Supply concerns persist at Porsche
Luxury carmaker Porsche has resumed production at its Leipzig plant in Germany following an assembly shutdown on the Cayenne SUV line there last Thursday because of supply problems caused by the severe flooding in Europe. Parts being brought by rail from Slovakia via the Czech Republic, which has been severely hit in recent weeks by the adverse weather, were delayed.

According to the head of the plant, Seigfried Bülow, supply to the plant remains critical and the company would be deciding on a daily basis how many vehicles it could assemble. The Leipzig plant also makes the Panamera four-door coupe.
The floods, triggered by unseasonal heavy rainfall, are part of the worst in central Europe since 2002 when floods overwhelmed towns and cities in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Ford increases output in US
Ford is increasing output from three of its plants in the US by 200,000 units this year and will make an extra 40,000 units by idling certain plants for just one week this summer instead of the traditional two-week shutdown.
“To meet surging customer demand for our top-selling cars, utilities and trucks, we are continuing to run our North American facilities at full manned capacity, and we will add 200,000 units of annual straight-time capacity this year,” said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing. “Approximately 75% of our plants are running at a three-crew, three-shift or four-crew pattern in order to ensure we’re getting more of our products into dealerships.”
The additional 200,000 vehicles will come from the carmaker’s Chicago, Flat Rock and Kansas City assembly plants and will include some of Ford’s best-selling vehicles, including the Ford Explorer, Ford Fusion and Ford F-Series.
Twenty plants, including six assembly plants, will shut for one week over the summer. The assembly plants involved are Chicago Assembly, Cuautitlán Assembly, Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly, Kentucky Truck, Michigan Assembly and Oakville Assembly.

As well as the addition of 3,500 hourly jobs in 2013 the extra output will mean a step up in inbound supply and outbound movements of vehicles.

WWL announces carrier awards
WWL Vehicle Services Americas (VSA), which provides vehicle processing and logistics, has announced the recipients of its annual Carrier of the Year Awards. The awards were presented to suppliers for performance in 2012 in four categories: Trucking, Rail, Short Sea Shipping and Supplier of the Year. The criteria for judging performance included timeliness, damage-free performance and commitment to quality.

Seeland Auto Transport took the Truck Direct Carrier of the Year in the Division 1 category for volume shipments of fewer than 50,000 units. While in Division II, the award for more than 50,000 units went to C.A.R Transport.

The Rail Carrier of the Year was Union Pacific Railroad and the Short Sea Carrier of the Year was Matson.

Finally, the Supplier of the Year Award went to CSX.

Congratulations to WWL’s trusted suppliers,” said John Felitto, president and CEO of WWL Vehicle Services Americas. “Part of WWL VSA’s success may be attributed to solid partnerships with, and major support from, our transportation partners. We thank these providers and look forward to continued success.

OEMs support logistics benchmarking
A recent survey conducted by supply chain management provider ICL Systems in North America has found significant interest from OEMs in a benchmarking standard and vendor scorecard that would recognize top performers amongst other things.

According to Tom Swennes, vice president of Strategic Planning and Admission at ICL Systems, goals for benchmarking in the sector aim at allowing an OEM to measure performance against its peers in the areas of velocity, consistency, quality and cost.

About 60% of the respondents to the survey were shipping more than 500,000 units a year.

Of the respondents more than 40% were interested and 35% very interested. The one or two not interested said it was they were too small or because they saw their own supply chain as being different enough not to make participation of any value. Interest in a vendor scorecard was at 90%. Swennes said the answers on the scorecard would be weighted by volume. He said that service providers were giving good and timely data and that OEMs were protected by anonymity.

ICL has 21 years experience in the automotive industry providing supply chain management solutions for the finished vehicle sector. Its customer base represents more than 30% of the new vehicle market and expects to track between 5-6m this year.