Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #329
May 26 - June 1, 2023 by Elm Analytics
GM, Stellantis, and Yanfeng agreed to bail out the insolvent Unique Fabricating Inc with an investment of up to $15M to tide over the company until it sells itself and restructures.
Change In Management
Infiniti has named Jose Roman its new global brand chief, replacing Peyman Kargar. Roman comes from Nissan and will oversee Infiniti's operations worldwide.
Veteran Stellantis designer Chris Benjamin has joined VW's Scout Motors as lead designer.
VDL Nedcar, a contract car manufacturer based in the Netherlands, will reduce its workforce by 1.8k employees this year due to the loss of its production agreement with BMW.
Automakers are increasingly making their own e-drives, or e-axles, in-house, reducing the business prospects for suppliers like GKN Automotive; however, industry experts predict that automakers will return to outsourcing e-drive production once it is no longer a differentiating factor, and standardization of electric platforms will drive down costs through scale effects.
Strikes are occurring at Clarios, located in Holland, Ohio, and Constellium in Van Buren Township, Michigan. The tentative agreement proposed to Clarios' workers was rejected by 76% of them last week. Automakers are monitoring the strikes as UAW negotiations with Stellantis, Ford, and GM begin this year.
At a virtual town hall event, UAW leaders stated their commitment to advocating for higher wages and improved benefits during the upcoming contract negotiations with the Detroit 3 automakers. They discussed the potential of going on strike if their requests were not met. The leaders used the companies' significant profits to support their claims. They emphasized the need to end the tiered wage system, reintroduce cost-of-living increases, and enforce stronger job protections to prevent plant closures.
Mergers, Ventures, Acquisitions
Bosch will reorganize its global automotive electronics, software, and semiconductor businesses into a mobility unit. Markus Heyn will run the new division,
Stellantis is investing $173M to upgrade its factory in Rennes, France, to build an electric Citroen SUV.
In 2025, Toyota plans to manufacture a three-row electric crossover at its Georgetown, Kentucky plant. The vehicle's batteries will come from a new Liberty, North Carolina factory.
Panasonic announced plans for a third battery factory in North America. While the location hasn't been announced, the plant is expected to have a 30GWh capacity and produce 4680 cells. It also plans on adding 1k development and production employees to its Osaka facilities.
NHTSA has ordered ARC to provide written answers and documents by June 14 regarding potentially faulty airbag inflators.
NHTSA is proposing that all new light-duty vehicles should have automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection,
Canada will provide $110M in financial support for constructing the General Motors and Posco Future M cathode active materials plant in Bécancour, Quebec.
Experts expect Stellantis' $9.5M Canadian EV battery plant project will receive more tax credits than a similar one with VW. While it has a head start over VW, the substantial government commitment may pose challenges.