vehicle sales and production in North America are expected to
remain strong through the rest of this year, but the recovery
of heavy-duty truck build rates from a sharp decline in the
second half of 2012 is moving slowly, Tier 1 auto suppliers
"In North America, our
guidance now assumes a 5-percent increase in year-over-year
(light vehicle) production. Thats up over 1 point from
our prior estimate," Delphi Automotive LLP chief financial
officer Kevin P. Clark said during the Troy, Mich.-based
companys recent earnings conference call. "Commercial
vehicle (production) was down significantly, but we are
forecasting an improvement in the second half."
Axle & Manufacturing Inc. is bullish based on its support
of General Motors Co.s next-generation full-size truck
and sport utility vehicles, for which it has begun shipping
components, president and chief executive officer David C.
Dauch said, adding that his company also is helping Chrysler
Group LLCs launch of the new heavy-duty series Ram
"Market timing for
these critical GM and Chrysler launches has been outstanding,"
Dauch said. "The full-size pickup truck market is red-hot."
Citing an estimated
full-year industry production volume of 16.1 million vehicles
in North America, Livonia, Mich.-based TRW Automotive Holdings
Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer John C.
Plant said the forecast, up 5 percent from 2012, is spurred "by
strong consumer demand and new product introductions."
Dana Holding Corp. lowered its heavy-duty truck production
guidance down slightly. "There is still a degree of uncertainty
in the Class 8 market," president and chief executive officer
Roger J. Wood said during the companys earnings
Tenneco Inc. chairman
and chief executive officer Gregg Sherrill agreed. "The global
commercial vehicle market remains relatively weak. Inventory
corrections are expected to impact production levels," he
Ill.-based Tenneco is supplying a mix of light vehicle
platforms and new programs, while maintaining its footprint in
the fastest-growing markets, Sherrill said.
Johnson Controls Inc., which makes climate control products and
batteries, said the automotive production environment for the
remainder of the year is positive.
Cummins Inc. adjusted its U.S. build rate forecast for
heavy-duty trucks to 229,000 vehicles from a previous guidance
of 233,000. However, chairman and chief executive officer N.
Thomas Linebarger said Cummins expects to grow its share of the
"We reduced our Nafta
(North American Free Trade Agreement) heavy-duty truck
production estimate for 2013 down from 270,000 units to 260,000
units," Eaton Corp. chairman and chief executive officer
Alexander Cutler said. "If you go outside the U.S., its a
Product launches and a
healthy order book are helping Van Buren Township, Mich.-based
Visteon Corp. expand its light vehicle business base this half
and beyond, president and chief executive officer Timothy D.
Leuliette recently told investors.