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.
- IHS Markit estimates that
the semiconductor shortage will lead
to full-year 2021 vehicle production
losses in the range of 6.3 million to 7.1
million units globally, of which an
estimated 3.06 million units could be
lost in the third and fourth quarters.
- Toyota will cut production by 40-60% in
North America this month, and by 40% in Japan next
month; parts shortages caused
by escalating COVID-19 cases in Southeast
Asia are a contributing factor.
- Ford will stop production of
the F-150 at its Kansas
City Assembly plant in Missouri the week of August
23, due to the impact of "worsening pandemic
conditions in Malaysia" on chip supplies.
- GM confirmed production
downtime for eight North American
plants of varying durations in August and September
as a result of "shortages caused by semiconductor supply
constraints from international markets experiencing
- The average new vehicle transaction
price reached a record $42,736 in the U.S. last
month, representing an increase of 8.2% compared to
- LMC Automotive predicts a "K-shaped
recovery curve" for automakers in China this
year, with approximately half of the assessed companies
experiencing record sales growth compared to 2019
- The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration opened a 30-day public comment period
over the possible reinstatement of higher penalties
for automakers that fail to meet emissions
- In a recent Bloomberg interview, the head of
the National Transportation Safety
Board indicated the agency intends to address
the potential safety risks of
automated driving systems resulting
from consumer confusion about the limitations of the
- Alphabet's Waymo plans to build an autonomous
trucking hub in Dallas, Texas, and will partner
with Ryder on fleet maintenance.
- Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions
- Battery electric vehicles
(BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric
vehicles (PHEVs) are forecast to
reach 8-11% of U.S. light vehicle sales by
2026, according to estimates quoted in Reuters, signaling a
potential challenge to achieving President Biden's goal
to 50% of all new
cars and trucks sold in the U.S. be fully electric or hybrids by
- GM is expanding its Chevrolet Bolt
recall to include all models, due to the risk of
fire. The recall will cost the automaker an
estimated $1.8 billion.
- J.D. Power's inaugural U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study ranked Tesla Destination the highest among Level 2 charging stations, followed by Volta, and ChargePoint; Tesla Supercharger ranks highest among DC fast chargers. [Press release only, no access to full report]
- Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are forecast to reach 8-11% of U.S. light vehicle sales by 2026, according to estimates quoted in Reuters, signaling a potential challenge to achieving President Biden's goal that 40 to 50% of all new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. be fully electric or hybrids by 2030.
Market Trends and Regulatory
- According to an analysis by LMC
Automotive, just over half of
the 17 vehicle assembly plants set to open in
North America by 2025 will be constructed or
repurposed by startups, and the remainder by established
- Two U.S. senators have asked the Federal Trade
Commission to investigate how Tesla markets
its driver assistance systems, claiming the
company does not adequately represent the systems' capabilities
and consumers do not understand the limitations of the
- Container ship backlogs off
the ports of Los
Angeles and Long
Beach have returned to the high levels experienced
in February 2021; the backlogs are attributed to increased volumes
as importers add extra lead time to counteract unpredictable supply
chains affected by the pandemic.
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission has indicated that by the end of 2021 it
intends to develop a proposal for a mandatory climate
risk disclosure rule, joining a number of countries,
including Switzerland, that have recently taken steps to pursue such a
- The U.S. International Trade Commissionvoted
unanimously that synthetic rubber
imports are likely undermining domestic producers,
with the intent to continue investigating the issue.
- The Mexican government intends to pursue discussions with the United States concerning the interpretation and application of rules of origin for the automotive sector in the USMCA trade pact.
- Due to the volatility of semiconductor
supplies, Volkswagen's largest plant in
Wolfsburg, Germany, will operate only one shift the week of August
23, and Audi will extend its summer
break at two plants in Germany.
- Ford intends to shift more vehicle purchases
to online orders using a "build-to-order"
model, as part of an effort to reduce
inventory costs for the company and dealers.
- Workers at GM's Silao facility in Mexicovoted to end a collective bargaining agreement that involved allegations of intimidation tactics during a prior vote. This development was the outcome of an agreement between the U.S. and Mexico earlier this summer to resolve a complaint under the rapid response enforcement tools in the USMCA.
Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Services
- Startups, including TuSimple,
PlusAI and Embark
Trucks, have received billions in investments as they work
toward the development of autonomous
trucks capable of carrying cargo across the
country. Level 4 automation, in which a vehicle is
capable of operating all driving functions under most conditions,
is expected to have significant challenges
to overcome before widespread commercial adoption is
- GM and AT&T will partner to bring 5G cellular connectivity to vehicles beginning with select vehicles for the 2024 model year.
Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology
- California-based electric truck
maker Xos announced an agreement to supply 120
medium-duty electric trucks to FedEx
Ground operators in five states,
beginning in the fourth quarter of 2021.Xos recently began trading on the Nasdaq
following a merger with NextGen Acquisition
- San Francisco-based startup Ampleraised $160 million in Series C funding
for the purpose of expanding its battery swapping
- Guidehouse Insights recently commented that automakers could increase the use of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) as a cost-effective alternative for EV battery materials in lower cost vehicles or in markets that do not require long vehicle range.
Prepared by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst
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