Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #319
March 17 - 23, 2023 by Elm Analytics
Change In Management
Mazda will appoint its former North American head Masahiro Moro as its new president and CEO. Moro has been with the automaker for 40 years.
Ford has named John Dion as its new Chief Transformation Officer. Dion previously held positions with ESAB Corp. and Danaher Corp. and has extensive experience implementing lean systems at large companies.
Subaru of America has named longtime executive Troy Poston its new Senior VP of Sales. Poston will take over the position on April 1.
Hackers hit Ferrari with a ransomware attack exposing customers' private data. Automotive cyberattacks are rising, with 268 attacks publicly reported in 2022. Automakers need to mitigate cyber risks to avoid lawsuits. They also need to win back consumers' trust as they bank more on subscription services that feed on consumers' data.
One worker was injured following an explosion and fire at OEM wheel supplier Dicastal North America in Greenville, Michigan, late last week. Any potential supply chain disruptions have yet to be determined.
An explosion occurred at the INEOS Phenol chemical plant in Pasadena, Texas, injuring one person. The plant produces Cumene used to synthesize phenol. Phenol is then used to create polycarbonate for headlights, light guides, and lenses.
Ford expects its Model e EV unit to lose $3B in 2023. The company is relying on its two ICE units to fund the transition. It anticipates it will save money through new battery chemistries and plant efficiencies.
Tesla has started the paperwork to expand its Gigafactory in Grünheide, Germany. The plans would effectively double its capacity to 1M EVs per year.
Volkswagen Group Components is expanding its Kassel, Germany facility. The site is transitioning from Europe's most expansive transmission plant to an electric drive factory for EVs.
TI Fluid Systems is expanding its Auburn Hills, Michigan, campus to include a new e-Mobility Innovation Center. The company produces thermal management systems for EVs.
Finland's Valmet Automotive is laying off 940 employees in its vehicle contract manufacturing line at its plant in Uusikaupunki. The company will terminate half of the workers and lay the rest off until further notice.
The trend of insurance companies writing off EVs with minor damage is growing, as many battery packs with even slight damage are considered "unrepairable."
A new poll from Reuters/Ipsos suggests that a little over 1/3 of Americans would consider buying an EV as their next vehicle.
A federal judge in Detroit ruled this week that GM must face a class action lawsuit accusing the automaker of producing faulty transmissions for around 800k vehicles from 2015-2019.
Albemarle will build its new lithium processing plant in Chester County, South Carolina, in late 2024. The 800-hectare site will produce enough lithium to make EV batteries for 2.4M vehicles annually.
Cirba Solutions is building a new "flagship" EV battery recycling facility in Columbia, South Carolina. It is the company's 4th plant in the "Battery Belt" and 8th in North America.
Entek will build a lithium-ion battery separator plant in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Raw Material Costs
NYT: Falling Lithium Prices Are Making Electric Cars More Affordable
Canada will reportedly offer a 30% tax credit boosting green manufacturing and EV supply chain.
The EU has reportedly drafted an amendment to allow the sale of ICE vehicles powered by climate-neutral e-fuels after the 2035 ICE ban.
Volkswagen is planning to invest directly in mines to reduce the cost of EV batteries. The automaker aims for its battery unit PowerCo to become a global battery supplier and meet half its demand with plants in mainly Europe and North America.