The Yellow Lights Are Blinking
This article first appeared in the OESA News.
The automotive industry might be characterized a little like the Michigan weather; if you don’t like what you see today, hang around and tomorrow might be worse. Or better if you’re the optimistic type. The point is simple, we live, work and manage a business that is so utterly dynamic it’s almost unparalleled in complexity, challenges and in opportunities. Back in December/January we saw almost unprecedented swings in the equities markets, and general enthusiasm for automotive products and 2019 sales at the NAIAS. And we listened to and digested every auto industry expert forecaster for the year ahead with some forecasting a US light vehicle market at 17.2M, others at 16.5M, and many somewhere in between. Disaster? Certainly not but clearly the years of steady growth, not only here in the US but also in the world’s largest market, China, are over. At least for the time being. The “smart” money on Wall Street was already telling us that with the OEM’s and major suppliers all
losing significant market capitalization value in the 12 months dating back to early 2018. So, now we’re well into 2019 and the Yellow Lights are blinking, maybe even brighter than a few months ago.
The question becomes, what must you and your company do, now, to preserve value? As a member of the C Suite team at your company, you need to be aggressively managing your current business, and your future book of business, to mitigate the effect of the blinking Yellow Lights. Yes, the lights might turn Green again because there’s enough favorable economic news and political pressures to make that happen. But, the lights might turn Red, however, and you need to be prepared. A few thought starters;