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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #88 - October 12 - 18, 2018
Patriarch Partners, run by financier Lynn Tilton, is seeking buyers for Dura Automotive Systems. A legal settlement regarding bankrupt investment funds with bond issuer MBIA may be forcing Tilton to sell.
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Tesla's VP of of manufacturing Gilbert Passin has left the automaker. He is the latest Tesla exec to leave the company among a string of recent departures this year.
Chinese auto sales have fallen to their lowest level in nearly seven years, slipping 11.6% in September. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers cited a sluggish economy, deleveraging and a tough pollution crackdown as reasons for the decline.
Although GM has not said it will close its Lordstown, Ohio plant, serious effort is being made in an attempt to secure its future.
The devil is in the details of Ford's $11b restructuring plan. Ford CEO Jim Hackett's approach is getting mixed reviews and affecting the bottom line.
The Internet & Television Association are petitioning the FCC to allocate all or a large portion of the 5.9 gigahertz spectrum for Wi-Fi devices. The spectrum has been allocated exclusively to "talking cars" for the last 20 years.
Audi has agreed to pay a $927m fine to settle an investigation by German prosecutors into their emissions cheating. The settlement covers about 5m cars sold in Europe and the U.S. from 2004 to 2018.
NHTSA has opened a probe into 54,400 Ford pickups after receiving complaints about tailgates opening unexpectedly while vehicles were in motion. The probe is looking into issues with 2017 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty pickups.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Walmart is partnering with Advance Auto Parts to launch a new online auto parts store in 2019. The site will offer both home delivery and same-day in-store pickup in both Walmart and Advance stores.
Chinese automaker Changan Automobile has chosen Corning Inc. as its supplier of gasoline particulate filters. The filters will be used in all of Changan's next generation of vehicles, enabling them to meet China's new 6 light-duty vehicle emissions standards.
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors will close its Holland, Michigan tech center. It is moving the operation to Novi, Michigan.
NTN Driveshaft will expand its forging operations in Columbus, Indiana.
Tesla has secured a 9,250,000sf plot of a land to build its Beijing, China gigafactory. The plant will cost around $2b to build and will have an annual production capacity of 500,000 cars.
South Korean vehicle safety supplier DongChung Lts. is building a new plant in St. Helens, Oregon. The plant will hire 40 to 50 people and be initially setup in an existing 14,000sf space.
Automakers are facing six-year highs in raw material costs. There is increasing risk in the cost of: steel, aluminum, copper and plastic resin.
AK Steel is developing new advanced high-strength steel that can compete with aluminum. They say the material can be available as early as 2021 and will be stronger, less costly and almost as lightweight as aluminum.
The UK is cutting incentives on plug-in hybrid vehicles in order to focus on all-electric vehicles. The government says the cuts are a result of the growing popularity of hybrid vehicles.
The American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, has lost its federal designation as a proving ground for autonomous-vehicle testing. The loss forces the ACM to complete with more facilities for federal funding.
Germany's Transport Ministry is ordering the recall of 100,000 Opel vehicles as part of a diesel emissions probe. Opel says that their vehicles "...comply with applicable regulations" and that if a recall was ordered, "...Opel will challenge it legally.".
“From today’s point of view the chances are perhaps 50-50 that the German auto industry will still belong among the global elite in 10 years’ time,”
- VW CEO Herbert Diess