Commercial vehicle suppliers say they are experiencing major challenges due to pandemic-related supply chain and related concerns.
Tom Linebarger, chairman and CEO of engine maker Cummins Inc., noted the coronavirus variant omicron has driven up its own absenteeism as well as that of its suppliers, reports Transport Topics.
“But if I step back though, chip supply is still a disaster,” he said. “I mean, it just moves around. Lately, the biggest thing I am hearing about is anti-lock brakes, which, as you know, don’t affect us. But essentially every one of our customers and car companies are all suffering from anti-lock brake chip shortages.”
Carl Anderson, chief financial officer at Meritor Inc., said, “In total, higher steel and freight costs were around an $84 million headwind in 2021.”
Ocean container cost nearly quadrupled, hot roll steel increased over 250% and scrap cost doubled, he said.
“I don’t know if we’ll climb all the way back,” Anderson added, “but I would say we should definitely see a $50 million-plus improvement in working capital and on a year-over-year basis.”
Eaton Corp. Chairman and CEO Craig Arnold said inflation can’t be ignored and is likely to persist in 2022.
“Essentially, improved copper [higher conductivity and ductility] is up, resin costs are still high,” Arnold said. “The cost of semiconductors, if you can get them, is up dramatically. Steel is the one kind of good guy right now, but there are more than enough other, bad guys out there in terms of what we’re still seeing inflation that is offsetting the benefits that we’re going to see from steel.”
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