Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #154 - January 17 - 23, 2020
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Mitsubishi has named former Opel exec Eric Wepierre as its new head of European operations. Wepierre replaces Bernard Loire, who has moved to Maserati as the automaker's chief commercial officer.
Delphi put in place a new technical council to fill the void that CTO Mary Gustanski left when she retired at the end of last year.
Jaguar Land Rover is cutting 500 jobs at its plant in Halewood, England. The automaker told workers that the cuts are the results of changing shift patterns coming into effect in April.
Toyota is significantly shifting vehicle production to more efficiently utilize factories.
GM's autonomous vehicle unit, Cruise, unveiled its first driverless shuttle this week. The vehicle, which Cruise is calling Origin, looks similar to others but doesn't feature any manual controls that would allow a human to take control in an emergency.
The UAW has expressed skepticism about the recently signed USMCA and Phase 1 trade deal with China.
Tesla has responded to claims that some of their vehicles have accelerated unexpectedly by saying that there is "no 'unintended acceleration' in" its cars, mostly chalking it up to user error. They went on to claim that the "petition is completely false and was brought on by a Tesla short-seller."
German prosecutors are investigating Mitsubishi over its suspected use of illegal defeat devices in its diesel engine vehicles.
Toyota recalled 3.4m vehicles worldwide over an electronic problem that can cause airbags not to deploy in a crash. The recall covers 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon, and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles.
Volkswagen will pay a $149.7m fine in Canada after pleading guilty to dozens of counts of diesel emissions violations. The fine is by far the most substantial environmental penalty in Canadian history.
Tesla and the State of Michigan have settled the automaker's 2016 lawsuit challenging the state's refusal to allow them to sell vehicles directly to consumers. The agreement says that Tesla can sell cars to Michigan customers, "as long as the sales contract indicates the sale took place in a state other than Michigan."
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
China's Great Wall Motors is acquiring General Motors' Talegaon plant near Pune, India. The acquisition is part of Great Wall's plans to launch vehicles in India by the first half of 2021.
Volkswagen is taking a 20% stake in Chinese EV battery maker Guoxuan High-Tech Co., Ltd. The deal is part of the automaker's goal to sell 1.5m new energy vehicles a year in China by 2025.
Toyota has invested $394m into air taxi startup Joby Aviation to develop its electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. As a result, Toyota EVP Shigeki Tomoyama will join Joby's board of directors.
GM supplier MITEC Powertrain is closing its Findlay, Ohio facility. Its German parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2018.
Harman plans to close its plant in Straubing, Germany. Production will relocate to Hungary; however, there is opposition from the union, IG Metall.
Chinese supplier Minth Group is investing $87m into a new plant on its existing property in Lewisburg, Tennessee. The project will see the construction of a 236k sf plant and the creation of 254 jobs over the next five years.
CCI Manufacturing will build a new production facility near Trinity, Alabama. CCI will produce automotive fluids, such as brake fluid and engine coolant.
BMW will idle its plant in Munich, Germany, for six weeks this summer to retool for the upcoming production of the all-electric BMW i4 in 2021.
Some experts are saying that content requirements in the new USMCA trade agreement will lead to Chinese companies increasing the number of parts they make in Mexico.
The Trump administration is reportedly dialing back its plan to relax fuel-economy requirements for new vehicles. Instead of freezing the mandate to lower emissions for six years, they will only require 1.5% yearly increases in efficiency from 2021-26.
UK business minister Nadhim Zahawi is "confident" of a no tariff or quota deal on automotive parts. The Brexit transition period ends at the end of the year. The British government is aiming to keep just-in-time automotive supply chains running.
Daimler has set aside $1.2b to cover costs related to the diesel scandals. Analysts have voiced concerns over Daimler's "homegrown problems, rather than broader industry headwinds."
Learning from Toyota Way Principles versus Copying Toyota Practices by Dr. Jeffrey Liker