Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #310
January 13 - 19, 2023 by Elm Analytics
Britishvolt filed for insolvency in a blow to the future of the British automotive industry.
Change in Management
Volvo is reorganizing and creating a dedicated organization for the US and Canada. Anders Gustafsson, head of Volvo Cars Americas and CEO of Volvo Car USA, will reportedly step down on March 1. Michael Cottone, a 21-year Volvo veteran, will step into the new top role for the new division.
Proper Tooling is closing its facility in Warren, Michigan, by March 31, 2023. The tooling manufacturer makes plastic moldings for headlights, taillights, and grills. It supplies Tier 1s such as Grupo Antolin, NYX LLC, and ABC Technologies. The company is facing financial hardship due to last-minute changes in a private equity deal with New Water Capital and Proper Group. The initial agreement contained more of the business than was ultimately included.
Bosch announced it would invest $1B into electromobility R&D and production at its site in Suzhou, China.
Powertrain component maker Schmidt Automotive will invest $7.7M into expanding its plant in Auburn, Alabama. The expansion will create 25 jobs over the next two years.
Yanfeng is expanding its Fountain Inn, South Carolina, facility with updates to machinery and building renovations. The location supplies BMW with interior panels and components.
A series of key economic indicators have researchers pointing to US manufacturing entering a recession in Q4 2022.
Analysts believe Tesla is using its high per-vehicle profits to start an EV price war.
Germany's IG Metall says its Tesla Brandenburg workers have recently faced unreasonably long working hours.
Mergers, Ventures, Acquisitions
Mexican ministers say that BMW will make a new $866M investment in San Luis Potosi. The company already has a plant in the state.
Ioneer has a commitment for a $700M US Energy Department loan for its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project. The Nevada mine could produce enough lithium for 370k vehicles per year.
Renault and Geely are reportedly working to bring Saudi Aramco in on a venture to develop and produce 5M ICE and hybrid powertrains annually.
Renault and Nissan will reportedly announce a new alliance on February 1, 2023. The deal would put both companies with 15% stakes in each other, putting the 23-year-long partnership on equal terms.
BYD will build an auto parts plant in Vietnam near its facility that produces solar panels. The move is reportedly to reduce exposure to Chinese / US trade tensions.
Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp is implementing strict cost controls due to weak demand. The company expected the auto industry to be a "key growth catalyst" this year.
AutoForecast Solutions estimates that no additional vehicles were cut from production plans this past week due to microchip shortages. They still expect automakers to cut 2.7M cars from 2023 plans due to a lack of chips.
Toyota expects global production in 2023 to reach a record 9.5 to 10.6M vehicles after repeated cuts over the past three years.
A group of white hat hackers recently accessed customer data and back-end operations at several automakers, including BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce.