTION INCREASE
Honda will invest $360 million over the next five years to expand its engine, frame and polymer injection production capacity at its Karawang, West Java plant.
PPG’s new state of the art production line will meet growing demand in China for high performance, eco-friendly coatings.
Kia expects its European market share to pass 3% in 2017 due to new models.
RAW MATERIAL DISRUPTION
Cobalt prices up 50% since September 2016. Investors driving up prices by buying cobalt in anticipation that there will be shortages of the metal. Cobalt is a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars.
Copper prices vulnerable to reversal in Chilean labor dispute or speculator retreat from bullish position in futures market
“Quite a few Chinese iron ore makers are planning to come back and reopen their mines,” said Pan Guocheng, head of medium-size miner China Hanking Holding Ltd.
REGULATION
Former IAC auto supplier exec, Wibur Ross confirmed as US commerce secretary. He will lead the renegotiation of NAFTA.
Talk of NAFTA looms large. Mexican Economy Minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, met with Ford and GM execs this week. He was also expected to meet with suppliers that have operations in Detroit and Mexico.
SUPPLY CHAIN
Sales of manufactured goods in India fell 3.7% 2015-2016 - marking the first decline in seven years.
A. Schulman is developing a new type of fuel tank that can be used with natural gas vehicles.
Business Continuity Institute (BCI) 2017 study released. 6 in 10 Asian Pacific businesses experience SC disruption in last year.
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