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Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #209 - February 5 - 11 , 2021
South Korea has enacted the world's first hydrogen law. It tackles safety issues, brings transparency to hydrogen pricing, and allows the government to request that operators of facilities build hydrogen charging stations.
Vietnamese EV maker Vinfast has obtained a permit to test its autonomous vehicles on public streets in California. The automaker is planning to start selling two of its vehicle models in the US beginning in 2022.
A lawsuit over battery manufacturing trade secrets has led to an import ban for SK Innovation. The International Trade Commission has a grace period to allow VW and Ford time to transition suppliers.
An NHTSA filing found that a single worker with an "improper torque wrench technique" led to a recall of nearly 400 2021 Outback vehicles.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Toyota and Denso are partnering with self-driving startup Aurora to develop autonomous minivans. The venture will create a self-driving Toyota Sienna minivan that can be mass-produced and deployed on ride-hailing networks.
Volkswagen's software division is teaming up with Microsoft to develop a new cloud-based autonomous driving software platform. The platform will make it easier to deploy software updates to add new features to vehicles.
Mitsubishi is closing its Climate Control division in Franklin, Indiana, due to demand. The factory will no longer produce compressors but will continue to produce turbochargers.
GM is increasing capacity in its Romulus, Michigan, and Bedford, Indiana plants. Demand for GM's pickup trucks has driven the investments in the transmission plants.
German supplier ZF is planning to invest $200M into its transmission plant in Gray Court, South Carolina, to build a new manufacturing line and create 500+ jobs.
Spain's Sese will open a new axle assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 300k sf facility will supply nearby Volkswagen's EV models.
South Korea's KB Autosys will build its first US plant in Lone Oak, Georgia. The brake pad supplier will supply GM, Hyundai, and Kia.
Tesla's Grünheide, Germany Gigafactory is reportedly facing massive delays.
EV maker Rivian Automotive is reportedly looking at locations in Europe for a new assembly plant. The plant would likely start by producing delivery vans for Amazon and later build Rivian's consumer models.
Stellantis is halting production at its assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, for three weeks starting on Monday. The shutdown is due to the ongoing global shortage of semiconductors.
The company also shut down its Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant on February 8th. The Jeep plant will reopen on February 15th.
Mexican auto production fell by around 15%, and exports dipped by 6% last month compared to January 2020.
Asian chipmakers are scrambling to increase the production of semiconductors to help reverse the global chip shortage. Manufacturers are still warning that the production ramp-up may take many months.
Analysts expect supply constraints to drive prices up 5% this year.
The Biden administration is vowing to address the global semiconductor shortage. President Biden is expected to sign an executive order directing a government-wide supply chain review for critical goods.
IHS Markit: Managing the 2021 automotive chip famine (pdf)