In an industry that last year was littered with more debris than a NASCAR pileup, few auto suppliers made it through unscathed.
The top 10 suppliers of original equipment parts to automakers in North America saw sales last year drop a combined $9.7 billion, or 11.2 percent, to $76.9 billion, according to Automotive News' annual ranking of the top 150 parts suppliers. That compared with an increase of $2.4 billion the previous year.
Sales for the entire group totaled $174.7 billion in 2001, down 7.7 percent from 2000. Total worldwide sales of automotive original equipment for the group in 2001 was $365 billion, down 1.3 percent from $369.8 billion in 2000.
The declines were not a surprise in a year when suppliers were banged up by price-cut demands from automakers, production cutbacks, a continuing slump in heavy-truck sales and a recessionary economy that was shocked by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The economic woes put a virtual freeze on merger and acquisition activity among suppliers - the engine of sales growth in years past - and added to the dockets at U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.