Auto parts sector must invest to thrive: DesRosiers
There are good days ahead for Canada’s automotive parts makers and toolmakers – but only the companies that invest in manpower, technology, and research and development will reap the full benefits, according to Canadian...
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There are good days ahead for Canada’s automotive parts makers and toolmakers – but only the companies that invest in manpower, technology, and research and development will reap the full benefits, according to Canadian automotive industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers.
DesRosiers was the keynote speaker at the Windsor Mold Expo and Metalworking, Manufacturing and Production Expo, held on October 23 in Windsor, Ont. “These are the best of times for the North American auto industry,” DesRosiers told the audience. “North American vehicle production is expected to grow at least until the end of the decade, reaching 20 million units within three to five years, thanks to a recovering U.S. economy and carmakers’ plans to launch more than 70 new vehicles annually. This is unprecedented territory for the tooling sector.”
His industry outlook was the most positive ever in his 44-year career, DesRosiers said – although he admitted that his forecast flies in the face of the day-to-day news coverage that most people hear. “Canadians are always hearing that the automotive cycle has come to an end and we’re facing rough times ahead, but I’ve looked at the fundamentals and I fundamentally disagree,” he said. “I think we have an unprecedented three- to five-year run ahead of us, which translates into a lot of parts and new molds, and Canada is well positioned to benefit from that now that we have a lower dollar.”
And as for the skilled labor shortage that we hear so much about, DesRosiers acknowledged that it exists – but there is a solution. “The pool of available workers for the parts suppliers sector and the mold, tool and die sector is actually quite large – pushing perhaps 20,000 available workers,” he said. ”The challenge is to find them and demonstrate to them that auto parts makers and moldmaking shops are making the investments necessary to thrive. Workers want to work for good, solid companies that are willing to do interesting things, but they’ve been disappointed so many times in the past that they are skeptical.”
For an example of how one Windsor, Ont.-based moldmaker is investing and expanding, click on this link: