Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #249 - November 12 - 18, 2021
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Ford of Europe's general manager of passenger vehicles, Roelant de Waard, is retiring after over 30 years with the automaker.
Toyota is adding a dedicated hybrid transaxle line to its West Virginia facility.
Daimler's Berlin-Marienfelde plant will shift from producing its 6-cylinder diesel to electric motors. The more direct production line will reduce the number of the plant's 2.3k workers needed for assembly. The current contract guarantees positions until 2030, though many workers are retraining in other areas.
GM will reduce the number of unique chips by 95% on future vehicles. Seven suppliers will build these new designs primarily in North America. The company said that it expects its semiconductor use to double in the next few years.
Toyota is partnering with Mazda, Subaru, Yamaha, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries to explore the viability of alternative green fuels for vehicles. Among the possibilities are hydrogen and synthetic fuels derived from biomass.
Hapag-Llyod's CEO warns that winter weather and uncertain labor negotiations may pose a risk to western US ports. Last week the German container shipper reported a 10x increase on a nine-month net profit.
The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Volkswagen to avoid lawsuits filed in three states seeking damages related to the emissions scandal. The automaker argues that only the federal government can pursue such claims and not individual states.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Ford has signed a non-binding agreement with chipmaker GlobalFoundries aiming to increase its supply of chips. The partnership could lead to new chips being designed specifically for Ford.
Glencore will supply partially recycled cobalt cathodes to FREYR Battery in Norway.
Toray and LG Chem will invest $3.75M to establish a 50/50 JV, LG Toray Hungary Battery Separator.
Rivian is reportedly in late-stage discussions to open a vehicle manufacturing and battery plant east of Atlanta, Georgia.
Texas Instruments will build two 300-millimeter semiconductor wafer fabs in Sherman, Texas.
Automotive production in Mexico hit a nine-year low in October, with only 257k cars produced. It is a 25.9% decline compared to October 2020.
Honda's Japanese assembly plants will return to normal production in December. The factories ran at 90% capacity in November due to chip shortages.
Toyota recalled 243K Camrys globally due to an issue with the power brake assist system. Some parts of the system may wear prematurely and cause the assist to stop functioning.
President Biden signed a $1.2B infrastructure bill this week, saying that "American infrastructure investment will grow faster than China's." $7.5B of the investment will go towards building a nationwide network of EV chargers.
Three of Ford's European plants continue to be offline due to semiconductor supply disruptions.
VW halted production for a week at its Zwickau and Dresden assembly plants due to chip shortages.