Foley Weekly Automotive Report

21 December 2021 Blog
Author(s): John R. Trentacosta Ann Marie Uetz
Published To: Dashboard Insights Coronavirus Resource Center:Back to Business

Foley Weekly Automotive Report

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 & Lardner partners assessed the recent federal appeals court decision allowing OSHA’s ETS to move forward in regards to COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employers with 100 or more employees.

  • IHS Markit forecasts new light-vehicle sales of almost 82.4 million units worldwide in 2022, representing an increase of 3.7% from nearly 79.4 million units in 2021. IHS expects that semiconductor supply shortages will continue to impact demand next year.

  • Consultancy Roland Berger predicts semiconductor supplies will remain constrained through 2022.Automakers are advised to accelerate the transition to centralized electronic architectures and advanced and leading-edge nodes.

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing new passenger vehicle emissions standards that take effect with model year 2023, and will require a cumulative 28.3% reduction in vehicle emissions fleetwide through 2026.

  • Approximately 1% of GM Canada’s workforce has not complied with deadlines to either report vaccination status and show proof of full vaccination (December 8), or meet the deadline to be fully vaccinated (December 12).

  • DHL Supply Chain ordered 100 autonomous trucks co-developed by Navistar and TuSimple. DHL and TuSimple operate a pilot program to transport freight between Dallas and San Antonio, Texas.

  • Electric vehicles and low emissions technology:

    • Toyota will invest $35 billion in battery-powered EVs and plans to have 30 models by 2030.The automaker also intends for all models in its Lexus brand to be electric by the end of the decade.

    • Rivian will invest $5 billion to build a second U.S. manufacturing site in Georgia, which will have an annual capacity of 400,000 vehicles and begin production in 2024.

    • FedEx received the first of 500 all-electric light commercial vans it has ordered from GM’s electric delivery and logistics unit BrightDrop.

    • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated he would not support the $2 trillion Build Back Better bill, resulting in a shortfall of the required votes to pass this version of the legislation. This social spending bill includes a provision that would offer consumer tax credits for electric vehicles that are union-made in the U.S. [This topic continues to evolve].

    • The Alliance for Automotive Innovation estimates that third-quarter zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales represented 3.9% of the U.S. market, up from 2% in the same period last year.

Market Trends and Regulatory

  • The North American International Auto Show is tentatively scheduled for September 14-25, 2022, according to The Detroit News. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Michigan has not hosted NAIAS since January 2019.Michigan lawmakers recently approved$1 billion spending bill to attract economic investment in the state, and that package includes a one-time grant of $9 million for NAIAS.

  • The 2022 Montreal International Auto Show, Canadian International AutoShow and Vancouver International Auto Show have each been canceled due to escalating COVID-19 cases in Canada. The events were scheduled for January, February, and March, respectively.

  • The auto industry could experience shortages of the electrical steel needed in EV motors beginning in 2025, according to IHS Markit.

  • According to Bernard Swiecki, director of research for the Center for Automotive Research, the impact of the chip shortage on the automotive industry is “somewhat doubled compared with other sectors.” At SemiCon West this month, Swiecki also noted that the auto industry’s shift toward electrification will “place pressure on semiconductor supply,” in regards to both vehicles and charging infrastructure.

  • Guidehouse Insights expects that as a result of global chip shortages, automakers will pursue new sourcing strategies, including forming agreements and partnerships directly with chipmakers.

  • The nominee to serve as the head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Steven Cliff, told a Senate panel last week that he was committed to reducing traffic fatalities. Cliff was previously a California Air Resources Board official and has served as NHTSA's deputy administrator since February.


  • Toyota estimates a production loss of 14,000 vehicles in December, up from a previous estimate of 9,000 vehicles, due to temporary shutdowns at its plants in Japan that were caused by parts shortages. The automaker plans to produce 800,000 vehicles globally in January, as it increases production to make up for the output lost this year.

  • The CFOs of GM and Ford are playing pivotal roles in transforming their businesses in response to the auto industry’s shift toward electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles, according to recent interviews in The Wall Street Journal.

  • Corvette production at GM’s plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky resumed this week after a shutdown due to tornado damage.

  • Toyota will open portions of its Arizona Proving Grounds to other automakers as a contract testing resource.

  • Over a dozen major automakers are in the process of meeting a voluntary commitment to equip nearly all vehicles with automatic emergency braking (AEB) by the production year beginning Sept. 1, 2022.

Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Services

  • Autonomous vehicle technology developer Aurora Innovation is operating a pilot program with Uber Freight to move goods in Texas.

  • Cruise CEO Dan Ammann will depart GM’s autonomous-vehicle unit, reportedly over differences in vision for mission and strategy. Kyle Vogt will serve as the division’s interim CEO.

Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology

  • Nissan intends to build battery recycling facilities at unspecified locations in the U.S. and Europe by fiscal year 2025, as part of an effort to reduce costs amid high prices for rare metals.

  • Chevrolet Bolt production downtime at GM’s Lake Orion Assembly plant was extended through February as the automaker continues work on the vehicle’s battery-related recall.

  • Ford announced its Pro Charging service to provide commercial EV customers with “integrated end-to-end charging solutions including consultation on depot site design, installation, operations, maintenance, and support.”

  • Canoo will exit a deal with VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands to serve as its contract manufacturer in Europe, citing the intent to focus on U.S. manufacturing in order to reduce supply chain vulnerabilities. Canoo plans to begin production in Arkansas next year, with production in Oklahoma beginning in “late 2023.”

  • Chinese electric car maker Nio revealed its second model, the ET5 all-electric sedan, and it will begin deliveries in September 2022.The vehicle is positioned as a competitor to Tesla’s Model 3.

  • GM plans to reveal more about its strategy for mass-market electric vehicles at CES in Las Vegas in January.At the time of this newsletter publication, CES 2022 is a live, in-person event; updates on health protocols are posted here.

  • Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and Volkswagen’s heavy-truck business the Traton Group formed a joint venture to install and operate a public charging network for electric, heavy-duty, long-haul trucks and buses in Europe.
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