This report helps automotive suppliers inform their legal and operational decisions to help address challenges and opportunities. Contact your Foley relationship partner, or John R. Trentacosta or Ann Marie Uetz, to follow up.
- U.S. new light-vehicle sales in September are
forecast to reach a SAAR of 12.2 million units,
according to estimates from J.D. Power and LMC
Automotive and Cox
- Toyota's third-quarter U.S. sales volumes
surpassed GM for the second consecutive quarter.
The achievement is described as a
short-term event attributed to the effects of the semiconductor
- Ford will require its
U.S. salaried workforce to submit their
COVID-19 vaccination status by October 8; the submission
process is voluntary for the automaker's hourly
- Power outages in China are a potential threat to
manufacturing supply chains. Nearly two-thirds of the
nation's provinces are experiencing power rationing. The issue results from coal
shortages, as well as government efforts to control energy
- Automotive tech company Veoneer reached a
definitive agreement to be acquired by Qualcomm and
investment group SSW Partners. This terminates a previous
merger agreement with Magna International Inc.
- Daimler shareholders approved a plan to
spin off its truck division in order to improve
profit and the ability to respond to trends in electrification and
- Waymo and Cruise received permits from
the California Department of Motor Vehicles to launch
self-driving commercial services in designated
sections of the Bay Area.
- Electric vehicles and low emissions
- Lordstown Motors will sell its Ohio
facility to Foxconn Technology Group, excluding
certain assets, and the companies intend to jointly manufacture the
Endurance battery-electric pickup truck.
- Several automakers are increasing
investment in the development of solid-state
batteries, in an effort to improve range, safety and
charging time. However, mass production is nearly a decade
- GM plans to source
100% renewable energy to power
its U.S. sites by 2025 - five
years earlier than its previous target date.
- Semiconductor manufacturers suggest that traditional
silicon chips will need replacement by new materials that
improve efficiency in electric vehicles, such as silicon
carbide or gallium nitride.
- Tesla produced 237,823 vehicles in the third quarter, and
delivered 241,300, exceeding analyst projections.
- The governors of Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois,
Indiana and Wisconsin signed an agreement
forming a Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest
Coalition. The partnership hopes to strengthen the
position of the Midwest for private investment and federal funding
to adapt key commercial corridors for electrification.
- Lordstown Motors will sell its Ohio facility to Foxconn Technology Group, excluding certain assets, and the companies intend to jointly manufacture the Endurance battery-electric pickup truck.
Market Trends and Regulatory
- Low inventory and elevated
prices are causing some consumers to postpone vehicle
purchases, with a recent survey showing that nearly half of
respondents intend to delay a purchase due to the effects of the
- The U.S. House of Representatives delayed a planned
vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, due to stalled
negotiations between moderate and progressive Democrats.
- Twelve international automakers sent a letter asking
the U.S. House of Representatives to support tax
credits for electric vehicles that are not
limited to vehicles assembled by organized labor.
- A group of 21 state attorneys general are urging the Biden
administration to finalize emissions standards that are
stricter than the rules it recently proposed. In August,
the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules
that would require automakers to achieve a fleetwide
average fuel-efficiency equivalent of 52 miles per gallon by the
2026 model year.
- NHTSA denied a petition to
investigate battery fires in Tesla Model S and X
vehicles from the 2012 through 2019 model years, noting
that it was unlikely to result in the discovery of a safety defect.
The 2019 petition pertained to over-the-air software updates that
were implemented as a result of battery fires.
- Production impact of the semiconductor shortage
- GM will continue
downtime at the CAMI Assembly Plant in
Ontario, as well as at the Ramos Arizpe and
San Luis Potosi plants in Mexico. Affected models
include the Chevrolet Blazer and
Equinox. Chevrolet Malibu
production is also down through the week of October 25 in Fairfax,
Kansas.GM resumed production at its two plants in Lansing,
Michigan, the week of October 4.
- Stellantis will extend downtime
the week of October 4 for its plants in Brampton,
Ontario and Belvidere, Illinois,
affecting production of the Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle
cars, Chrysler 300 sedans, and Jeep Cherokee crossovers. Stellantis
resumed production this week at its Jefferson North
Assembly Plant in Detroit, and Saltillo Truck
Assembly Plant in Mexico; the plants
produce the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram pickups.
- GM will continue downtime at the CAMI Assembly Plant in Ontario, as well as at the Ramos Arizpe and San Luis Potosi plants in Mexico. Affected models include the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox. Chevrolet Malibu production is also down through the week of October 25 in Fairfax, Kansas.GM resumed production at its two plants in Lansing, Michigan, the week of October 4.
- Third-quarter U.S. new vehicle sales
declined by an estimated 33% for GM, just
over 27% for Ford, 19% for Stellantis,
and 11% for Honda,
compared to the same quarter last year, due to the impact of the
chip shortage on new vehicle inventory. Toyota,
Hyundai and Kia posted third-quarter sales
increases, with Toyota's U.S. sales
up by 1.4%, the
Hyundai brand up by 4%, and
Kia up by 9%.
- Continental will reorganize its
Automotive group sector into five areas, effective January 1, 2022:
safety and motion; autonomous mobility; smart mobility; user
experience; architecture and networking. As part of a broader
realignment, the supplier's executive board will also be
reduced to five members.
- Joint venture Mazda Toyota Manufacturing started production
in Alabama. The joint venture was first announced in 2018, and the
site will eventually have capacity to manufacture up to 300,000
- A settlement was
reached in GM's trademark infringement
suit over Ford's use of the name
BlueCruise for its hands-free highway driving
system. Details of the settlement agreement were not
available. Ford announced the
rollout of BlueCruise earlier this year. GM launched Super
Cruise in 2017, and acquired its
majority-owned self-driving unit Cruise in 2016.
- Nissan invested $40 million
to create a Safety Advancement Lab for vehicle safety testing at
its Michigan-based engineering center, Nissan Technical Center
Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Services
- Toyota's Woven Planet subsidiary will acquire U.S.
software company Renovo Motors,
in support of its goals to develop an operating system for future
vehicles. Earlier this year, Woven Planet acquired Lyft's
autonomous driving unit and mapping startup Carmera.
- Magna International Inc., the University of
Waterloo in Ontario, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering
Research Council of Canada announced a $1.3
million ($1.6 million CAD) five-year collaboration intended to
enhance the safety and cybersecurity
of self-driving vehicles.
- Kodiak Robotics announced the next
generation of its autonomous trucking sensor
suite, which is scheduled to launch in
PACCAR trucks beginning in Q4 2021.
Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology
- GM's commercial and logistics business,
BrightDrop, announced the
upcoming EV410 midsize electric commercial van,
with Verizon as its first customer. Production of the EV410 will
begin in 2023 at CAMI Assembly.
- Nikola Corp. announced a
partnership with Opal Fuels LLC to construct
hydrogen fueling stations in North America.
- Swiss company ABB announced its new
Terra 360 charger can fully charge any EV within 15
minutes. The device will be available in Europe by the end
of the year, with a rollout in other regions to follow in
- Ford will receive just over $6 million in tax
incentives, nearly double the original amount, to support
production expansion for its F-150 Lightning electric
pickup at its Dearborn Truck plant in Michigan.
- Electric vehicle company Workhorse announced the
departure of its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating
Officer. This follows the recent update that the company is halting deliveries
of C-1000 vehicles and recalling 41 it has already delivered, due
to the need for further testing and modifications to certify the
vehicle under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
- Extreme weather events are expected to increase the importance of improving grid reliability to support EV adoption. A potential solution to mitigate power outages are local power systems known as microgrids to manage distributed energy resources (DER). However, microgrids can expand capital costs and engineering complexities.
Prepared by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst
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