Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #190 - September 25 - October 1, 2020
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Mercedes has named Daimler veteran Dimitris Psillakis as the new head of marketing and sales for North America. He will take over for Nicholas Speeks on January 1, 2021.
Thyssenkrupp announced this week that it is cutting 800 system engineering jobs from its automotive business. They added that they don't expect auto demand to recover for "at least two to three years."
GM knocked Tesla off its perch in China last month by outselling the Model 3 with their Wuling Mini - a $4.2K EV.
Nissan is planning to use a unique manufacturing process called compression-resin transfer molding to mass-produce carbon-fiber parts for its vehicles. The new method also delivers better quality parts with less wrinkling and fewer weak spots.
Canadian auto union Unifor ratified its new three-year contract with Ford this week through an 81% in favor vote. The deal includes a $1.8B investment towards retooling the Oakville assembly plant for EVs and $148M towards bringing a new engine to the Windsor engine plant.
The EU fined Brose and Kiekert $21M for participating in cartels. The German suppliers participated with Magna to control prices and share confidential data. However, The Commission did not fine Magna as it revealed the cartels.
Former UAW President Dennis Williams pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement this week. Williams served as the union's president from 2014-2018.
Ford recalled over 700k vehicles from the 2020 model year in North America over a poor cable connection that can cause the rearview camera display to malfunction. The recall affects 620k cars in the US, 76k in Canada, and 4k in Mexico.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Adient closed the sale of its automotive fabrics business to Sage Automotive Interiors for $175M this week, announced in March.
Hella is jettisoning its front camera software business to Volkswagen's subsidiary Car.Software. The agreement transfers employees and provides VW with in-house resources and Hella with needed funds.
Is Tesla planning to mine its own lithium from clay deposits in Nevada?
Slovenia's Cimos closed its Maribor plant due to financial difficulty and the coronavirus pandemic. Cimos primarily produces turbo compressor and turbine housings as well as power train components.
Toshiba will shutdown its underperforming LSI division. The semiconductor manufacturer will continue to sell to and support its existing customers. LSI currently supplies Toyota with image recognition processors.
General Motors is investing $71M into two of its plants in Ohio. $39M will upgrade and enhance production at the Toledo transmission plant, while $32M will prepare the Defiance casting plant for future work.
SKF is restructuring, closing factories in Avon, Oh, and North Charleston, South Carolina. It will expand its Sumter, South Carolina facility, consolidating the capabilities of the two closing plants. Investments in automation will allow SKF to reduce its headcount by 115. Additionally, it will move the manufacturing of tapered roller bearings from China to an existing Mexico site.
Faurecia is planning a new $3.7M seating plant in Shanghai to supply Tesla's assembly plant there. Faurecia also provides complete cockpit modules to Tesla's Shanghai plant.
UK auto production fell by an annual 45% in August due to low demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, factory output looks to fall by around a third for 2020.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority this week ordered GM to repay $28M in tax breaks they received for going back on its promise to keep its Lordstown assembly plant open until 2040. The state says the plant closure violated the terms of two economic agreements they signed with the automaker over ten years ago.
close supplier relationships
with the pandemic resiliency of automotive suppliers. Managing inventory and production levels is the most top of mind issue.
A new survey of manufacturing executives conducted by Detroit law firm Foley & Lardner suggests a shift towards moving supply chains away from China and focusing on supply chain resilience and stability instead of low costs and lean inventory.