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January 2022 | Companies

Spanish Automotive Components Sector 2022: Recovery and strategy

We are ending a year, 2021, that all the actors in the automotive industry began with the hope that there would be a significant recovery in the automotive industry after a 2020 in which the health emergency had a significant impact on both the global economy and the automotive industry, among many others.

However, the Spanish automotive industry in general, and the automotive components sector in particular, are closing 2021 "facing a complex situation resulting from a combination of several causes," as stated in an opinion article by José Portilla, General Director of Sernauto, an association that leads the Autoparts from Spain platform in collaboration with ICEX Spain Export and Investment.

Among these causes, "the most relevant at the moment are the shortage of semiconductors and electronic components, rising prices of other raw materials such as steel or plastic derivatives, as well as very high logistics and energy costs," Portilla enumerates. According to him, the shortage of semiconductor chips is significantly affecting the entire value chain of the automotive sector. Supply chain disruptions are causing delays in vehicle production globally and are affecting the entire sector, both directly and indirectly.

Portilla estimates that this situation will persist well into 2023, which, in his opinion, places the Spanish automotive components sector in a complex situation due to the high demand for these components, coupled with the inability to respond, as "building the machinery that produces semiconductors requires long lead times," he notes.

In this context, analyzing the environment that the Spanish automotive components sector will face, the General Director of Sernauto highlights that "European funds play a fundamental role in supporting the technological and industrial transformation of this strategic industry for the country, which comprises more than 1,000 companies." In his opinion, for these funds to have the desired impact, it is essential that they reach as many organizations as possible across the entire value chain, with the aim of strengthening the ecosystem and ensuring the competitive level and global positioning of the Spanish automotive sector.

Regarding the PERTE (Strategic Project for Recovery and Economic Transformation) for Electric and Connected Vehicles, José Portilla emphasizes that it will allow different companies and project blocks to apply for funding, thus ensuring the implementation of transformative projects for the entire value chain of the Spanish automotive industry.

However, given the anticipated adversity in 2022 for the automotive components sector, it is worth noting that Spanish automotive suppliers will continue to work and invest in technology and R&D to remain a competitive reference within the value chain of this industry.

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