Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #309
January 6 - 12, 2023 by Elm Analytics
Change in Management
As UAW contract negotiations draw near, top labor executive John Savona is leaving Ford after 33 years with the automaker. Former Johnson Controls executive Bryce Currie will succeed Savona.
VW NA made two supervisory board appointments this week. President and CEO Pablo Di Si will chair its Mexican supervisory board, and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Andrew Savvas will chair its Canadian supervisory board.
Lear Corporation is looking to sell its three seating plants in Russia following a year of suspended operations. While the auto supplier has identified prospective buyers, getting a fair price for the plants will be a challenge.
VW Group's 2022 sales dropped 7%, its lowest in the past ten years. The company says the fall is due to supply chains affected by the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 lockdowns in China.
Tesla is planning a $716M expansion at its Texas gigafactory that will add 1.4M sq ft to the facility. Specifically, the investment will add four new facilities listed as "Cell 1," "Drive Unit," "Cathode," and "Cell Test Lab."
Around 200 recent Tesla buyers in China gathered at the automaker's showrooms and distribution centers last weekend, demanding rebates and credit following sudden price cuts. The automaker recently cut prices for the second time in three months.
A new report from S&P Global Mobility has found that the US will need to quadruple its EV charging stations by 2025 to keep up with projected EV demand. The firm estimates there will be up to 7.8M EVs on US roads by 2025.
A US District judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Lucid of defrauding investors involved in its SPAC merger.
Mergers, Ventures, Acquisitions
Ford is reportedly backing out of a previous deal with SK On to partner with LG Energy Solution for a new 45GWh EV battery plant in Turkey. Despite the change, Ford still has several other projects in the pipeline through its JV with SK On.
Mercedes-Benz plans to invest over $1B into building its EV charging network in North America. The network is expected to be completed in six or seven years and will have 400 charging stations with over 2.5k high-power plugs.
Troubled UK battery startup, Britishvolt, is reportedly considering offers for 90%+ stakes in the company.
Bosch is investing $1B into a new EV parts plant in Suzhou, China. The plant will produce parts primarily for local automakers.
Tata is looking to build new EV battery cell plants in India for its local market and Europe to supply Jaguar Land Rover.
A USMCA dispute over local content calculations to determine tax-free status has sided with Mexico and Canada. Under the ruling, if a "core part," such as the engine or transmission, has 75% regional content, that number may be rounded up to 100% when calculating a vehicle's total regional content. The United States had said "core part" content should not be rounded up when determining the content of the entire car.
This week, US NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy voiced concerns over heavy EVs' safety impact on other drivers. NHTSA is currently studying how vehicle size may affect roadway safety.
“Automotive demand continued to increase and today we're still probably not supplying 100 per cent of the wafers they want, but it's improving... We expect the shortage to be relaxed quickly. We expect auto shipments to grow again this year.”
- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co CEO C. C. Wei