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IndustryChinese suppliers, raw material costs and e-mobility growth shake...

Chinese suppliers, raw material costs and e-mobility growth shake up the automotive supplier sector


The top automotive suppliers saw significant growth in 2021 despite challenges from the ongoing pandemic, the chip crisis and record raw material costs, according to the 2022 Berylls Top 100 Supplier Study.

Unlike 2020, which was impacted primarily by COVID-19, 2021 was massively affected by the ongoing pandemic, the chip crisis and the intensified situation on the raw materials markets. Despite these challenges, many suppliers were able to report significant increases in sales and profits in fiscal year 2021.The 2022 study shows overall industry sales in 2021 will be just under $900 billion, about two percent below the all-time high of $917 billion in 2019, which indicates suppliers are approaching pre-pandemic levels.

“Despite continued pricing and supply chain challenges, suppliers still put together one of the industry’s best years,” said Martin French, Berylls U.S. managing director. “Overall, Chinese suppliers led the way with significant growth, while their German and Japanese counterparts lost some ground.”

Chinese battery manufacturer, CATL, appeared in the Top 10 for the first time after experiencing more than a 183 percent growth in 2021. The Top 10 includes five Asian and four European suppliers, with Bosch leading the rankings for the seventh straight year.

The Top 10 automotive suppliers include:

Rank:Company:Country:Sales Volume (in millions):YoY % Increase:
4ZF FriedrichshafenGermany$34,865+14.2
6Hyundai MobisSouth Korea$30,973+13.8
Top 10 automotive suppliers

Looking Ahead
While suppliers will face familiar threats the rest of 2022, Berylls predicts significantly greater changes to the industry and its Top 100 list over the next decade. Suppliers with a high proportion of combustion engines, such as Mahle, will likely be passed without any countermeasures. Electronics groups with strong software expertise, like Bosch and Continental, will grow disporportionately. Asian suppliers, especially Chinese companies, will gain importance through organic growth and acquisition.

“We will see a shift towards Asian auto suppliers due to the growing importance of electric vehicle battery manufacturing, IT and Infotainment,” said French. “And, if the Chinese companies can consistently continue their recent success in battery production, they will take the lead in the supplier rankings by 2028. A truly unimaginable feat just a few years ago.”

French added, “The road to success, however, remains rocky as the transformation that suppliers are going through demands high investment with payback over several years. That means supplier profitability in the early years will be much lower.”

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