Today’s Pickup: US factories in limbo as Mexican production plants remain shut

U.S. factories in limbo as Mexican production plants remain shut (Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

The U.S. companies that are resuming production after roughly a month of lockdown are now contending with a shortage of parts supply from Mexico. This is because production plants across Mexico remain widely shut due to the pandemic. Mexico is the largest trading partner of the U.S. as of last year, and the country is a major exporter of auto parts to the U.S. 

The turn of events has put U.S. manufacturers in a spot because they cannot resume operations if their Mexican suppliers remain in a state of lockdown. Companies and states adjoining the border have been lobbying to get Mexican factories close to the border to reopen. However, Mexican authorities are hesitant, as border factories have been identified as infection epicenters that led to the increase in cases across northern Mexico. 

Did you know?

Permian Basin crude oil output is set to decline by 76,000 barrels per day (b/d) month-on-month in May. Production in the Bakken should be down 28,000 b/d, and Eagle Ford’s oil output is expected to decline by 35,000 b/d, according to the Energy Information Administration’s latest estimates. 


“Compared to 2019, air fares would need to go up dramatically – between 43% and 54% depending on the region – just to break even. Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board aircraft is low. Mask-wearing by passengers and crew will reduce the already low risk, while avoiding the dramatic cost increases to air travel that onboard social distancing measures would bring.”

International Air Transport Association (IATA) in its official statement calling for better sanitary practices within flights rather than opting for middle seat closures to keep costs down. 

In other news

Air cargo volumes looking ‘less bad,’ as the market has ‘probably bottomed’

Air cargo volumes, which fell rapidly in March, improved in the second half of last month. (The Loadstar)

Autotech Ventures raises over $150 million to invest in ground transport startups

The new fund brings the firm to more than $270 million under management to date. (TechCrunch)

Lawmakers spur push to aid auto industry

Members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation and those of other nearby states are marshaling bipartisan support for federal incentives to bolster the auto industry following the COVID-19 production shutdown. (Detroit News)

Volvo will sell LIDAR-equipped self-driving cars to customers by 2022

Volvo’s new platform will include high-powered laser sensors – an industry rarity. (The Verge)

Ford shares a year’s worth of self-driving car data

It wants to help advance autonomous vehicle research and development. (Engadget)

Final thoughts

E-scooter company Lime has raised $170 million in funding with the investment round led by Uber. Bain Capital Ventures, Alphabet and Google Ventures also participated in the financing. This investment is in line with Uber’s idea of expanding into different transport variants within the mobility-as-a-service segment, even as the company’s core cab-hailing services continue to leak money.

Under the deal, Uber will transfer all its electric bike and scooter business to Lime. That said, Lime’s valuation entering into the deal is unknown. Reports from The Information suggests that Lime’s valuation has fallen by 79% below its previous valuation to $510 million now. This fall in valuation is not surprising. Mobility companies around the world are facing the heat of the pandemic, as rides fell precipitously during the first quarter of 2020. 

Hammer down everyone!