By Rhoda Miel, Plastics News
Glendale, Wisconsin- The struggling North American auto industry is continuing to make an impact, with auto supplier Johnson Controls Inc. noting that its future sales expectations have dropped by $500 million just in the past few months.
Glendale-based JCI told analysts in New York on 14 Oct that its auto interiors book of business - work already awarded for future vehicle production - is now at $4500 million, down from $5000 million just this summer.
Beda Bolzenius, president of JCI's Auto Experience auto interiors unit, blamed the decrease on reductions in production from North American carmakers. The reduced level still is a record for the firm, but reflects a decrease the company first predicted in September when it said it expected auto production to drop in the region.
The company now is basing its business on a "very conservative" North American production level of 13.9 million passenger vehicles this year, and 12.3 million in 2009. The auto industry made 15.4 million cars and trucks in North America in 2007.
JCI already has announced a global restructuring to bring its manufacturing into line with the expected slow down.
In Europe, the company expects the industry will produce 22.5 million cars and trucks this year, with manufacturing dropping to 21.2 million in 2009, although some regions in Eastern Europe may see an increase, executives said.
The company expected a slowdown this year, said chairman and chief executive officer Steve Roell, but noted that the first part of 2008 beat expectations, while the past "30 to 60 days" have been worse than expected.
JCI, which also makes batteries and heating and air conditioning systems for buildings, said its projected global sales of $37 billion for 2009 will be 3 percent lower than its expected final sales for this year.