A new report from Moody's Investors Service found automotive parts suppliers are healthier financially than they were prior to the economic downturn, a positive sign for automotive staffing across the country.
The Detroit News reports Moody's says credit metrics are stronger for suppliers overall, despite weaker car and truck sales. The report suggested a number of companies were able to shed much of their debt through bankruptcy reorganization during and after the recession.
Still, Timothy Harrod, who wrote the report, explained that the rebound in the automotive parts industry depended on a number of factors, some of which may come more slowly than others.
"Because companies reduced debt significantly during the downturn, future improvement will hinge largely on top-line growth, which could come slowly given macroeconomic pressures," Harrod explained.
David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told the news source that auto suppliers do, in fact, have a bright outlook based on their abilities to cut costs out of their structures during and immediately following the economic downturn.
The issue, according to Cole is that even companies that are reporting strong earnings are having a difficult time convincing investors to jump on board their expansion plans.
"We're going to see choke points to develop where there isn't the capacity to extend the volume as the market comes back," Cole said.
Across the country, auto suppliers have been creating jobs at a steady pace. In Oxford, Alabama, for instance, one company recently announced it plans to expand in the area and boost automotive staffing by approximately 87 new positions by 2013.
The Anniston Star reports the Oxford City Council recently approved tax abatements for the company to forge ahead with its $4.3 million expansion. The firm's corporate executives reportedly still need to finalize the plans, according to the news provider.
In New York, a company that provides technology solutions and services to the automotive industry recently announced it plans to add 75 new positions in Nassau County next year. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said the expansion will be a boon for the local economy, reports the New Hyde Park Patch.
"It represents jobs and opportunities for those that are struggling to work in the high-tech world and this in Nassau County is certainly a high-tech center and today really marks another day where there’s opportunity and hope for Nassau County’s economy," he said.