Foley & Lardner’s Weekly Automotive Report helps automotive providers inform their complex legal and operational decisions on marketplace trends and regulatory issues, OEs and suppliers, connected/autonomous automobiles and mobility services, electrical vehicles and low emission technologies.

Key Developments
On account of the semiconductor deficit, an unspecified quantity of GM light-duty full-size pickups, Ford F-150 pickups and Edge crossovers, and Stellantis Ram pickups is going to be constructed without certain modules.

Honda will reduce production at the bulk of its North American plants this week due to supply chain issues credited to the pandemic, port congestion, and also the semiconductor deficit .

Toyota plants in Kentucky, West Virginia and Mexico undergone reduced manufacturing or shutdowns for”a few days” because of a shortage of petrochemical products.

Chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. Said that production at its plant in Japan will be down for as much as a month due to a fire; two-thirds of those impacted chips are for the automotive industry.

Toyota and Ford supplied Senate testimony about the topics of encouraging innovation in transportation technology and improvements to the U.S. tax code to Help the manufacturing industry, respectively.

In a recent letter, two California senators requested President Biden to decide on a date for ending the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles in the U.S.

Continental intends to make an Autonomous Mobility business unit next year, and received board approval to engage in a spinoff of its Vitesco powertrain branch in the second half this year.

Amazon is analyzing Rivian electrical delivery vans in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with the intent to function the fleets at 2022.

, China’s largest automaker, will use lidar sensors and applications from California-based Luminar Technologies in its own brand automobile line.

Electric vehicles and low emission technology:

Lordstown Motors said it’s cooperating with an SEC inquiry after allegations the company misled investors to the quality of its electrical truck preorders and also the capacity to start generation.

Electronics maker Foxconn Technology Group is allegedly pursuing partnerships with Japan-based electrical motor supplier Nidec Corp. , as well as Vietnam-based EV startup VinFast.

U.K.- based electric van startup Arrival will construct its second U.S. plant in North Carolina; Canadian EV manufacturer ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. Plans to set a U.S. base of operations in Arizona.

China has been reported to be restricting Tesla vehicles from entering the grounds of military complexes and certain agencies due to national security concerns arising from built-in automobile cameras.

Economy Trends and Profession
Parts shortages and production cuts — Because of the two a parts shortage caused by last month’s winter storms and the international semiconductor deficit, an unspecified number in the”tens of thousands” of Ford F-150 pickups along with Edge crossovers will be constructed without certain digital modules linked to basic vehicle purposes, and held”for quite a few months” before shipping to dealers once the modules are available. Ram 1500 Classic trucks will probably be built and held for final assembly by Stellantis in Warren, Mich., and Saltillo, Mexico, due to the semiconductor shortage. Before this month, it was shown that GM will build and market an undisclosed number of 2021 light-duty full-size pickup trucks with no fuel management module, and affected models will have reduced fuel economy by one mile per gallon. Planned shutdowns or reduced output have been declared by automakers, such as Nissan, Volvo, Ford, Toyota and Honda.

Toyota diminished production at plants in Kentucky, West Virginia and Mexico for portions of last week because of shortages of petrochemicals, as many petrochemical plants in the U.S. Gulf Coast region stay offline as a result of complex startup phases following shutdowns brought on by severe winter weather .

On account of the semiconductor deficit and an unspecified parts shortage caused by last month’s winter storms, Ford will idle production for the week of March 22 at its Ohio Assembly Plant, and cut back output for an unspecified amount of time in Louisville, Ky.. , also Cologne, Germany.

Honda will reduce generation in nearly all its North American crops the week of March 22 due to supply chain limits attributed to this pandemic, port congestion, along with the semiconductor shortage. Honda contains 12 plants at the U.S.

Nissan temporarily shut down generation on select days at its plants at Smyrna, Tenn., Canton, Miss.. , also Aguascalientes, Mexico, due to the semiconductor shortage.

Volvo will implement temporary generation cuts or shutdowns to get”parts of March” in the U.S. and China Because of the semiconductor shortage.

Said that production at its plant in Hitachinaka, Japan, will probably be down for as much as one month because of a fire; an estimated two-thirds of the affected generation is automotive chips.

Congressional hearings — In testimony submitted into the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources about the topic of Driving Innovation in the Transportation Sector Forward, Toyota noticed that while battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are an important part of the response to reduce carbon emissions, several electrification pathways are needed, including technology-inclusive policies to support a variety of powertrains such as plug electrons and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Back in testimony filed to the Senate Committee on Finance on the topic of the Made in America: Impact of the U.S. Tax Code on National Manufacturing, Ford noted that the success of the U.S. auto market is dependent on federal assistance of”market-based consumer and production incentives, innovative new technologies, labour and plant alterations and supply chain security.”

In a recent letter, California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla urged President Biden to”follow California’s lead and specify a date by which all new cars and passenger trucks offered be zero-emission vehicles.”

OEs/Suppliers
Continental will pursue a spinoff of its Vitesco powertrain branch in the second half of this season, after delaying previous plans for a spinoff due to the pandemic. The provider also intends to make an Autonomous Mobility firm unit in 2022.

The international semiconductor shortage has thus far had significantly less impact on Toyota in contrast to its competitors, based on unnamed sources in Reuters. As a result of the supply chain disturbance brought on by this 2011 Fukushima atomic disaster, Toyota established a business continuity plan requiring its suppliers to stock four to six weeks of chip inventories for the automaker. Last month, Toyota indicated in its fiscal Q3 2021 earnings results that its production was not impacted from the near-term; however, the semiconductor shortage posed risks for its”mid-to-long term.”

To get a decision to move production of unnamed future electric vehicles from the automaker’s Ohio Assembly Plant to its Cuautitlan, Mexico, centre . Conditions at a 2019 UAW and Ford contract included a brand new product in 2023 plus a $900 million investment for Ohio meeting. Based on data from IHS Markit, as mentioned from the Detroit News, Ford assembled 1.7 million vehicles at the U.S. last year, which is greater than its key rivals.

Ford’s salaried workers will have schedules that will be a hybrid of on-site and distant work when the automaker begins a wider return of the workforce this summer. GM has been reported to be holding internal discussions on the return to work with salaried workers, including the possibility of shifting Michigan-based employees to distinct sites in the country, but certain plans have yet to be declared.

Amazon is expanding the testing of Rivian electric delivery vans to San Francisco, following beginning testing earlier this year at Los Angeles. Amazon has ordered 100,000 Rivian vans and intends to operate the fleets beginning in 2022.

Starting next year, China’s SAIC Motor Corp. Will utilize lidar sensors and software out of California-based Luminar Technologies in its own R brand vehicle line. SAIC, China’s biggest automaker, has the eventual goal to install this equipment across all of its vehicles.

Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta acquired $500 million in Series C financing led by SAIC Motor, Toyota, and automobile supplier Bosch. Beijing-based Momenta develops artificial intelligence methods for autonomous driving.

Electric Vehicles and Low Emission Technology
Lordstown Motors is cooperating with an SEC inquiry, and the company has formed a committee to review allegations from brief vendor Hindenburg Research the startup tricked investors on the quality of its electric truck preorders and also the capacity to begin manufacturing. Hindenburg holds a short position in Lordstown and will benefit if the stock price declines; the brief seller printed a report a year ago with allegations that EV startup Nikola has been an”intricate fraud.”

Industrial EV solutions firm Electric Last Mile, Inc.. (ELMS) announced that it has over 45,000 nonbinding preorders because of its forthcoming Urban Delivery course 1 commercial EV, and it plans to start production in Indiana later this season. This past year, ELMS announced it will go public through a reverse osmosis with Forum Merger III.

New plants — U.K.-based electric van startup Arrival selected a site for its next U.S. plant; the brand new facility in North Carolina is going to be devoted to satisfying an order of up to 10,000 vehicles for UPS, and is scheduled to begin production in the next quarter of 2022. This follows last year’s statement that Arrival will construct a plant in Rock Hill, S.C., that is scheduled to start production in Q4 2021. Canadian EV manufacturer ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp plans to establish a U.S. foundation of operations at Arizona; at its forthcoming plant in Mesa, the business will annually produce up to 20,000 of its three-wheeled, single-seat commuter cars for the U.S. market.

NHTSA includes nearly two dozen open investigations into automobile accidents involving Tesla vehicles, including two separate Tesla crashes that occurred this month in Michigan. One of the incidents in Michigan entailed a Tesla being driven on Autopilot that crashed into a stationary police car near Lansing on March 17, while the other wreck, on March 11, wasn’t believed to involve the Autopilot attribute.

Japan-based electrical motor supplier Nidec Corp.. Will partner with Foxconn–Yulon joint venture Foxtron Vehicle Technologies to provide electric powertrains, with additional information on the first outcome of the cooperation to come later this year. Foxtron is a newly formed joint venture involving the automotive unit of electronic equipment manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group and Taiwan-based diversified holding company Yulon Group. Foxconn is also reported to be investigating options for an EV partnership with Vietnam’s VinFast.

California-based Proterra will supply batteries to get Colorado-based Lightning eMotors’ electrical transit vans. Both companies recently announced SPAC deals to go public.

China has been reported to be restricting Tesla vehicles from entering the grounds of military complexes and particular agencies due to national security concerns arising from built-in automobile cameras. The move is viewed as possible retaliation after a challenging meeting between authorities agents of the U.S. and China in Alaska a week, as well as the current FCC designation of China’s Huawei as a security hazard.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is reported to be exploring ways to increase Canadian production of minerals crucial to the EV supply chain. Mining represents 5 percent of GDP in Canada, compared to 0.9% in the U.S., and Canada has at least a dozen of the 35 minerals that are listed as crucial to U.S. national security.

 

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