Failed car forecasts hit suppliers

Birmingham, Alabama — Suppliers cannot count on price relief when carmakers fail to build as many vehicles as they forecast, members of a panel at the Automotive News Manufacturing Conference said here last week.

Parts makers face significant upfront costs for engineering and tooling. But it’s almost impossible to avoid losses on a contract when a customer builds fewer vehicles than projected, said Keith Wandell, president of seat supplier Johnson Controls Inc.’s automotive group in Plymouth, Michigan

“It’s a hot-button issue,” Wandell said.

When volumes don’t materialise, suppliers…

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