Although the North American automotive industry has been hard hit by plant closings, massive layoffs and bankruptcies over the past few years, capital and maintenance spending has maintained a steady pace, as evidenced by strong year-end investment figures for 2006 and continued planned investments for 2007.
During last year, approximately $10 billion was invested in capital and maintenance projects in the North American automotive industry, just a slight decrease from the $11.2 billion spent in 2005, according to statistics released Monday by Industrial Info Resources.
And the forecast shows 2007 will be even better than 2006 for the automotive industry, as indicated by the 250 active capital and maintenance projects, being tracked by Industrial Info Resources, worth over $10.5 billion that are planned to start construction in 2007.
As in 2006, the Great Lakes region leads the North American market with more than $2.8 billion of project work scheduled to begin in 2007. This is followed by Mexico with $2.389 billion worth of investment, the Southeast region of the U.S. with $2.381 billion in investment, and Ontario with about $1.4 billion in planned spending.
In 2007, the most money will be spent by DaimlerChrysler, with $3 billion invested in five projects across North America, reports Industrial Info Resources. DaimlerChrysler's biggest expense will be $1 billion to retool two assembly plants in Saint Louis, Mo., along with a proposed $800 million engine plant expansion in Michigan, a $700 million automotive machining plant retool in Ohio, and a $500 million engine plant expansion in Wisconsin.
Other proposed projects by Kia Motors, General Motors, Volkswagon, and Ford could increase the spending numbers by the end of 2007, according to Industrial Info Resources' research.