If auto suppliers want to see the harsh reality that will underpin some of the biggest decisions they'll face in the coming months, they need only look at dealer lots across the country.
In short, they're sparse — vehicle inventory is tight.
With consumers wary of mass transit and ride-sharing services such as Uber, auto demand has stayed surprisingly sturdy since the coronavirus hit.
Production delays and supply chain disruptions have hampered assembly and delivery of new vehicles, resulting in inventory shortages — dealers in Chicago, for example, say they lack new cars and trucks. They have a plethora of empty spaces in lots that typically are full.
As stockpiles became depleted, automakers and their global supply chains have not been able to meet the continuing demand, exposing structural flaws in an industry that won't return to normal anytime soon.
In fact, if these disruptions in the supply chain endure, they will create the need for suppliers to expand and move their production, invest in new automation technologies or potentially make the decision to sell the business and get out.