Sonic has most complex logistics for GM in North America
General Motors launched production this week of the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact at its Orion Township assembly plant in suburban Detroit, the only subcompact car it manufacturers in the US. According to Kenneth Knight, GM executive director of global and North America manufacturing engineering, the vehicle has a complicated supply chain and logistics process because it was developed in South Korea.
According to Automotive News, Knight said that logistics are more complicated at Orion than other GM plants in North America as a higher percentage of parts is being imported. That means GM must consider that inventory and supply line when making manufacturing changes at the plant, he said. Over time, more of that parts manufacturing will be shifted to North America, he said.
The Sonic's engines initially are being imported from Mexico and South Korea, Knight said, who was speaking at a conference in Michigan.
The cars will be available in dealerships this fall. It is the only subcompact manufactured in the United States.
Former Chrysler plant to become parts logistics warehouse
Work has begun on a 755,000-square-foot warehouse on the vacant site of Chrysler's former van plant in Windsor, Canada that will be leased by a major automotive client for use either as a parts distribution or parts logistics warehouse for pre-assembly, according to a “reliable source” at The Windsor Star.
Proposed by the Rosati Group, the warehouse will cost nearly C$100m ($104m) and will have 17 acres of open space under one roof. The Windsor Star reported that site plans submitted to city planning officials show the new building will be rimmed by 190 loading docks on its east.
The van plant, known locally as Plant 6, closed in 2003 when the life cycle of the company's commercial vans came to an end with its replacement by the Daimler-designed Sprinter van.
Rosati bought the site from Chrysler in May 2008 prior to the carmaker’s bankruptcy proceedings. Chrysler retains a 25% ownership in the site for storage of vehicles from its nearby minivan plant.
Caterpillar Logistics targeted by private equity
According to press reports, private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and BC Partners are leading the chase to acquire Caterpillar's logistics business, Cat Logistics, in a transaction that could be valued at as much as $1 billion. The sale does not include Caterpillar's own manufacturing logistics and parts distribution operations.

It has been suggested that, as the sales process reaches its final round, as many as three interested parties remain as potential buyers. It was reported that Centerbridge Partners has aligned itself with Jim Crane, Chairman of Crane Worldwide, and former Chairman, CEO, and majority shareholder of Eagle Global Logistics (EGL) prior to its sale to Ceva Logistics in 2007.Following the sale of Eagle, Jim Crane went on to found logistics and customs brokerage company, Crane Worldwide.

Ceva wins Mazda aftermarket contract in UK
Ceva Logistics has won a three-year, €6m ($8.5m) contract to manage Mazda's UK-wide distribution of aftermarket vehicle parts.
Ceva, which already works with Mazda to distribute spare parts throughout Italy, will deliver parts five nights a week to more than 180 dealerships from Mazda's National Distribution Centre at Staplehurst, Kent, in the southeast. The parts will move throughout the country in Ceva's shared-user automotive network, the company said in a release. 
Ceva said that it will will reduce damage to parts by providing consolidated roll cage deliveries. Ceva also claimed that it will reduce the miles travelled in the network for Mazda by 18% through improved vehicle usage. 
Gefco builds on German business
Gefco’s German division, Gefco Deutschland, is opening a new branch for overland traffic in Stuttgart bringing its presence in the country up to nine locations.  The focus of the overland traffic branch will be on transport services including LTL and FTL loads, as well as on international groupage freight.  
Gefco is also going to integrate its N8Express night express service at the new location for the supply of spare parts for vehicle dealerships and workshops in the region. The service portfolio will be rounded off with warehouse logistics services, according to the company.
Yusen Logistics to appeal anti-monopoly lawsuit
Japan’s Yusen Logistics announced that it will appeal an anti-monopoly lawsuit brought by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC).  The company was among 12 forwarders ordered by the commission to pay a total of $113.2m in fines. 

Yusen’s fine, imposed in March 2009, was for $21.6 million for its alleged role in a cartel to raise air freight prices by adding fuel surcharges and airport security charges to its services. 

In July, the JFTC dismissed a Yusen Logistics appeal against the fine. 

Yusen said it was “unable to accept the correctness” of this judgement and said it had resolved to commence a lawsuit in the Tokyo High Court, “seeking to have the decision overturned."

Gebhardt buys stakes in European Conveyor Systems.
The Gebhardt Group has acquired 45% of the shares of European Conveyor Systems in the first step towards a majority interest, according to Gebhardt. Gebhardt has been a longtime partner of the company.

"With its 30 employees ECS covers following departments: production, installation, control engineering and service. For the future, ECS has the ability to access directly all data of the parent company Gebhardt in Sinsheim, "said Fritz Gebhardt, Gebhardt Group Managing Director.
 Imperial acquires stake in InSync
South Africa’s Imperial Logistics has acquired 60% of automotive logistics and supply chain specialist, InSync Solutions. Following the establishment of Panopa locally in 2010, the union further entrenches Imperial Logistics’ service offering to the automotive industry with particularly time sensitive and accuracy-driven logistics needs.
“InSync enables Imperial Logistics to deliver a comprehensive solution to the automotive industry from a basis of industry understanding, robust OEM relationships and blue chip customer experience,” says Heinrich Strauss, MD of Imperial Distribution.
Between 2008 and 2010, InSync participated in a consulting role on a project at Volkswagen Group South Africa. The task was to create a synchronised plant logistics process that could meet the high-speed production cycle of the new Polo line. The team achieved the goal of supplying at a line speed of 2.4 minutes compared to the previous Polo at 6.5 minutes cycle time.
InSync’s customers also include Mercedes, Tiger Wheel & Tyre, Midas and Hyundai.