The uncertainty and complex situation the industry finds itself in continues to have a strong impact on businesses
The automotive supply sector had a turnover of €32,085 million in 2021, 6.3% more than in 2020, although it has not yet recovered pre-pandemic figures (€37,000 million), according to data published by the Spanish Association. from Automotive Suppliers.Automotive (SERNAUTO), which observes how the uncertainty and complex situation the industry finds itself continues to have a strong impact on businesses.
Despite the difficult situation in the sector, suppliers increased their investments in R&D&i by 8.5% to a total of 1,164 million euros, representing 3.6% of the billing for that year and three times the industry average. The average investment of 4% over the past 5 years is maintained.
In the same way, the sector invested 1,361 million euros in increasing and improving its production capacities, in order to remain a competitive, innovative industry adapted to the needs of its customers. These figures provide a clear example of the efforts made by suppliers, both large and SMEs, to meet industrial transformation with guarantees and to remain at the forefront of technology.
In 2021, the sector employed a total of 326,600 people (direct and indirect). Direct employment generated by the sector reached 201,450 people, 5.2% less than in 2020. This loss of employment is largely due to the end of the ERTEs, the reduction in activity and the closure of some factories. Direct employment is characterized by being stable, qualitative and spread across the country. In fact, it represents more than 10% of industrial employment in various autonomous communities.
In 2021, exports reached a total of €19,669 million, 10% more than in 2020. Exports currently represent 61.3% of the sector’s turnover. This strong export character promotes a better recovery of companies. There are more than 460 Spanish supplier factories around the world. Of the turnover on the national market (12,416 million euros), 7,291 million euros corresponds to the supply of equipment and components to vehicle manufacturers (-5.8%) and 5,125 million euros comes from the spare parts market (+12.3%).
Automotive suppliers linked to the supply chain have been hit by the sharp decline in automotive production (7.5%). On the contrary, the turnover of spare parts manufacturers has increased due to the reactivation of mobility between the different waves of the pandemic.
In the words of the chairman of SERNAAUTO,
Francis Riberas“The data we present today shows the tremendous effort suppliers are making to face global challenges and not be left behind in this global race that is the auto industry. Despite the semiconductor crisis, the rise in raw materials or the exorbitant increase in energy and logistics costs, we have been able to keep production and most of the jobs.”
As he said: “These are very complicated months, with multiple exogenous factors impacting us immensely, yet our companies remain committed to R&D&I, talent and international expansion. We have no other choice if we want our country to remain a benchmark in the field of environment”.
Similarly, early estimates from SERNAAUTO’s board of directors indicate that sales will increase by approximately 10% in 2022 compared to 2021, but despite this, pre-pandemic levels are not expected to recover until 2023. in terms of employment, it could increase by an estimated 2%, making it possible to recoup some of what was lost in these years. The course in 2022 of both variables, turnover and employment, will be highly subject to uncertainty and the evolution of exogenous factors, such as geopolitics, energy and raw material costs and the more or less consistency of the markets, especially internal ones.
Jose Portilla, CEO of SERNAAUTO, emphasizes the importance of public-private partnerships to accelerate the recovery of the sector: «The support of the public administration for this strategic sector of the Spanish economy is essential. We must be able to ensure that European funds reach the companies in the sector quickly and efficiently, so that they are not left behind by all the difficulties they are currently going through. As we emphasize in our Strategic Agenda for 2025, we need the government to make a strong commitment to this sector, which is made up of many SMEs contributing so much in the different regions in which they are located and who are currently experiencing the impact of the pandemic and of all the external circumstances that have arisen».
Source: La Verdad