Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #200 - December 4 - 10, 2020
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Toyota has named longtime exec Lisa Materazzo as its new VP for marketing in North America. She will succeed Ed Laukes, who announced his retirement last month.
From June to November, the UK had its steepest drop in new car sales, falling 27%.
Tesla still needs to recruit 5k out of the 7k workers to staff its Gruenheide assembly plant. The situation may be due to reports of a contentious work environment and the ease of finding employment elsewhere. Production is planned to start in eight months.
QuantumScape intends on beginning production of its solid-state batteries in 2024. The batteries can reach 80% capacity in 15m and will reportedly be used by VW, its largest shareholder.
Meanwhile, Solid Power will begin testing its solid-state automotive batteries in early 2022. The startup is backed by Ford and is designing the batteries to be made in existing factories.
Toyota launched the European Fuel Cell Business Group, its new hydrogen/fuel cell business unit.
Michelin is aiming to produce all of their tires with 80% sustainable materials by 2048. Michelin North America chairman Alex Garcin added that "We don't know today how to get completely to 100 percent".
Hyundai has recalled 130k vehicles for engine failure after facing fines from NHTSA.
Kia recalled 295k vehicles in the US over engine fire risks. The recall covers some 2012-2013 Sorento, 2012-2015 Forte and Forte Koup, 2011-2013 Optima Hybrid, 2014-2015 Soul, and 2012 Sportage vehicles.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Aurora is buying Uber's ATG autonomous vehicles development arm. Uber has suffered from a series of lawsuits and shuttered demand due to the pandemic.
Apple is rumored to be working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company on chips for an upcoming "Apple Car".
Germany's Mann+Hummel will close its Wolverhampton plant in Britain by the end of 2022. The factory produced filtration components. It cited industry transition, Brexit, and the COVID-19 crisis as reasons for the closure.
Powertrain supplier Marelli is closing its plant in Sanford, North Carolina, and moving 329 jobs to Mexico. The plant, which had been in operation for over 40 years, will close in the second half of 2021.
Valmet Automotive is expanding its plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland, to produce battery systems.
Honda hopes to restart its Swindon plant in Britain Monday. It had halted production Wednesday due to shortages of parts delayed in container ports.
Jaguar Land Rover shut down its Castle Bromwich facility due to COVID-19 related supplier parts shortages. It plans to reopen in two weeks.
2020 has had its share of "perfect storms." This week, the Financial Times highlighted the container shipping crisis. Shipping lines and ports are suffering from a vicious circle: Soaring demand → companies to restock → increased manufacturing → record shipping volumes → larger workforce required → increased COVID-19 outbreaks → reduced workforce → backed up ports → fewer available shipping containers → reduced supply → soaring demand
These container shortages, along with an early Chinese New Year, are impacting fastener availability.
Volkswagen, Bosch, and Continental warn of a semiconductor component shortage that will potentially affect automotive production.