If North American vehicle production keeps rising next year, some suppliers warn that spot shortages could develop, says a consultant.
According to a new supplier survey by consulting firm IRN Inc., 42 percent of the respondents said they would not have sufficient capacity if industry output tops 17 million light-vehicle units in the next 12 months.
IRN is projecting light-vehicle production in North America will total 16.8 million units in 2014 and 17.3 million in 2015.
Capacity constraints appear to be most acute among manufacturers of chassis and suspension components, according to IRN, of Grand Rapids, Mich.
"A striking percentage [of suppliers] indicated that they were struggling," said Melissa Anderson, an IRN vice president. A number of respondents said they were adding production capacity, "so there is action underway" to solve constraints, she added.
North American production has risen steadily in the five years since the market bottomed in 2009, and IRN forecasts another two or three years of growth.
Now, suppliers will have to ask themselves whether they are adding production capacity at a time when the growth curve may start to flatten.