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Analysis by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence
Analyst

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.

Key Developments

  • Foley & LardnerLLP
    Partners Nicholas Ellis and Vanessa Miller are quoted in the
    Automotive News article, “Stellantis’ course
    change not a total victory for suppliers
    ,” which looks at
    Stellantis’ reversal of changes to terms for North America that
    it imposed on suppliers earlier this year.

  • U.S. new light-vehicle sales in
    May are forecast to reach a
    SAAR of 13.6 million units, representing a decline
    of 3.3 million units from the same period last year, according to
    projections by J.D. Power and LMC
    Automotive
    .

  • Bloomberg
    reports auto suppliers “highly reliant” on
    gasoline-powered vehicles
    may increasingly pursue
    leveraged buyouts and merger and acquisition deals
    amid the industry’s shift to electrification.

  • Toyota and Honda finished
    first and second in Plante Moran’s North American
    Automotive OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index
    , and GM held
    third place, which is consistent with results from last year.

  • Foley & Lardner attorneys Mark Neuberger
    and Katelynn Williams shared a number of best practices for automotive employers to
    consider in response to current trends in union
    organization
    .

  • Foley & Lardner attorneys Gary Solomon and
    Brooke Bahlinger shared key takeaways from the AmericaMakes:
    RAPID + TCT Additive Manufacturing Conference
    held in
    Detroit.

  • The average age of light vehicles on U.S.
    roads
    reached 12.2 years,
    representing a record high and the fifth consecutive year of
    increases.

  • Electric vehicles and low emissions
    technology
    :

    • Stellantis and Samsung will invest over
      $2.5 billion in an electric-vehicle battery plant in Kokomo,
      Indiana. The announcement represents the automaker’s second EV
      plant in North America, and it is expected to begin production in
      2025.

    • Hyundai will invest $5.5
      billion and employ up to 8,100 workers at a new EV manufacturing
      site in Georgia that is expected to begin
      operations in 2025.This represents the automaker’s first U.S.
      plant dedicated to producing electric vehicles. Hyundai and Kia
      also announced plans to invest
      $16.5 billion through 2030 for EV production in South
      Korea
      .

    • Up to 30% of North America’s upcoming gigafactory
      annual capacity
      could be at risk by 2025 due to the
      potential for construction delays and operational inefficiencies,
      according to analysis by McKinsey &
      Company
      . The analysis also projects global EV demand will reach
      approximately 40 million units by 2030, and the industry will need
      200 new gigafactories worldwide to support this
      growth rate.

    • The newly launchedCoalition for
      American Battery Independence
      intends to seek federal
      policies supporting U.S.-based processing and production of
      batteries and battery components. The coalition includes
      automakers, lithium producers and EV startups, and it will be
      administered by energy lobbyist Boundary Stone Partners.

Market Trends and Regulatory

  • Analysis from S&P Global
    predicts “above average” demand for commercial
    vehicle replacement parts
    in response to the increased age
    of vehicles on the road.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates
    U.S. traffic fatalities reached 42,915 in 2021,
    representing an increase of 10.5% from 2020 and the highest number
    of fatalities since 2005.

  • The average retail price
    for regular unleaded gas reached $4.60 a gallon in
    the U.S. during the week of May 23, compared to $3.02 per gallon at
    the same time last year. Gasoline recently surpassed an average
    of $4 per gallon in every U.S. state for the first time.

OEMs/Suppliers

  • Toyota further reduced its global
    production plan for June due to parts shortages and the lingering
    effects of COVID-19 lockdowns in China.

  • Volkswagen and Tesla plan to
    maintain “closed loop” systems to isolate workers at
    their Shanghai plants until June 10, according to a report from Bloomberg.

  • Lear will acquire
    I.G. Bauerhin, a German supplier of
    temperature-controlled seats and steering wheels, for €140
    million. The acquisition is expected to complement existing
    products and expand capabilities into active cooling.

  • Meritorwill acquire the
    commercial vehicle business of Siemens for
    approximately €190 million, in a deal that is expected to
    expand its electric solutions ahead of its upcoming acquisition by
    Cummins.

Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Services

  • Bosch and WeRide will jointly develop
    autonomous driving software for OEM customers in the Chinese
    market.

  • Argo AI is testing driverless
    rides without human safety operators behind the wheel in Miami,
    Florida and Austin, Texas.

  • As part of a strategy emphasizing data transparency to expand
    customer trust, Porsche developed
    privacy settings allowing drivers to stop sharing
    personal data with the company.

Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology

  • Global automakers are losing market share in
    China to domestic electric vehicle brands,
    according to a report in Reuters.

  • The percentage of consumers indicating they are
    “very likely” to consider an EV for their next purchase
    or lease
    reached 24%, representing an increase of four
    percentage points from last year, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S.
    Electric Vehicle Consideration (EVC) Study
    . [Press release
    only, full report not publicly available
    ]

  • The Wall Street
    Journal
    reports several states may need to improve and
    streamline their procedures for using federal funds in order to
    accelerate the availability of
    EV charging infrastructure.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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