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The need for speed

Rapid response strategies to market turmoil for Canada’s automotive sector


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Volatile commodity prices and fluctuating currency rates affect all industries differently. For the automotive sector, which relies heavily on exports to the U.S., these factors have combined to create one of the toughest operating environments in recent memory.

As the global financial crisis extends its reach to markets around the world, the environment is certain to become more challenging. “Weakening consumer demand, declining revenues and limited access to credit are doing much more than dampening profitability,” explains Peter Corcoran, leader of Deloitte’s Automotive practice. “They are putting the survival of many automotive companies at risk.”

"The time for making incremental adjustments is long past. Going forward, automotive companies must re-examine their fundamental business models to make competitive differentiation part of their long-term strategy. This is the only way they can hope to ride out volatile markets — both today and into the future."
— Peter Corcoran

Although many industry participants may be tempted to hunker down to wait out the current storm, that reflex is a dangerous one. The automotive sector is contending with much more than a short-term correction. It is facing a seismic shift in the way it does business. Companies that fail to lay the groundwork for this brave new world may find themselves left behind.

To avoid this fate, industry players must take a good hard look at their operations to identify action steps they must undertake in the short- to mid-term. The need for speed, a new Deloitte publication, outlines some of those response strategies to help you make more informed decisions during these challenging times.

The publication outlines nine approaches for strengthening your operations, including strategies to help you conserve your cash, reduce costs and inventories, streamline your supply chain and manage your risk exposure. It also explains how automotive companies may be able to capitalize on current market conditions by exploring strategic merger and acquisition opportunities.

“The time for making incremental adjustments is long past,” Corcoran asserts. “Going forward, automotive companies must re-examine their fundamental business models to make competitive differentiation part of their long-term strategy. This is the only way they can hope to ride out volatile markets — both today and into the future."

Deloitte Image Read The need for speed.

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