Pessimism High Among N. American Suppliers

Bill Hampton

Trade tensions and slower sales are keeping automotive suppliers in North America pessimistic about the future, says the Original Equipment Suppliers Assn.

OESA’s Automotive Supplier Barometer for the fourth quarter of 2019 remains deeply entrenched in pessimistic territory at 37, or 13 points below a neutral sentiment and two points lower than a year ago. The group says its largest members—those with revenue greater than $500 million—are the most pessimistic.

The trade group’s members say uncertainty about U.S. trade policy continues to be the greatest threat to the region’s supply base. But they add that worries are growing about lower production rates and the strength of the U.S. economy in the months ahead.

Suppliers confirm that the scarcity of skilled workers remains a big issue. They add that regional voluntary turnover rates average an “extremely high” 7.5% or more for salaried and hourly employees.