Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #297 - October 14 - 20, 2022
BMW plans to invest $1.7B to expand its manufacturing footprint in South Carolina. $1B will produce EV vehicles at its Spartanburg plant, and $700M will go towards a new EV battery assembly plant in Woodruff.
The company will also add an additional EV battery assembly line and five cell varnishing lines to its Leipzig, Germany, plant by 2024. It expects to add two more high-voltage battery assembly lines after that.
BMW will end production of the electric Mini in the UK next year and move production to China.
As geopolitical tensions rise, Stellantis is considering ending the production of its vehicles in China. The automaker already pulled out from its only Jeep plant in the country earlier this year.
Stellantis COO Mark Stewart said the automaker will need four EV battery plants in North America by 2030. The automaker has already announced two JV battery plants - one in Indiana and the other in Canada - to launch in 2025.
BMW's Leipzig, Germany plant is testing a paint shop burner that runs on both hydrogen and gas. This area is one of the most energy-intensive areas of vehicle manufacturing. If the burner survives testing, the move could both reduce dependence on Russian gas and allow it to run on clean, renewable energy.
NHTSA has reported ten fatal crashes involving Tesla vehicles with assisted-driving tech from June-September of this year. The agency has reported 16 fatal collisions with vehicles using Level 2 ADAS systems since the start of the monitoring in June 2021.
A federal jury found Trevor Milton guilty of defrauding investors by claiming Nikola's hydrogen technology was further advanced.
Stellantis has agreed to pay $5.6M to the state of California to resolve a violation of air quality regulations there. Half of the payment is a civil penalty, while the other half will go towards bringing more electric school buses to the South Coast Air Basin.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
ZF has signed a new agreement with the Chinese new energy company NIO to cooperate on steering-by-wire products and other fields. The deal will establish an instant information-sharing mechanism, deepen communication channels and conduct regular technical exchanges.
The US Department of Energy announced (pdf) $2.8M in battery materials processing and manufacturing projects.
Chemical maker Albemarle is receiving $150M under the Biden administration's infrastructure law to build a new lithium concentrator plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Once complete, the plant will supply enough lithium to support the production of up to 1.6M EVs per year.
Anovion Battery Materials announced they would receive $117M under the Biden administration's infrastructure law to build a new EV battery materials plant. The plant will be constructed in Colbert County, New York, supporting the company's existing facility in Niagara Falls.
Automotive module assembler Piston Automotive is planning a new $10M facility in Wentzville, Missouri. The facility will reside in the existing Wentzville Logistics Center and create 204 jobs.
Ford is opening a new software development R&D center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ineos has begun production of its Grenadier SUV at its Hambach, Germany facility.
Vietnamese EV maker VinFast recalled 730 of its VF e34 EVs to replace their side crash sensors. The sensor is likely to encounter an incompatibility error with the airbag controller.
New US export controls have forced suppliers of semiconductor fabrication equipment to determine whether their Chinese customers are producing advanced chips. Analysts believe the move may degrade China's capabilities over time. One possible unintended consequence may be the saturation of the low-end chip market.
CATL has slowed its plans for new North American battery plants on concerns that US sourcing rules could drive up costs.
Washington Post: EV supply chains have a human rights problem. Can tech fix it?
GM halted Corvette production this past week. Its Bowling Green plant has shut down several times this year due to parts supply issues.