Foley Weekly Automotive Report – September 2021 – 5 | Foley & Lardner srl


This report helps automotive suppliers inform their legal and operational decisions to help them overcome challenges and seize opportunities.

Key developments

  • LMC Automotive revised its global light vehicle forecast to 80 million units in 2021, 85 million in 2022 and 94 million in 2023, noting that the industry continues to experience volatility due to production downtime due to shortages of chips and other parts.
  • advice Alix Partners estimate her global semiconductor shortage will result in a loss of production of 7.7 million vehicles, and one loss of income 210 billion dollars this year, up from a previous estimate of 3.9 million vehicles and $ 110 billion.
  • The pandemic has resulted in revisions of contractual clauses between suppliers and their customers, and a increased emphasis on force majeure provisions, according to Foley & Lardner partner Vanessa Miller in The the Wall Street newspaper.
  • DG has informed its non-compliant employees that failure to comply with a obligation to confidentially report COVID-19 vaccination status will result in security breach letters and a partial loss of performance bonuses.
  • Stellantis has production downtime at four North American factories this week, affecting models including the Ram Pickup Truck and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.
  • Volvo to the intention of phase out leather products in its vehicles by 2030, in anticipation of increased customer concern for an ethical and sustainable sourcing of materials.
  • FedEx partner with a truck manufacturer Paccar and autonomous vehicle technology company Dawn To launch a commercial pilot test of autonomous trucks in Texas.
  • Electric vehicles and low emission technology:
    • Commercial electric vehicle company Last mile electrical solutions has started production on its urban delivery van and intends to ship its first units this month.
    • Ford will partner with SK Innovation to build battery facilities for electric vehicles in Kentucky and Tennessee.
    • Volvo electric vehicle subsidiary The polar star announced that it would go public through a merger with blank check company Gores Guggenheim.
    • Lithium-ion battery recycler Battery Resources raised $ 70 million in a funding round, and Ford will invest $ 50 million when starting battery recycling Redwood materials.
    • GM Chairman Mark Reuss recently said recycling of materials used in EV batteries will become a crucial issue for the automotive industry.
    • The Michigan Department of Transportation will issue a request for proposals by the end of the month for a pilot project to develop a one-mile stretch of public road for wirelessly charge an electric vehicle. The state also plans to develop a Lake Michigan Electric Vehicle Circuit, with more details following a feasibility study.

Market trends and regulation

  • Industrial groups, including Association of Engine and Equipment Manufacturers, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, sent a letter to the US Department of Transportation urging continued and increased efforts to support safety deployment of automated vehicles in the United States.
  • Executives from the automotive, tech and semiconductor industries met with officials in the Biden administration to discuss approaches to improve the automotive semiconductor supply chain, including the possibility of invoking the Defense Production Act for information on potato chip inventory and sales.
  • Price for palladium fell by more than 20% in September, due to reduced production of new vehicles amid the chip shortage. Palladium is a key ingredient in emission filters for gasoline engines.
  • The Automotive Research Center (CAR) is monitoring a draft Congress proposal to expand refundable tax credits up to $ 12,500 for people who purchase qualified Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), and Qualified Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs).
  • More than 70 companies and organizations sent a letter urging governors to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, which obliges manufacturers of medium and heavy commercial vehicles in participating States to increase sales of zero-emission models to a certain percentage of sales over time. The ACT rule was adopted in California and is being considered in states such as Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington. The letter was organized by the sustainability nonprofit Ceres.

OEM / suppliers

  • Impact on production of the semiconductor shortage
    • Automakers should have direct relationships or deep partnerships with semiconductor companies, as part of the move from ‘just in time’ supply chains for critical components such as semiconductors.
    • Stellantis will extend the downtime for the week of September 27 to its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit and Belvidere assembly plant in Illinois, affecting production of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs and the Jeep Cherokee crossover, respectively. Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico and Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario are also down this week, affecting the production of Ram pickups, Muscle cars Dodge Charger and Challenger and Chrysler 300 sedans.
    • DG plans to resume production at its Wentzville, Missouri factory on September 27. This plant has been down since September 6 and produces mid-size pickup trucks and full-size vans. GM will resume production at its Township of Lansing Delta factory on October 4. This plant has been down since July 19 and produces midsize SUVs.
  • Faurecia lowered its annual sales forecast to 15.5 billion euros, from a previous target of 16.5 billion, due to the decline in the forecast for global vehicle production recently released by IHS Markit.
  • Marelli Corp. plans to cut 1,500 jobs worldwide, which represents a workforce reduction of 7.5%, with the aim of bringing its workforce and costs into line with industry levels.
  • Five suppliers change brands to train Automotive Technologies from Teijin. Continental Structural Plastics, Inapal, Benet, CSP Victall and Teijin Automotive Center Europe ssupply composite materials to automotive and other customers through 29 manufacturing and technical centers around the world.
  • Mike Manley is stepping down as Director of the Americas to Stellantis become CEO of AutoNation Inc. Manley was previously CEO of Fiat Chrysler before the merger of FCA and Peugeot.
  • Toyota invest $ 288 million and add 450 jobs to its Alabama to support the manufacture of the 2022 Tundra pickup truck engines.

Connected / autonomous vehicles and mobility services

  • May Mobility announced a free autonomous vehicle shuttle service to an area of ​​2.64 square miles in Ann Arbor starting next month. The project is launched in partnership with City at the University of Michigan and the Economic Development Group Ann Arbor SPARK.
  • DG expand its OnStar Guardian emergency services to a home service with Amazon Alexa.
  • DG will invest $ 300 million in a Chinese autonomous driving startup Moment, with the aim of supporting the development of autonomous technologies for future GM vehicles in China.

Electric vehicles and low emission technology

  • Honeywell to supply its quality control system to ensure the quality and integrity of lithium-ion batteries for the GM – LG Energy battery joint venture Ultium LLC cells in Ohio.DG recently announced three new engines for its Ultium-based electric vehicles which have been designed in-house and will include integrated power electronics to reduce costs and manufacturing complexity.
  • Rivien will invest $ 4.6 million and add 100 jobs to a new customer service center in Plymouth, Michigan. The project is supported by a performance-based grant of $ 750,000 from Michigan Economic Development Corp.
  • Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz will join a European battery joint venture with Stellantis and TotalEnergies. The automakers will each own one-third of the ownership of Automotive Cells Co. This company is expected to have a capacity of 120 gigawatt hours by 2030.
  • Electric vehicle company Workaholic suspends deliveries of C-1000 vehicles and recalls 41 that it has already delivered. The company intends to meet the need for further testing and modification to certify the vehicle under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
  • Consolidation and restructuring are likely among the China‘s new energy vehicle because many companies will fail to raise the capital necessary to manufacture vehicles on a large scale.
  • Bmw and Volkswagen are among the car manufacturers pursuing the development of hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars. Hydrogen is receiving increased attention as a strategy to meet climate goals, but it is widely seen as too expensive for consumer vehicles in the short term and has more potential with long-haul utility vehicles.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell solutions provider Connect the power plans to innovate in 2023 on a green hydrogen production facility in Fresno County, California.
  • Volkswagen plans to invest $ 164 million To build a battery factory in China. The plant will start production in 2023.

Prepared by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst


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