Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #152 - January 3 - 9, 2020
NOAA: "A large storm is forecast to impact the Midwest starting today, shifting to the East Coast by early Sunday. Widespread severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and tornadoes are expected across the South. Heavy rain and flooding are possible from the Plains to the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. Heavy snow and ice will lead to dangerous travel from the Plains to New England."
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Head of Volkswagen's Seat brand, Luca de Meo, has stepped down from his role at the automaker. It is rumored that de Meo is a top contender for the currently vacant CEO position at Renault.
Tenneco's board has consolidated its leadership. Brian Kesseler is now CEO as Roger Wood has stepped down. Additionally, Tenneco has put its plans to separate its powertrain from aftermarket business on hold.
2019 boasted over 17m vehicles sold in the US, despite significant sales declines.
Daimler recalled 744k Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the US over defective sunroofs. The recall covers dozen of C-Class, CLK-Class, CLS-Class, and E-Class vehicles from the 2011-2011 model years.
Former UAW Region 5 leader Vance Pearson is expected to plead guilty for his part in the union's corruption scandal. He is charged with conspiracy to embezzle funds and to use a facility of interstate commerce to aid a racketeering enterprise.
Over 200 shareholders are suing Daimler for around $1b over claims that the automaker failed to disclose that its vehicles had diesel emissions cheating devices. A spokesperson for the automaker says that the cases are without merit and that they will fight them with all legal means.
The ongoing Takata airbag inflator recall continues as yet another 10m inflators are being recalled. The parts were installed in earlier recall repairs despite sharing the same fundamental flaw as the components they were replacing.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Smart Automobile Co, a Chinese joint venture with Mercedes-Benz and Geely, received approvals from Chinese authorities.
Eaton has sold its Automotive Fluid Conveyance Division to Quantum Capital Partners.
According to reports, Volvo is in initial talks with Daimler to work together on internal combustion engines.
Toyota is building a new, fully sustainable city in Japan that will act as a testbed for all kinds of new tech such as AI, mobility, robotics, and other technologies. The city will be called Woven City and will begin to be inhabited by around 2K people, including Toyota employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners within the next five years.
Ficosa North America is closing its plant in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and consolidating its production with its plant in Cookeville, Tennessee. The production consolidation will lead to the loss of nearly 200 jobs in the Shelbyville area.
Fuyao Glass America is adding 100 new jobs at its plant in Moraine, Ohio. The company says the positions are part of a major expansion that includes plans to acquire more of the former GM assembly plant where the Moraine plant currently operates.
Isuzu has unveiled plans to build a new factory for producing eco-friendly commercial vehicles in Taichung, Taiwan. The plant plans to start operations in 2021 and add 200 employees.
FCA is extending the production shutdown at its minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, by another week, adding the week of Jan. 13 in addition to the previously announced shutdown week of Jan. 20. The automaker is responding to a 38% and 15% slump in Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan sales in 2019, respectively.
German car production fell to it's lowest level in 23 years, only producing 4.66m vehicles in 2019. The German VDA car lobby says that the decrease was due to falling demand from international markets.
Hyundai's plant in Alabama saw a 4% increase in production in 2019 over the previous year. The automaker says that the Santa Fe SUV was the primary contributor to the production increase.
Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced: "AV 4.0" at CES. These guidelines for autonomous vehicles would rely on "voluntary consensus standards (which) can be validated by testing protocols…supported by private sector conformity assessment schemes and (which) offer flexibility and responsiveness to the rapid pace of innovation."
Dave Versical of Automotive News: "...the past decade has shown that crystal balls can fog up in a hurry. And when they do, it helps to be able to turn on a dime."