Traverse City, Mich. — A mixture of positive and negative factors is making it difficult for automotive analysts to firmly forecast hurdles and triumphs in the industry. And the uncertainty is creating some uneasiness among suppliers, the analysts said during a session at the 2019 CAR Management Briefing Seminars, held Aug. 6-8.
Ongoing trade issues — including tit-for-tat tariffs and the signed, but not ratified, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — are some of the main sources of the industry's anxiety, they said.
"They're causing uncertainty because they make capacity planning and other factors more challenging by being unresolved and potentially having a huge impact on the industry," said Bernard Swiecki, director of the Automotive Communities Partnership at the Center for Automotive Research.
Swiecki is also the assistant director of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based CAR's industry, labor and economics group.
"It really appears that the best advice is to expect the unexpected and prepare for just about every eventuality," he said. "There does not seem to be a magic formula right now for a supplier."