Automotive market growth fuels injection molders

By Don Loepp
Editor

Published: June 21, 2013 1:09 pm ET
Updated: June 21, 2013 1:24 pm ET

Image By: Rich Williams

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Injection Molding

This is a good time to be an automotive supplier. IHS Automotive projects that automakers will build 16.1 million cars and trucks in North America this year. That's up 4 percent from 2012 — and more than in any year since 2002.

Dennis DesRosiers, a Canadian-based auto analyst, said recently that two of the Big Three automakers are running at more than 100 percent capacity — meaning they're using a lot of overtime — and the third is close to capacity. The good news is fueling growth for the North American injection molding sector, which Plastics News ranks in a two-part special report that wraps up this week.

Last week we ranked the top 100, and I posted an item in "The Plastics Blog" noting that automotive molders reported a whopping 17 percent increase in sales in 2012.

A small part of that is related to rising costs, for sure, but it is clear that automotive molders are growing.

There's more growth this week: Our ranking of 460 smaller firms shows an average sales increase of 8.4 percent over last year. Anecdotally, we can report that this trend isn't just about growth at existing firms. PN has had quite a few stories recently about new molders joining the North American auto market. Some are overseas suppliers following growth at transplant automakers. Some are brand-new companies.

This is something we couldn't have imagined just a few years ago, when auto suppliers hit hard by the recession were closing plants, and many were desperately trying to get a foothold in other markets, like medical devices.

KPMG AG recently surveyed auto supplier executives and found that most are bullish about current prospects. They're hiring talented new workers again, investing in more efficient equipment and running their plants flat-out.

The North American automotive plastics sector is benefiting from more than unit growth. It's poised to pick up business from OEMs desperate to cut vehicle weight to improve fuel economy. Automakers also are expected to introduce lots of new models in the next few years, as they battle for consumers' attention — and for market share.

Are North American molders — and their supply chain — ready for Detroit's resurgence? They'd better be, because competitors in weaker global markets will have their eye on a piece of the pie.

Loepp is PN editor and author of "The Plastics Blog."


Comments

Automotive market growth fuels injection molders

By Don Loepp
Editor

Published: June 21, 2013 1:09 pm ET
Updated: June 21, 2013 1:24 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

There is no such thing as 'summer break' when you're in the plastics news business

July 31, 2014 10:51 am ET

There's a rhythm in most businesses. The ups and downs of the business cycle paint the big picture. In between, there's the annual schedule that...    More

Private equity firm buys majority share of truck accessory maker

July 31, 2014 10:30 am ET

A majority share of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based truck accessory manufacturer Tectum Holdings Inc. has been acquired by Boston-based private equity firm TA ...    More

Spain's ITC Packaging acquires Coveris rigids plant

July 31, 2014 9:59 am ET

International packaging group Coveris Holdings has sold its Spanish business Coveris Rigid Spain, including an injection molding plant, to the...    More

Image

Tessy investing $10 million in new plant, infrastructure

July 30, 2014 4:57 pm ET

Tessy Plastics Corp. continues to buy factory buildings in upstate New York — acquiring a 112,000-square-foot former Honeywell building in...    More

Image

Magna expanding interiors site in Slovakia

July 29, 2014 1:47 pm ET

Magna International Inc. plans to nearly double the size of its manufacturing facility in Trnava, in western Slovakia, to accommodate new automotive i...    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events