TTAC News Round-up: Takata Can't Silo, Porsche's New Production Boss, Suppliers Love Each Other

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Who would have known that one of the largest parts supply recalls in U.S. history could poison the well for the rest of your business?

That, and Jeep needs you to keep it dry for a minute, Porsche pulls another player from Volkswagen’s bench and how big does Magna International’s yacht need to be anyway, after the jump.

Takata’s entire business may be suffering because of airbag recall

According to Bloomberg, automakers are distancing themselves from Japanese auto supplier Takata and demand is waning for its steering wheels.

Supplying steering wheels is roughly 20 percent of Takata’s business, according to the report, while airbags comprised 37 percent of the company’s revenue.

The declining business would cast doubt as to whether the company could sustain the costs associated with recalling more than 40 million cars with defective airbags. This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined Takata more than $70 million for producing the defective airbag inflators, which could spray metal shards into driver and passengers, and said the fine could be substantially higher if the company didn’t effectively complete its recall.

Porsche names Reimold as new production chief, not that guy holding the rotor

Porsche announced Friday that Albrecht Reimold would succeed Oliver Blume — who was promoted to CEO in October — as that company’s production chief, according to Automotive News.

Reimold’s promotion is the latest move in a massive reshuffling of that company’s executive group this year, precipitated by the group’s diesel scandal earlier this year.

New Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller announced Thursday a complete line change for its boardroom, including five new executives for R&D, production and sales. Müller was CEO of Porsche before being tabbed to lead the entire group out of its scandal.

Reimold is a longtime Volkswagen Group employee. He began his career at Audi in 1993 and was most recently head of the automaker’s plant in Slovakia.

(Just how deep is Volkswagen’s bench? — Aaron)

ttac news round up takata can t silo porsche s new production boss suppliers love

Jeep recalls 56,000 Cherokees for tailgate moisture

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will recall 56,000 new Jeep Cherokees for a moisture guard on their tailgates that could potentially spark and cause a fire, according to the Associated Press ( via The Detroit News).

No fires or injuries have been reported, according to the story.

The recall affects 2015 and 2016 models of the Jeep Cherokee with power tailgates. According to FCA, the Jeeps were made between Feb. 18 and Sept. 10.

Until then, stay dry my friends.

Expect more suppliers to consolidate, which means nothing for jobs

Suppliers are expecting more mega-deals in coming years as they consolidate to feed a growing demand for vehicles and automakers press for savings to further drive profits, The Detroit Bureau reported.

The report cited a study by consulting firm EY, which said that 60 percent of surveyed suppliers said they were expecting to pursue acquisitions in the next year.

Already this year, mega suppliers such as Magna International have made big deals to position themselves for future growth in cars. The bulk of the big deals may be in processor, sensor and computer chip businesses, as more chipmakers like Intel look to enter into the automotive fray through established auto suppliers.

According to the report, all that money changing hands and more work won’t mean much for jobs. Which is just great.

FCA purchased carbon credits from Toyota, Tesla

Fiat Chrylser Automobiles purchased 8.2 million megagrams of carbon credits from Toyota and Tesla, Reuters reported ( via Automotive News).

Federal regulators didn’t disclose the purchase price for those credits.

It’s unclear why FCA may have purchased the credits for 2014, the latest year for which data is available. According to Reuters, FCA’s fleet would have been in compliance with emissions regulations without the carbon credits.

Automakers may purchase credits from each other, although the purchase by FCA is fairly unusual — credit sales spiked 400 percent, according to the report.

FCA is ranked last among automakers for average fleet fuel efficiency in 2014 with 20.8 mpg. The automaker is expected to tie General Motors for last place in 2015 with an average fleet fuel economy estimate of 21.8 mpg, according to the report.

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4 of 13 comments
  • Sirwired Sirwired on Dec 18, 2015

    Takata should just sell (or split off) their non-airbag businesses while they are still worth something and then quietly do the Japanese equiv. of Chapter 7. Let the BK court dole out whatever's left after the asset sale. If I'm an automaker, I'd have absolutely zero confidence that Takata will be able to financially weather the crisis, and I'd be shopping for new sources for all my Takata-supplied parts the second my current contracts were up. Any month the business stays yoked to the airbag operation imperils the value of the rest.

  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Dec 18, 2015

    Thanks for the every-6-month letter notifying me that I'm at imminent risk of death-or-serious-maiming-by-land-mine-like-shrapnel-bursting due to my defective and recalled airbag, Mazda & Takata, yet advising that you don't have the replacement actuator/inflator available yet, but may have it one day in the indeterminate future, and will notify me if that day ever arrives! I appreciate those letters greatly!

    • See 1 previous
    • 05lgt 05lgt on Dec 18, 2015

      @Lou_BC If it's a degrading explosive, isn't part of the problem that it might self detonate?

  • Gabe Awesome. Owners can cook their DNA with EMFs while watching YouTube now.
  • Cardave5150 Why oh why are they resurrecting the ZDX name??? It’s not like the last one was anything other than an overpriced freak show. Just use 3 other random letters!
  • Gemcitytm Why does it seem every EV seems to have ridiculous amounts of power? Yes, I know they're heavier than ICE models but who on earth needs 708 HP? How about a nice, compact EV with, say, 250 HP and 350-400 mile range? Is that impossible with today's tech? (I currently drive a 148 HP Mazda 3 ICE and it has all the get-up-and-go I need.)
  • CEastwood I could have bought one of these if I had the cash in 76 for $1000 white , red interior , 3 speed stick with whitewalls/ wire hubcaps - it was mint and gone a day after I saw it . But the real catch that got away was an all original 69 green Camaro RS convertible 327 4 speed with 46K on the clock for 1800 that I saw a few months earlier . Young and poor was not a fun place to be !
  • KOKing I'm in an emissions check only state, and I'd trade that away for a safety check all day.