Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #286 - July 29 - August 4, 2022
Lear is preparing for a potential economic downturn by cutting non-manufacturing staff and consolidating plants.
Inflation in Europe and the US is driving a slowdown in demand for new vehicles.
Toyota's Q2 profits tumbled by around 40% compared to last year due to supply constraints and rising costs. Despite the dip, the automaker is sticking to its profit and production targets for the year.
Stellantis will invest $99M into its engine plants in Dundee, Michigan, Kokomo, Indiana, and Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. The investment will prepare the facilities to produce a new four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
Adding additional software engineers was the driving force behind Faurecia's acquisition of Hella (now Forvia). The move is part of a more significant trend toward software-defined vehicles.
Toyota's Woven Planet made a similar move when it purchased Lyft's Level 5 autonomous technology subsidiary. Acquiring experienced staff allowed it to move timetables forward in years.
Maxion Wheels is looking to add 60 jobs at its steel wheel plant in Sedalia, Missouri.
This week's double take...
Automotive News headlines one year apart (2022, 2021):
Stellantis will pay $300M to settle the criminal portion of its diesel emissions cheating case. The case involves over 100k Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pickups built from 2014-2016.
An internal investigation has revealed that Toyota-subsidiary Hino Motors falsified emissions data on some engines going back to at least 2003, not 2016 previously disclosed.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Borgwarner has acquired EV charger maker Rhombus Energy Solutions for $185M.
EV startup Nikola is buying battery supplier Romeo Power for around $144M in stock. The acquisition aims to jumpstart their efforts to make their battery packs.
BMW's Mini is reportedly working with Canoo to produce a smaller electric van. A big turn from earlier this year, when Canoo stated, "there are significant doubts about the company's ability to continue as a going concern." Since then, Walmart has placed an order for 4.5k electric vans.
Citing tensions caused by Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan this week, Chinese EV battery maker CATL has reportedly pushed back plans to announce a new battery plant in North America. The battery maker was considering sites in Mexico and the US for the plant.
Two companies, Ascend Elements, and LOTTE Aluminum Materials, announced plans to build new EV battery component plants in Kentucky this week. Ascend will invest $310M into a plant in Hopkinsville, while LOTTE will invest $238.7M in Elizabethtown.
China's Farasis Energy will build another battery plant in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, with a final annual capacity of 30 GWh.
Ganfeng Lithium has started construction on a new solid-state EV battery plant in Chongqing, China. Once completed, the company says the plant will have an annual capacity of 10GWh and be the largest plant of its kind in China.
Floor mat maker Kuntai Limited is planning a new $1.5M plant in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The plant will create 41 jobs and will start production by October.
Germany's Hella opened a lighting factory in Changzhou, China, as part of a JV with BAIC.
Lucid reduced its production forecast from 20k to 6-7k, facing supply chain and logistics issues.
Automakers are urging Senator Joe Manchin to revise his proposal to restructure the $7,500 EV tax credit. Automakers say the new targets for domestic mineral and battery component sourcing are too high and rise too quickly.
The auto industry traded increased visibility of chip supplies for higher costs, capital commitment, and closer working relationships.