The global auto industry is in an all-out drive toward a cleaner and greener future.However, for some suppliers to the auto industry, it has not been a pleasurable joyride.
Instead, current conditions are more like driving on a icy, treacherous mountain road in the middle of a blizzard. Only the most skilled drivers will make it to the bottom of the metaphorical mountain intact.
Tough Sledding for Auto Suppliers
Most auto suppliers are already feeling a squeeze due to rising energy prices and rampant inflation in other parts of the supply chain. They have little choice but to shoulder most of the extra costs of making their components sustainable to help the automakers meet their environmental targets.
And make no mistake: the carmakers are pushing their suppliers hard. For example, Reuters reports that BMW expects all of its battery and many of its steel and aluminum providers to produce materials made using renewable energy, while Volvo Car is targeting 25% recyclable plastic in its cars by 2025.
Consequently, many suppliers to the automobile industry are making large investments to “green” their companies, doing everything from developing recyclable parts to using renewable energy.
Simultaneously, many of these same firms have little leeway to raise the prices they’re charging automakers, which are themselves focused on reducing costs. Automakers are spending tens of billions of dollars to shift their focus to producing electric vehicles.
This difficult situation faced by the auto parts industry was summed up nicely by Joe McCabe, CEO of the research firm AutoForecast Solutions, who told Reuters: “We use the term disruptive all the time, but it’s much more than just disruptive. We’re going to see a real big shakeout the next five, 10 years in the auto supply chain.”
In other words, the auto industry’s move to a greener future, alongside the supply-chain problems that began during the pandemic and soaring costs, has killed the profit margins for auto parts suppliers and created a perfect storm for the industry.
It is likely that only the strongest and shrewdest companies will survive this extinction event in the sector. The rest will go the way of the dinosaur.
One company that I believe will survive is TE Connectivity (TEL). It is able to pass along price increases to its customers, and it pays a dividend, too. Continue reading "An Auto Parts Winner in a Greener Future"