Despite a looming plateau in auto sales and automakers overwhelmingly betting on the same pieces of the market, savvy suppliers could still realize major opportunities in the coming years. Those opportunities come as automotive sales hit nearly 17.3 million units for 2018, with trucks and SUVs up 8 percent, accounting for around 11.8 million units. Meanwhile, passenger car sales dipped 13 percent to 5.5 million units.
Spurred on by tax reform, a need for innovation and the current talent shortage, manufacturers increasingly have embraced automation on their shop floors.
DETROIT — By offering diesel powertrains in their light-duty pickup trucks, the Detroit Three automakers are betting they can eke out even more sales in what’s been a red-hot market.
DETROIT — As two of the top three best-selling vehicles get a makeover this year, the 2018 North American International Auto Show once again seemed devoted to the ultimate American lifestyle automobile: the pickup truck.
With 177 new vehicle launches expected by 2020, tooling suppliers like Walker Tool & Die Inc. are bracing for another busy period in what’s been a string of good years for the industry.
GRAND RAPIDS — While the automotive sector may be nearing the end of a strong sales cycle, West Michigan-based suppliers remain bullish on the industry.
Despite a relatively stable outlook for the automotive sector, industry experts have started noticing evidence of “stress fractures” appearing in an otherwise healthy market.
As the automotive industry pursues cutting-edge technological breakthroughs in autonomous driving and vehicle electrification, West Michigan suppliers must ensure they’re not left behind.
Despite the possibility of easing emissions regulations and historically low gasoline prices, LG Chem Michigan Inc. remains charged about the possibilities for electrified vehicles.
While some industry professionals have raised concerns over subprime lending, rising inventories, incentives and other trends pointing to a downturn in the automotive cycle, the industry should remain healthy in the coming years. That’s according to Mike Wall, director of automotive analysis at IHS Automotive in Grand Rapids, who forecasts North American light vehicle production to close at 17.8 million units this year. While 2017 production is projected to slide to 17.6 million units, he expects it will inch up to 18 million units in 2018 and peak at 18.7 million units in 2020 as new facilities in Mexico come online. Wall spoke with MiBiz about what automotive suppliers in West Michigan should expect in the new year.