It's been a good year financially for retailers and automakers, despite the pandemic and microchip shortage.
The same can't be said for many parts suppliers, however.
Average dealership profits have soared this year and have broken annual records. Automakers such as General Motors and Ford Motor Co. brought in billions of dollars in third-quarter profit, despite producing a fraction of the vehicles they would have liked.
While low inventories have given manufacturers and dealers plenty of headaches, margins on new-vehicle sales have risen as incentives plunged and consumers became willing to pay more to get their hands on a vehicle. That, in turn, has given automakers and dealers plenty of financial cushion over the last year even as sales plummeted.
But for suppliers, whose business models revolve around supplying vehicle components to automakers at fixed costs, the situation has been remarkably different.
Suppliers have been feeling the financial pain as the assembly plants they supply worldwide produce millions fewer vehicles than they normally would.