Elm Analytics - Supply Chain Risk Digest #15 - May 20 - 26, 2017
CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT
Ford has announced that Mark Fields is being replaced as CEO by Jim Hackett. Hackett, who has been heading Ford's mobility unit for about a year, is known for corporate culture change and is also the former head of Steelcase.
Gaby Toledano, a former executive at video game company Electronic Arts, replaced VP of HR, Arnnon Geshuri at Tesla. This change comes amid employee claims of a harsh work environment at its California assembly plant.
Rival investor groups used a shareholder meeting to vie for control over German automotive supplier Grammer. Grammer's management rejected the demand to replace the chairperson. Cascade Investment and Ningbo Jifeng both hold large stakes in the supplier.
According to a study that used Tesla's own internal data by California nonprofit group Worksafe, the rate of serious injuries at Tesla's Fremont plant is double the industry average.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a civil complaint alleging that Fiat Chrysler used software designed to cheat emissions tests in more than 100,000 diesel vehicles including the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
German prosecutors are now investigating Bosch for suspected aiding and abetting in connection with the current Daimler case. They have been investigating Daimler under suspicion of fraud and misleading advertising connected with manipulated emissions treatment of diesel cars.
Bosch was added to a fourth automaker's lawsuit regarding emission-cheating (Daimler, FCA, GM & VW). The lawsuit states that Bosch “participated not just in the development of the defeat device, but in the scheme to prevent U.S. regulators from uncovering the device’s true functionality". In each case, the vehicles used Bosch’s EDC-17 control unit for engine’s operation and control emissions.
End payors have asked a Michigan federal judge to approve a proposed $7.6 million deal to settle claims that bearing supplier SKF participated in a price-fixing scheme with manufacturers in the U.S., Japan, and Germany.
The U.S. government is investigating whether Hyundai and Kia moved quickly enough to recall more than 1.6 million cars and SUVs due to stalling engines.
MERGERS, VENTURES, ACQUISITIONS
Chinese regulators have approved Volkswagen and JAC Motors plans to form a joint venture to make electric vehicles. A VW spokesman says that certain administrative procedures still need to be completed for the $740 million deal to be finalized.
Chinese automaker Geely will buy a 49.9% and a 51% share in struggling Malaysian carmaker Proton and Proton's UK carmaker Lotus, respectively. The hope is that it will help revive both the Proton and Lotus brands.
PLANT OPENINGS / EXPANSION
Daimler broke ground on a lithium-ion battery assembly plant south of Berlin. Large-scale factories are planned in Sweden, Hungary and Poland. Although smaller than Tesla's US Gigafactory 1, the new facility will be the largest in Europe.
Ford is investing in its Livonia Transmission Plant to expand its lineup of transmissions.
Borealis AG will build a plant in Taylorsville, NC dedicated to making polypropelene-based compounds for the auto industry. It's set to open in 2019 with an annual compounding production capacity of almost 70 million pounds.
Spanish port strikes may resurface from May 24- June 9 and Ford stands to face significant delays as rerouting takes its toll.
Auto parts deliveries have been delayed at the Laredo, TX port of entry after heavy storms and flash floods on Sunday caused power outages and structural damages to customs operation on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Cargo operations at the suspended World Trade Bridge are not expected to resume until early next week.