By David Sedgwick, Crain News Service
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Aug. 15, 2013) — Buying equipment and adding workers are North American automotive suppliers' top priorities as production orders soar, according to a survey by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA).
But financing expansion or construction of factories ranked lower on the list, said David Andrea, the OESA's senior vice president of industry analysis, who described suppliers' strategies last week at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City.
Plant "expansion is not considered a key action," the survey noted, based on responses by 96 companies in July. "As one respondent said: 'We already have the footprint; now we need people.'"
According to the survey, suppliers' top priority is to buy production equipment, followed by hiring salaried and hourly workers. Plant expansions ranked fifth, while construction of plants was seventh.
The bottom line: Suppliers are willing to expand production but, according to survey results, are leery of big investments, so auto makers and suppliers will have to plan for tighter production capacity.
This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.