There would be reason to be happy if North American auto industry production exceeds 16-million vehicles in 2014, but if it does, a new survey of suppliers by IRN, Inc. concludes that automakers can expect spot shortages of parts, Automotive News reports. Electronics suppliers and chassis and suspension suppliers would have the most trouble keeping up with parts demand.

Out of the 100 suppliers surveyed in August and September, 26 percent said they had "difficulty meeting production expectations" in 2013. If the North American industry passes the 16-million mark, 28 percent of suppliers said they won't have enough capacity to meet expectations. That number rises to 38 percent for electronics suppliers and 30 percent for chassis and suspension suppliers.

"This suggests that the industry is maxed out. Among most suppliers, there is a fair amount of scrambling going on. It's not always pretty," says IRN Vice President Melissa Anderson.

The survey found Chrysler Group particularly vulnerable to supply woes. Forty-two percent of Chrysler suppliers said they had trouble meeting production expectations in 2013, though reportedly only 15 percent of the suppliers surveyed sell to Chrysler. But Chrysler seems to be a few steps ahead of the game, and has offered almost 65 percent of its suppliers new long-term contracts, compared to 55 percent industrywide.

Anderson says, "It's a good sign of the automakers' willingness to think long term. It's a sign of optimism about the future. Earlier, nobody wanted to lock anything in," which is what leads to bidding wars for the lowest possible price.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      Jeff Gilleran
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is another problem. When there are shortages, there is ultra high demand, which places the part manufacturers into a push to deliver. Quality does not equal speed. I suspect there is going to be issues with many electronics in the coming months. I work for an Electronics manufacturer and see first hand how going fast tends to negate any quality product. Add in that 1/3 of all electronics can fail within the first year, and you have a mess on your hands.
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Silly auto manufacturers. Make your own crap.
        lyphesaparty
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        automakers are specialists in nothing (except assembly), if you want them to make everything, you will get average engines, average transmissions, average tires, average electronics. The reason suppliers exist is to allow the specialists in each discipline to assist in producing the best COMPLETE CAR.
          DeathKnoT
          • 1 Year Ago
          @lyphesaparty
          Seems like they were doing just fine before doing exactly that.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @lyphesaparty
          [blocked]
      Derek Smith
      • 1 Year Ago
      The wonders of vertical deintegration. The auto manufacturers really have only themselves to blame for divesting themselves from their parts divisions. Perhaps we may see a return to vertical integration in the auto industry.
      jmwinters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chrysler is definitely feeling it. I had to have a new wiring harness installed (rodents) and in talking to my Service Manager there are quite a few other parts that have been on back order for some of their other cars. Some of their parts for recalls are back ordered as well.
      daewootech
      • 1 Year Ago
      Any reason to raise prices...