Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #113 - April 5 - 11, 2019
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
BMW's Bernd Koerber will now head its Mini brand. Koerber succeeds Sebastian Mackensen, who has moved to BMW Group sales in Germany.
Ford has also named Yang Song as its new sales chief in China. Yang was previously the president of German SUV maker Borgward.
Ford hopes to cut 700 workers through a voluntary layoff program at its plant in Camacari, Brazil. The facility currently employs 7400 people.
Meanwhile, Ford's European restructuring is expected to cut 5000 jobs in Germany.
Workers at Ford's St. Petersburg, Russia plant are protesting its planned closure. The union representing around 1/3 of the plant's workforce is pushing for more generous layoff packages.
FCA will pay $110m to settle a lawsuit alleging it misled U.S. investors over excess diesel emissions.
327,000 Ford F-150 and Super Duty pickups are being recalled for the second time over yet another engine fire risk. The automaker said that dealership recall inspections on the engine block heater cables might have inadvertently damaged them.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
DENSO has announced that they will invest $1.6b over the next three years into developing and producing automotive electrification products and systems. As part of the electrification push, DENSO will open a new Electrification Innovation Center in 2020 at its plant in Anjo, Japan.
VW is exploring purchasing the majority stake in its Chinese EV partner JAC Motors. VW would become the second foreign automaker to gain control of a Chinese joint venture.
Geely launched a new premium EV brand called Geometry this week. Geometry will focus on the Chinese market. It plans to roll out ten EV models by 2025.
A railroad operator was killed in an accident at the ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor steel mill. The death was the 392nd fatality at the mill since it first opened in 1902.
Financial problems have forced Tesla and Panasonic to shelf Gigafactory expansion plans.
Toyota Boshoku will invest $50m into a new plant in Athens, Alabama. Four hundred people will be employed to supply the nearby Mazda Toyota plant currently being constructed.
Toronto-based First Cobalt will invest $30m into restarting an idled cobalt refinery in Canada.
Iron ore prices hit their highest levels in five years this week. While supply disruptions in Brazil and Australia played a factor, the gains coincided with rampant buying of Chinese steel futures.
US government officials will meet with executives from Tesla, Ford, GM and lithium mining executives from Albermarle and Livent. The group aims to launch a national electric vehicle supply chain strategy.
Chinese EV and battery maker BYD is concerned about securing enough nickel. The automaker says they would welcome joint ventures to help guarantee supply.
The European Commission received clearance to start trade talks with the US Thursday. Negotiations will cover tariffs on industrial goods and EU / US standards displayed on products.
Seventeen-hour delays at the US-Mexico border are cutting the number of inbound trucks to the U.S. by half. The delays are the result of the Trump administration's decision to move 750 border agents from commercial to immigration duties.
US tariffs on Chinese goods have shifted supply chains. Many manufacturers have moved production to Vietnam, Taiwan, and South Korea.