This past month, members of the Quaker Houghton Connect team attended the SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV and the FABTECH expo in Atlanta, GA. These conferences were a great opportunity for us to take a deeper dive into the metalworking industry and learn about market trends and areas of growth. We are excited to share some of our learnings, specifically focused on, but not limited to, our automotive customers.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is representative of the automotive industry, which significantly impacts a large portion of metalworking fluid sales worldwide. Among these customers, hydraulic fluids and metal removal fluids are the most popular product lines. Here are some key takeaways from SEMA that may be informative for your business:
1. Expect Growth for Next Year
Despite concerns about a recession, the automotive market was mostly flat in 2021, followed by visible growth in 2022. Many projects that were pushed out from the COVID pandemic and beyond were pushed out again following supply chain limitations. Project plans for 2023 have therefore hit record highs for many companies. With more people working on personal car projects in recent years, and an increase in post-pandemic driving, both performance vehicles and car accessory demand continues to increase and is higher than pre-pandemic levels.
2. Manage Inventory
Half of automotive retailers are still seeing lower-than-desired inventory levels due to supply chain constraints. When it comes to metalworking fluids, Quaker Houghton Connect is committed to meeting the inventory needs of our customers. Make sure to stay in close contact with your supplier and allow for plenty of lead time to avoid supply chain challenges. Please see our blog post about Overcoming 2022 Supply Chain Challenges to learn more.
3. Keep an Eye on Pricing
The current state of the economy, paired with supply chain constraints, make price increases inevitable. Note that these price increases will vary largely depending on raw material requirements. Despite rising costs, demand continues to grow. Keep in touch with your suppliers to get ahead of price increases and understand the reasoning behind them.
FABTECH is considered to be the largest metalforming, fabricating, welding, and metal finishing event in North America. As a supplier of metalworking fluids, we were interested in what our customers, competitors, and educators in the industry had to say about the current state of market. Many of our learnings from SEMA were confirmed during this expo, with some highlights as follows:
- Economic uncertainty resulted in many projects being pushed from 2022 into mid-to-late 2023
- Raw material delays continue for some in the industry, particularly those who purchase raw materials from Europe, as energy resources are scarce
- As process automation continues to be a focus area for many, there is an increase in cybersecurity awareness. Train employees to be cognizant of security issues to avoid unauthorized use of equipment and potential theft.
Sean Cardin, QHC Commercial Lead, at FABTECH
Quaker Houghton Connect will also be in attendance at the upcoming PRI (Performance Racing Industry) trade show, from December 7th -9th in Indianapolis, IN. Make sure to be on the lookout for us if you plan to attend! We have plenty of information to share about one of our most popular honing oils, QUAKERCUT 004 PE, which has been identified in the engine building and automotive performance industries as the best honing oil on the market. To learn about this and other automotive metalworking fluids, please visit our website at https://www.quakerhoughtonconnect.com.
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