DETROIT - A rising tide lifts all boats. That was the case for most of North America's biggest automotive parts makers last year.
A 5.3-percent growth in North American vehicle production, fueled by automakers' incentive programs, helped drive a $17 billion lift in sales for the top 150 original equipment suppliers on the Automotive News annual ranking.
The group posted combined North American sales of $183.44 billion last year, up 10.2 percent from the $166.43 billion tallied in 2001.
The top 10 companies accounted for 43.5 percent of the total - $79.8 billion. That was up $4.8 billion, or 6.4 percent, from 2001. But at the same time, the top 10's share of total North American original equipment sales fell 1.6 percentage points.
The robust sales came despite continued intense pressure on the North American supply base to cut their prices. While increased production last year helped suppliers, sales for this year could take a hit. Some automakers are scaling back production plans in response increasing inventories and concerns about the impact of a war in Iraq.