Tier 1 automotive suppliers predict steady growth

Nov 09, 2010 | 12:39 PM |

Automotive and truck suppliers expect steady improvements in vehicle sales and production, component volumes, earnings and profit margins through the next few quarters, judging by third-quarter earnings performances and market commentary by five Tier I global manufacturers.

Steel and aluminum wheel manufacturer Accuride Corp., for example, said that the three major segments it supplies—North America Class 5-8 vehicles, trailers and related aftermarket channels—have continued to improve year-over-year. "Class 8 production rose approximately 35 percent year-over-year and Class 5-7 and U.S. trailers rose 31 percent and 70 percent, respectively," the company said.

"Continued growth in manufacturing activity has caused capacity to tighten within the trucking industry, which is leading to higher freight rates. As freight rates increase, fleets are beginning to regain their financial health, which allows them to begin replacing older equipment," Accuride chairman, president and chief executive officer Bill Lasky said.....

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