Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #281 - June 24 - 30, 2022
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
VW lost two high-profile EV execs this week as e-mobility VP Matt Renna and e-mobility Director Dustin Krause both left the automaker to join startups. Renna departed for autonomous delivery vehicle company Nuro, whil Krause left for battery recycling startup Redwood Materials.
Tesla laid off 200 employees this week as part of its decision to close its Autopilot development office in San Mateo, California.
Nissan is adding 300 jobs at its assembly plant in Sunderland, England as part of its transition to vehicle electrification.
Check out Automotive News' list of the top 100 automotive suppliers for 2022.
Stellantis manufacturing chief Arnaud Deboeuf this week said "If EVs don't get cheaper, the market will collapse." The comments reportedly came on the heels of the EU's decision to phase out ICE vehicles by 2035.
The US Supreme Court this week declined to hear American Axle's bid to revive its patent on technology for quieting driveshaft noise. In a 2015 case against their competitor Neapco, two lower federal courts sided with Neapco finding that the patent covered a simple application of an accepted physics principle.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Michigan lawmakers have approved a $101M incentive package for Ford for a project that would create 3,030 jobs and see $1.16B inveted into manufacturing throughout the state.
Volkswagen and Siemens have invested around $450M into charging infrastructure deployment company Electrify America. The company was initially created as a part of VW's $2B deal with the US to compensate for Dieselgate.
EV battery maker Britishvolt has signed a memorandum of understanding with battery materials maker Posco to secure the supply of cathode and anode materials.
Stellantis has invested $52.5M into Australian low-carbon lithium producer Vulcan. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said that the investment will help "create a resilient and sustainable value chain" for its European EV battery production
Taiwanese chip material maker GlobalWafers is planning to invest up to $5B in a new silicon wafer plant in Sherman, Texas. While construction is due to begin this year, pending legislation in Congress (the "CHIPS Act") could potentially alter the company's plans.
Stellantis is investing $24.7M into retooling its engine plant in Trenton, Michigan. The site's south plant will be upgraded while the north plant will be decommisioned by the end of the year.
Toyota produced 5.3% fewer vehicles in May compared to May 2021. Separately, Honda's May production fell by 15% compared to May 2021.
UK vehicle production rose by 13.3% in May, marking the first rise in production there since June 2021.
Shape Corporation and Norsk Hydro are gearing up to release a new aluminum product, Hydro CIRCAL, which is made with a minimum of 75% recycled, post-consumer scrap. Shape says they plan to produce a variety of auto parts with the recycled aluminum.
Nissan is recalling 322K Pathfinders from 2013-2016 due to a potentially faulty hood latch. The automaker does not yet have a solution for the problem.
Ford is recalling 2,900 F-150 Lightning EVs due to a software issue that can fail to warn of low tire pressure. The fix will come via and over-the-air update in 30 days.
Following over 16 hours of talks, environment ministers from the EU's 27 member state have agreed on five laws that support the phase out of ICE vehicles by 2035.
According to J.D. Power's 2022 Initial Quality Study, new vehicle quality declined by 11% this year. The firm's director of global automotive, David Amodeo, said this was "our worst year ever" and added that "we've never seen an 11% deteroration before."
A new forecast from Auto Forecast Solutions suggest that hopes that the microchip shortage was cooling off may have been premature. The analytics firm has increased its forecast for lost 2022 vehicle production by 800k vehicles in the last 60 days.