In the face of what General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra calls a “fast-changing market,” this week General Motors announced its plans to end the production of certain vehicles, reduce its North American work force by more than 10%, and idle five plants in the United States and Canada. General Motors also announced that it plans to cease operations at two additional (but not yet identified) plants outside of North America by the end of 2019. The moves are intended to save General Motors $6 billion by the end of 2020. While the market reacted positively to the news — shares in General Motors were up 4.8% to close at their highest closing price in recent months — this action by General Motors will no doubt have an impact on its suppliers, as well as sub-suppliers within its supply chain.
Guest Author: Ruth Knox, Managing Associate, Linklaters LLP
Given the pace of change in the automotive industry and related technologies, combined with increasing regulatory scrutiny and recent developments in trade and M&A, there are several risks and challenges the global automotive industry can expect to deal with for the remainder of 2018 and beyond across Europe, China, and the United States.
Recently, Foley & Lardner LLP and Linklaters LLP held a roundtable on the “Future of the Automotive Sector in Europe, China and the United States.” Participants addressed four major points during the roundtable, which are summarized below.
The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) celebrated its 20th Annual Conference this week in suburban Detroit under the theme: “Transom Innovate Lead.” And while this year’s discussion that occurred the day after Election Day was dominated by trade and tariff concerns as well as discussions of talent strategies, leadership and technology, the afternoon session included a discussion of the North American automotive outlook in a session called “Navigating Peaks and Valleys.”
Cybercrime is an ever-increasing threat from which manufacturers are not immune. Although reliable statistics are not available, one particular type of scheme that seems to be on the rise is vendor payment fraud. In cases of vendor payment fraud, the fraudster poses as an existing supplier and provides the manufacturer with seemingly legitimate instructions changing the account payment information. The exact means by which vendor payment fraud schemes are perpetrated can take many forms. However, the most sophisticated and hardest to detect schemes often involve “hacking” into the vendor’s systems and sending a seemingly legitimate email or other instruction directing the change.
The American automotive industry in no longer making your father’s Oldsmobile — not by a long shot.
Today, pushed by evolving consumer behaviors, transformative technologies, and global market pressures, the automobile industry has entered a new industrial revolution where ingenuity and opportunity coalesce, and the tools of the trade include adaptive cruise control, autonomous vehicles, and nanocellulose and cellular V2X technologies.