As automakers return to production after global shutdowns, concerns remain over the health of the supply chain.
Three out of four auto suppliers surveyed in Europe by CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, think it will take more than a year to recuperate.
More than 90 percent of suppliers surveyed said they expect a sales drop of at least 20 percent in 2020. Some 35 percent expect a drop of more than 30 percent.
How reopening in the U.S. will play out is still unknown, Edgar Faler, senior industry analyst at the Center for Automotive Research, told Plastics News.
"There's a lot we don't know yet about how this industry will recover," he said. "So far, some early indications around retail sales have been encouraging. Although in the last week there's some indication of perhaps a plateau."
The numbers he's seeing, Faler said, are "just wonky."
"You have this gradual restart of the economy on a state-by-state basis," he said. "There's still a lot of staying at home and it's going to recover unevenly."
Suppliers have noted varying degrees of ramp-up progress in North America, Plastics News' sister publication Automotive News reported.
Carol Stewart, executive vice president at ADAC Automotive Inc., the Cascade Township, Mich. maker of vehicle door handles and exterior mirrors, said that while some ADAC plants have been running during the past two months to produce aftermarket parts, most are just beginning to ramp back up.
ADAC was operating at about 10 percent of capacity as of the week of May 11 and expected to be at only about 20 percent as of the week of May 18.
The supplier's primary roadblock has been state-level restrictions on manufacturing.
"Our biggest issue really was getting the OK for the OEMs to start manufacturing in Michigan," Stewart said.
A spokesman for ZF North America Inc. said only about half of its U.S. plants were in operation at the end of last week. ZF's North American plants would not return to operations until the end of May, the spokesman said.
"Financial assistance very well could be needed for the supply chain, and we're watching this closely," the spokesman said.