African American Auto Suppliers Face Rough Road Ahead

Detroit show opens with sights on industry comeback

In 2008, new vehicle sales were 13.4 million. New vehicles sales are expected to reach just 11.4 million units in 2009, with 9.4 million of that figure being retail, predicts J.D. Power and Associates, a Westlake Village, California-based marketing research and forecasting company.

How much of an impact black auto suppliers and the industry will endure in 2009 depends on if the credit market remains ultra tight and unemployment continues to climb to record levels.

“The reason we’re in this position is because of the credit market,” Richardson said. “It’s not a lack of desire to buy cars. It’s a lack of individuals able to buy cars.”

While the industry tries to stay afloat, black suppliers should continue to focus on innovations and making their businesses efficient to remain viable.

“Become intimate with the customer,” Richardson advises. “Understand clearly what they’re needs are and try to address their goals.”

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