Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #284 - July 15 - 21, 2022
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Celina Mikolajczak was named chief battery technology officer of Lyten. The startup is developing a 3D graphene for lithium-sulfur batteries, which lack expensive cobalt and nickel. Previously with Tesla and Panasonic, Mikolajczak left solid-state battery startup QuantumScape abruptly in June.
Ford is preparing to cut 8k positions to help fund its EV transition. Sources say that most of the cuts will come from the Ford Blue unit, which produces traditional ICE vehicles.
Stellantis is laying off 40 workers next week at its Warren Stamping Plant in Michigan. It also plans to cut an unknown number of jobs when it shuts down the Trenton Engine Complete by the end of 2022 to rework the facilities.
North American EV investments have doubled from 2021 to 2022:
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Stellantis is terminating its over-a-decade-old JV with Chinese automaker GAC that built Jeeps. Stellantis says there was a "lack of progress" in acquiring a majority stake in the JV and will instead try to import EV Jeeps to China.
China's Envision Group announced a $3.9B partnership with Spain. The plan is to move forward on four projects, including an EV battery factory and hydrogen plant.
In a push to produce 600k EVs in 2023, Ford announced an agreement with CATL to buy EV batteries and increased existing purchases from LG and SK.
Meanwhile, CATL is considering two locations in Mexico to manufacture EV batteries for Tesla and Ford.
US chip maker SkyWater Technology is planning to invest $1.8B into a new chip research and production facility in West Lafayette, Indiana. The facility will be built in partnership with Purdue University.
Toyoda Gosei opened a new plant in Shiyan, China, late last week. The plant currently employs 300 workers and produces weatherstripping and other components.
Steel Dynamics will build an aluminum flat rolled mill in the Southeastern United States to be partially supplied by two new recycled aluminum facilities. The new mill will provide 1/3 of its production to the automotive industry.
Japan-based Nippon Denkai is planning a new $150M plant in Augusta, Georgia, to produce copper foil for EV batteries.
Tesla's Q2 2022 report shows production increases despite shutdowns and supply chain disruptions.
Lithium, nickel, and cobalt prices rose steeply in the past year. Global Supply Chains on EV batteries (pdf), a recent report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), highlights the massive investments needed in mining and refining to balance supply and demand. The report also considers China's headstart and central role in production.
Price hikes are inevitable as companies move away from sourcing EV battery materials from Russia.
BMW is partnering with BASF to make a new type of paint made of sewage. The paint reportedly lowers CO2 emissions from the process by around 40% and will be used at BMW's plants in Leipzig, Germany, and Rosslyn, South Africa.
GM and Ford have asked US auto safety regulators for special exemptions to deploy a limited number of self-driving vehicles without human controls such as steering wheels or brake pedals. The automakers want to deploy 2.5k ride-sharing and delivery vehicles per year.
Leoni's CEO, Aldo Kamper, believes the Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced the wire harness manufacturer to better deal with crisis management.
"I think we will see more software variety and less hardware variety, so you have a product you can more easily shift between facilities ... It will be a new world where harnesses are more standardized."
LMC Automotive: US Light Vehicle sales in 2022: a mid-year analysis
Automotive News / Reuters in-depth coverage of chip brokers: Inside China's scramble to overcome microchip crunch