China imposes anti-dumping duties
China's Ministry of Commerce is planning to impose punitive anti-dumping duties on vehicles imported from the US that have an engine capacity at or above 2.5 litres. For GM vehicles the duties will be as high as 8.9% and up to 8.8% for Chrysler.
Cars made by GM are also subject to a 12.9% anti-subsidy duty, while the rate for Chrysler models is 6.2%.
The duties will begin from Thursday this week and last two years, according to a statement on the ministry website.
The ministry statement gave the reason that US car imports have benefited from subsidies and have been dumped vehicles into Chinese automotive market causing "substantial damage to China's domestic industry".
Toyota switches to rail in South Africa
Toyota’s South African division has announced it will be switching to rail for finished vehicle shipments in the country. This week Toyota South Africa Motors (TMSA) signed an agreement with Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) to the effect that TFR’s Container and Automotive Business Unit (CAB) will now directly handle the transport of locally manufactured vehicles destined for the export and domestic markets, as well as vehicles imported into the country.
Under the previous arrangement Toyota moved vehicles by road, with rail used only for surplus volumes.
Gefco builds service in Morocco
French logistics provider Gefco has secured a major contract with Centrale Automobile Chérifienne (CAC), which imports Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda brands into Morocco, North Africa.
As of the beginning of December this year all CAC vehicles imported from Germany, Belgium and Argentina will be sent to Gefco’s automotive facility at Tit Mellil, which can store 4,200 cars. The company will take delivery of the vehicles and be responsible for storage, preparation and nationwide distribution. Gefco has been providing services in Morocco for a number of years to other automotive brands, including Citroën, Peugeot, Nissan, Renault and Dacia.
Panalpina launches weekly LCL services between Poland and Asia
Panalpina is launching two new direct less-than-container-load (LCL) services to meet increased customer demand in the automotive sector, as well as in high-tech and telecom. Operated through its in-house carrier Pantainer Express Line, the new guaranteed weekly services are from Keelung (Taiwan) and Busan (South Korea) to Wroclaw (Poland). The new services are reported to reduce transit times by two days and CO2 emissions by as much as 6.9%.
The new services are designed to strengthen Panalpina’s long-term strategy to grow business on key Asia trade lanes, especially on the Far East Westbound, Transpacific Eastbound, Intra Asia, Asia to Latin America and Asia to Middle East trade.
Carsten Meyer, global head of ocean freight, LCL, said: "With these two new services to Wroclaw we are enhancing our existing product portfolio for the Polish market remarkably. The new services also strengthen our position as one of the leading LCL service providers on the Asia to Europe trade."
Panalpina has already been offering direct LCL services to Poland from Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Ningbo.
UK announces supply chain initiative
The UK government’s Department of Business Innovation and Skills has announced £125m ($194m) funding for a new initiative to improve domestic manufacturing supply chains, including for the automotive sector.
The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative will target innovative projects in established UK advanced manufacturing sectors, as well as supporting new growth areas including renewable energy and low carbon sectors.  The initiative will aim to assist existing UK supply chain growth and also encourage new suppliers to establish manufacturing operations in the UK.
The government said the potential to stimulate new technologies and build stronger supply chains in the UK is "very considerable".
A threshold of  £2m for support has been set, with the aim of encouraging all suppliers, including small and medium sized enterprises, to submit joint proposals that demonstrate enhanced join-up across the whole supply chain.
The Government will invite potential applicants to express an interest in the scheme later this month, with the formal bid process being opened up in early in 2012.