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Toyota is about to close its factory in Russia

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image: Justin Sullivan (beautiful pictures)

Toyota closed its plant in Russia, slashed production estimates, and the Energy Department wants to build more hydrogen infrastructure. All that and more in Morning shift for Friday, September 23, 2022.

First gear: Toyota is time to change, don’t stick to Saint Petersburg

Companies have been leaving Russia in the past few months, and now it looks like Toyota is joining the fray. Its Saint Petersburg factory has been shut down since March, due to “supply chain disruptions”, but the company is now going full force and shutting down. Are from Reuters:

Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation (7203.T) has decided to close its plant in Russia, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade said in a statement.

The automaker suspended production in St Petersburg in March due to supply chain disruptions and stopped importing vehicles into Russia.

The ministry said Toyota will ensure the fulfillment of all social obligations as well as significant additional payments for employees, and will maintain the after-sales service of Toyota and Lexus vehicles and maintain the network. its agent.

Kommersant’s source said that the factory with a capacity of 100,000 units / year that used to produce Camry and RAV4 models will remain the same and may be sold in the future.

It is not clear what “social obligations” Toyota will need to fulfill, as severance pay could be included in “those substantial additional compensation.” Perhaps the company needs to continue to maintain the plant, rather than let it fall into disrepair?

2nd gear: And cut its year-end production estimate

Every few weeks, Toyota makes a big statement saying “OK, listen, we missed our production target for last month and are reducing our production target for next month. But, overall for the year, we should be perfectly fine and hit the production numbers we originally planned. “It gets less convincing each time. Are from Automotive News:

Toyota Motor Corp. are feeling the bite of the semiconductor crisis again.

Despite efforts to boost output over the summer, the world’s largest carmaker said persistent supply chain troubles will force it to cut global production plans in the coming months..

Despite the setback, Toyota said in Thursday’s warning that it is sticking to its plan to produce 9.7 million Toyota and Lexus brand vehicles for the current financial year ending March.

In the Japanese domestic market, the slowdown will affect the production of 10 lines at 7 factories, out of 28 lines at 14 factories. Toyota RAV4, Camry, Crown and GR Yaris are among the affected vehicles.

The suspension will also reduce production of Lexus vehicles including the LC, IS, RC, ES and CT vehicles as well as the UX, NX and RX and GX SUV crossovers.

I remember playing the card “Look, I might fall behind and not catch up but I’ll get it all done by the end of the year” on my college professors. It doesn’t convince them either.

3rd gear: Mirai played the long game

When Inflation Reduction Act passed last year, it requires the Department of Energy to fund hydrogen infrastructure. Now, the agency is opening applications to people interested in actually building it. Are from Detroit News:

The US Department of Energy opened an application for $7 billion in funding on Thursday for hydrogen hubs in the region.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year directed the DOE to fund at least four hydrogen centers in different parts of the United States, but the DOE said Thursday it aims to fund at least six up to 10 centers. The centers will demonstrate the production, processing, distribution, storage and use of hydrogen.

“It will build a network of hydrogen producers, potential consumers, and local connected infrastructure to accelerate hydrogen use,” said Mitch Landrieu, the White House infrastructure coordinator. . “This will be a game changer for communities in the country.”

If you’re looking for a few hundred million dollars and think you can build a hydrogen hub, you might as well take your hat off when the applications open. Worst they can do is say no, right?

4th gear: China is feeling the price difference of Lithium

Lithium is very important in batteries. Lithium is also really, really expensive. Electric cars in China are cheap. You can see where the problem is starting to take shape here. Are from Bloomberg:

The dizzying rise in lithium, a key raw material for powering electric vehicles, threatens to push costs up even further for Chinese battery makers and the government is finding itself powerless to solving this problem.

Even after last week’s meeting where Chinese authorities begged major producers to stabilize prices, lithium carbonate rose to a new record, to 500,500 yuan ($70,716) a tonne. In yuan terms, this number exceeds what was common when Elon Musk of Tesla Inc. called prices “crazy” earlier this year.

Things were easier for China in March, at its previous peak. The officials then summoned representatives of the supply chain and told them they wanted a “reasonable” price. That at least stalled the rally. But it comes at a time when virus lockdowns are limiting demand and downstream users are also struggling to cope with the high costs of other battery materials such as nickel and cobalt. Now, everything is different.

China’s manufacturing is on the rise, with electric vehicle output more than doubling from a year ago in August. The China Tourist Vehicle Association expects EV sales to hit a record 6 million units this year, double the figure in 2021. Lithium supply still trails demand and there are potential concerns power supply at the main production centers this winter. In a sign of market scarcity, an Australian spodumene auction has just attracted the highest bid ever.

As China’s EV adoption grows, lithium prices likely won’t drop – high demand means high costs. Will companies shift their focus to higher-cost, higher-margin vehicles, or return to older battery chemistries like nickel metal hydride for the lower end of the market?

5th Gear: Ford Shuffles Its Operators

Recently, Ford has jumbled things up internally, between the gas/electricity group split and the reorganization of executives to accommodate the new structure. Now, a bunch of new or reassigned VPs are looking to fill some of the gaps. Are from Automotive News:

On Thursday, Ford Motor Co. said it was reorganizing its executive ranks as it added new talent and gave several leaders an expanded role with Hau Taitang, the longtime Product and Purchasing Manager, announcing his retirement. before.

“As we enter an intense rollout phase for the Ford Model e and our $50 billion investment in disruptive electric and digital vehicles, Doug, Lisa and Chuck are taking on roles grow bigger and build very capable teams,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. “Developing and expanding the next generation of electric and software-powered vehicles requires a distinct focus and combination of talent from the accomplished Ford team and the many exciting newcomers joining the industry. our company.”

Additionally, Ford said it has hired four new executives with “Silicon Valley credentials.”

Automotive News there’s the full list of nine executives and their new roles, in case you’re really intrigued by what Jim Baumbick is doing right now. I hope he has a good day.

Reverse: Oh Hey Look A Planet

Neutral: Have you guys heard of this ‘biking’ thing?

I moved recently and the quieter streets around my new apartment have allowed me to get started shared bike everywhere. Turns out, bikes are great. Now, I have secured bike lanes on every road, anywhere, in the world.

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