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Auto-Parts Suppliers To Feel The Consolidation Crunch

By Jack Gee Rapid consolidation in the auto-parts industry will cut top-line global component suppliers from 2,000 to 150 worldwide by 2008, according to the European Assn. of Automotive Suppliers. The shrinkage will follow carmakers' strategy of sourcing parts from fewer, larger companies. However, the total value of the automotive supply market rose 13% last year to just over US$1 trillion, up from US$932 billion in 1998. Component manufacturers are supplying $817 of original equipment and $237 in aftermarket parts for every vehicle produced. Industry analysts believe that consolidation will be driven by global companies such as Delphi Automotive Systems of the U.S., formerly part of General Motors; Robert Bosch of Germany; and Visteon, the parts supplier that is being demerged by Ford. Visteon is seen as likely to become more acquisitive as it seeks to reduce its dependence on Ford business. Mergers and acquisitions over the last 10 years have reduced component makers from 30,000 to 8,000 of which 2,000 are Tier-1 and the others lower ranking and regional companies.

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