Elm Analytics - Automotive Supply Chain Risk Digest #306 - December 16 - 22, 2022
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Tom Zhu, Tesla's head of operations in Asia, is reportedly "being groomed for a bigger role." He and his Shanghai gigafactory team's presence in the past few weeks in Texas have fueled speculation amid Elon Musk's distractions at Twitter.
Trinseo is closing its styrene monomer plant in Boehlen, Germany. The plant has lost profits due to low customer demand, high energy costs, and size. The move is part of a more significant restructuring effort, including:
closure of a polycarbonate production line in Stade, Germany
consolidation of a PMMA sheet manufacturing site in Matamoros, Mexico
decreased production of SB latex at its Hamina, Finland facility
Toledo Molding & Die is idling its plant in Beloit, Wisconsin, as of February 28, 2023. The closure will affect 1.3k workers.
CATL has officially begun EV cell production at its Thuringia plant in Germany. The plant will add new production lines to expand the plant's capacity to 14GWh, up from 8GWh.
A Reuters investigation found that at least four major Hyundai and Kia suppliers used child labor in Alabama. Now, state and federal agencies are investigating whether minors have worked at other suppliers in the state.
Stellantis has decided to keep the second shift at its assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The automaker had previously announced they would eliminate it in late 2021.
Tesla is reportedly planning a pause on new hires and another round of layoffs in Q1 2023.
EV adoption in Asia is increasing pressure on Japanese automakers. Tesla's cost-saving optimizations and BYD's popularity and expansion leave little room to fall behind in the market.
NYT: Tesla's Direct Sales Model Helps It Thwart Customer Lawsuits
PWC: Overheated automotive M&A cools down in 2022
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Magna is acquiring Veoneer Active Safety for $1.53B. The acquisition will bolster Magna's portfolio of self-driving technology.
Solid Power is licensing the rights to its battery cells to BMW so the automaker can produce its solid-state batteries in Germany. BMW will pay Solid Power $20M through June 2024.
Japanese electronics maker Kyocera Corporation is planning a new plant in Ishaya City, Japan. The plant will create nearly 1k jobs and start production in 2026.
Tesla will build its next EV gigafactory in Santa Catarina, Mexico. The automaker is still working out the final details with local officials.
Renesas reopened its Beijing semiconductor facility after closing it last week due to COVID infections. Globally, the company is responsible for 1/3 of all automotive microcontrollers.
VW-FAW has lengthed shifts and brought in extra staff at its Foshan plant in China to compensate for lost production. In November, the facility closed for two weeks due to COVID restrictions. The company rejected previous reports that coronavirus absences triggered the increased work hours.
GM recalled 140k Chevy Bolt EVs due to a faulty seatbelt tensioner than can lead to a fire in a crash. The recall covers various Bolt vehicles from the 2017-2023 model years.
Foley & Lardner: Real ESG Enforcement Mechanisms: Restrictions on Imports of Goods Made With Forced or Child Labor
A new report from the Financial Times says that the global semiconductor shortage will continue throughout 2023. The head of Onsemi, Hassane El-Khoury, said that the chipmaker will "be adding capacity every quarter, every month in 2023 to meet our customer demand."
In January, VW will drop shifts at its Wolfsburg plant in Germany. Internal memos reportedly cite supply chain disruptions as the cause. Production of VW's Golf will be affected through the end of the month.