Having suffered as a result of the global economic recession, the automotive parts and supplies industry is likely to begin recovering soon. The export of US automotive parts rose over 36% in 2011 to more than $58 billion says the International Trade Administration, with almost 85% of exports going to Canada.
Automotive imports climbed more than 44% to almost $91 billion in 2010, with Chinese imports up 35% to $10 billion. The trade deficit concerning US automotive parts in 2010 reached almost $33 billion, an increase of over 61% on the previous year.
Around 70% of US automotive parts are produced for original-equipment products, with the remainder produced for the aftermarket, involving the repair and modification of vehicles. As this industry is directly linked to the automotive industry, it rises and declines according to demand and sales of vehicles. Due to the economic downturn in 2009, many suppliers were running operations at around 55% capacity.
Industry productivity is set to increase as car manufacturers, such as Ford, seek to put global platforms in place to make the same vehicles in different regions from the same platform. Global platforms cut engineering costs, limit discrepancies in production to improve quality, and simplify the manufacturing process.