After a nearly two-year border shutdown, Canadian auto suppliers are looking to rebuild ties with customers south of the border in time for an expected surge in demand for new vehicles.
Only supply chain bottlenecks are standing in the way of more vehicle sales to consumers flush with cash that they couldn’t spend in the past two years, said Peter Hall, the Crown corporation’s chief economist.
“We believe there is ultimately enough supply in the system, whether it’s raw materials, intermediate goods, computer chips or what have you,” Hall said. “But generally, things are in the wrong places.”
U.S. crossings reopened to Canadians on Nov. 8, two months after Canada began welcoming vaccinated Americans. While the bottlenecks are expected to ease, there’s less confidence that Canadian suppliers can pick up where they left off with U.S. customers when COVID-19 forced the unprecedented land border closure in March 2020.
It’s an unknown that weighs on Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund, president of the Canadian Association of Moldmakers (CAMM). “Have we eroded relationships enough that American companies are going to think twice about doing business with Canadian companies?”