Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #103 - January 25 - 31, 2019
Volkswagen is cutting jobs at its plant in Bratislava, Slovakia for the first time in a decade. The automaker had borrowed around 500 workers from Audi's Hungarian unit in 2016.
Canada's auto workers union Unifor is calling for a boycott of all Mexican-built General Motors vehicles as part of their continued effort to save the Oshawa Assembly Plant. GM pushed back saying that such a boycott would be felt at some 60 Ontario-based auto parts companies that support Mexican production.
Over 20 companies have accepted maquiladoras worker's requests for higher pay. Large scale strikes have taken place in Matamoros, Mexico for the past three weeks.
Audi workers in Gyor, Hungary ended a week-long strike this week after reaching a deal for wage increases. In addition to stopping production at the Gyor plant, the strike had also halted production at Audi's plant in Ingolstadt, Germany.
FCA has recalled 182,000 Ram pickup trucks over an electrical problem with the power steering system. The recall covers Ram 1500 pickups from the 2019 model year.
Nissan has confirmed that they are being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the automaker's indictment in Japan related to alleged false disclosures regarding former chairman Carlos Ghosn's compensation.
The Colorado Automotive Dealers Association is suing the state of Colorado over its recently adopted low emission vehicle standards similar to California's. The Association says they think the move was "illegal" and that the standard is tough to meet because "...75% of vehicles that...customers buy in our...stores are pickups and SUVs, where in California it's only 50%.".
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Toyota and Panasonic have announced a new partnership to build next generation EV batteries starting in 2020. Production will be based in Japan and China using existing Panasonic plants.
Bosch has announced plans to expand into parking, charging and maintenance services for EV and autonomous vehicles. They added that they are working to expand an autonomous vehicle research alliance and plan to invest $4.6b to develop self-driving cars by 2022.
Nexteer Automotive has opened two new facilities in India: a software center in Bengaluru and a production plant in Chennai. The Bengaluru facility will focus on software development while the Chennai plant will build electronic power steering systems and driveline products.
After being halted for nearly two weeks, Subaru restarted production at its assembly plant in Gunma, Japan this week. Production had been halted due to a suspected defect in a power-steering component.
GM and FCA have halted operations at many of their manufacturing and non-manufacturing facilities in Michigan. A fire at a Consumers Energy facility forced natural-gas usage reductions across the state. Ford has not closed any facilities, but did lower temperatures at two plants to minimum levels and curtailed certain heat-intensive processes.
Ford is planning to increase production of the Ranger at its Wayne, Michigan assembly plant.
Investment in the UK's automotive industry plunged by a whopping 46% ($769m) last year over concerns of a hard Brexit. Since 2013, investment in the industry has dropped by 90%.
At the end of two days of trade talks, both the US and China clam progress.
A bipartisan bill filed by in both chambers of Congress this week aims to rollback presidential authority to impose tariffs for national security reasons. If passed, the President would be required to get approval from Congress before taking trade actions based on national security threats.
IHS Markit: Interior component suppliers will be most affected by GM plant idling. These parts are most likely sequenced or produced just-in-time and serve a single plant.
Automotive News China: The auto market in China is shrinking. The government is not using strong incentives to stimulate demand. Chinese automakers will continue to face financial pressure into the near future.