Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #171 - May 15 - 21, 2020
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
VW of America chief marketing office Saad Chehab is leaving the automaker after only nine months on the job. VW has named sales head Duncan Movassaghi as Chehab's replacement on an interim basis.
European sales plunged by 78% in April as a result of coronavirus lockdowns. Sales have dropped about 40% during the first four months of the year.
Renault is cutting around 400 jobs at its Revoz plant in Slovenia. The automaker attributes the cuts to "uncertain conditions on the global car market, which are a consequence of the Covid-19 epidemic."
After dismissing 3.7k employees earlier this month, Uber eliminated another 3k jobs this week. The ride-hailing giant is also closing dozens of offices worldwide and shutting down many side projects.
Mobileye's CEO, Amnon Shashua, believes that the autonomous industry will experience a "great consolidation," bringing individual component manufacturers together to build an end-to-end system.
Bloomberg: The State of the Self-Driving Car Race 2020
Chinese EV battery maker SVOLT has introduced two new cobalt-free batteries. The batteries will be used in a high-end car made by Great Wall Motors.
Volkswagen has agreed to pay a $9.9M fine to end legal proceedings against its CEO Herbert Diess and non-executive chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch. The two were accused of holding back market-moving information on the automaker's rigged emissions tests.
Former UAW President Gary Jones is pleading not guilty on the charges that he embezzled more than $1M of union funds. Jones has been charged with embezzling and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. of taxes.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
VW and Ford are teaming up to develop new autonomous vehicle technology. The automakers are expected to strike a deal by the end of the month.
Mexico has given GM permission to restart its four plants in there. As of last night, Ford and FCA were still monitoring the situation.
Detroit's big three restarted production at North American plants on Monday while enacting new safety precautions to limit COVID-19 exposure. Workers at plants will have temperatures checked at the start of shifts, be covered in PPE, and stand further apart.
Tesla has reportedly settled on Austin, Texas, for the site of its next assembly plant. The plant would build the automaker's Model Y crossover and the Cybertruck.
Mercedes has suspended production at its plant in Vance, Alabama, due to a shortage of parts supplied from Mexico. After shutting down due to the spread of coronavirus, the plant was one of the first automotive plants to reopen (April 30).
Bridgestone announced a temporary phased shutdown of all its plants in Japan due to the market situation and a decline in demand.
After only restarting production at most of its North American plants on Monday, Ford temporarily shut down two plants this week after workers tested positive for COVID-19. Production was abruptly halted at its Chicago Assembly and Dearborn truck plants for short periods on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
Toyota will reduce its vehicle production in Japan by 122k units in June due to a lack of demand due to coronavirus. Also, the automaker will halt production at all of its 15 plants for four days next month.
Palladium has jumped to $2k an ounce, its biggest increase since March.
The protocols that determine safety ratings from Euro NCAP have gone through "the biggest changes... in a decade."