Auto parts sector revs up, employment surges

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Windsor Star/Grace Macaluso

Lakeside Plastics Ltd. is riding a wave of success that has helped rev up Canada’s auto parts sector.

Over the last three years, the number of employees at the  Oldcastle-based parts supplier has grown from 220 to 320  — a 45 per cent increase. About 50 workers were added this year alone, said Glenn Coates, past president who currently serves as the company’s senior business adviser.  “We have a great group of people, including those who’ve supported us through very difficult times in this industry.”

Thanks to the recovering global auto industry, Canada’s parts sector has become a leader in the country’s  manufacturing revival in 2014, according to a new report by Scotiabank.

Auto parts shipments have surged 14 per cent so far this year, nearly triple the increase in overall manufacturing activity, the report said.  Leading indicators point to further gains, as both new and unfilled orders have outpaced the increase in auto parts shipments this year. In addition, stronger-than-expected car and light truck sales in the United States during the summer months have prompted automakers to further boost their fourth-quarter vehicle production schedules for Canada, the United States and Mexico.

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