Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #311
January 20 - 26, 2023 by Elm Analytics
Change In Management
Lexus' Koji Sato will take over Toyota as CEO on April 1. Akio Toyoda is stepping aside to become the chairman of the company. The announcement surprised both the industry and the markets.
The move came when many automakers went all in on EVs, while Toyota focused on hybrids and hydrogen-powered vehicles. It may now be a make-or-break moment for Sato’s Toyota.
However, Koji Sato is unique in having a background in branding and bringing Lexus' first EV model to market, where he is currently CEO.
Reporters point to this leadership change as just one of many events in a drastically shifting industry.
Volkswagen has named Andreas Mindt its new head of design. Mindt, currently Bentley's design chief, will take over for Jozef Kaban.
BorgWarner is planning to close its valvetrain plant in Ithaca, New York, by the fourth quarter of 2024. The supplier is consolidating production at the plant into another facility.
Leoni Cable completed the expansion of its production facility in Chihuahua, Mexico.
According to Germany's IG Metall union, Ford will cut up to 3.2k jobs across Europe. The cuts would affect around 2.5k jobs in product development and up to 700 administrative roles, with German locations being the most affected.
Mergers, Ventures, Acquisitions
Honda announced this week that it is creating a new electrification division to strengthen and speed up its EV transition. The new division, which goes into effect on April 1, will consolidate the automaker's electrification strategy and development of cars, motorcycles, and power products.
Hyundai is planning to invest around $8.5B into EV R&D and a new plant in the United States.
Detroit Manufacturing Systems has sold its Jeep cockpit assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio, to Mayco International. The sale secures the jobs for all 300 employees at the plant.
GM is investing $900M into updating plants in Rochester, New York; Defiance, Ohio; Bay City, Michigan; and Flint, Michigan. Flint will receive the most money for a new V8 engine, while the other plants will receive funds for new V8 and EV parts.
Nissan plans to invest $250M into its powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee, to prepare it for EVs. The automaker hasn't announced specifics of the products to be produced there.
Silicon anode materials producer NEO Battery Materials is establishing a US subsidiary in Ohio. The anodes they make enable longer-running, rapid-charging lithium-ion batteries.
Magna, VDL Nedcar, and BYD are all interested in buying Ford's Saarlouis plant in Germany.
Tesla will build two new plants near its existing facility in Reno, Nevada. Plans include a "high-volume" Semi EV assembly plant and a 4680 EV battery factory.
Germany's Mahle broke ground on a new plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, its fifth in the region.
Tecma-Modineer opened a 145k sq ft roll forming, stamping, and metal machining manufacturing plant in Juarez, Mexico.
BMW will begin manufacturing solid-state cells through its partnership with Solid Power at its Munich R&D facility in Germany. By teaming up, the companies hope to innovate safer, faster charging and cheaper batteries more quickly.
CATL continues to ramp up production at its 14GWh plant in Arnstadt, Germany, and plans to localize its supply chain. Asian companies make up 44% of Europe's planned battery capacity and have recently faced political pushback over economic dependence.
Toyota is halting production at a plant in Czechoslovakia due to an ongoing parts shortage.
GM is looking to switch from pouch to round battery cells for its future EV models. It is reportedly why GM and LG are not pursuing plans for a fourth US JV battery plant.