Most businesses in the automotive sector should be financially resilient enough to cope with some minor volatility in demand or exchange rate fluctuations.
- The Swedish car producer segment is dominated by Volvo Cars in the passenger car segment and by Volvo AB and Scania AB in the truck segment. Those OEMs are mainly export-oriented (the export ratio amounts to more than 85%), and they widely determine the performance of smaller Swedish suppliers.
- In 2016 car production increased 8.7% to 205,000 units, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers OICA, and a production growth of 5% is forecast in 2017. Swedish GDP is expected to grow 2.5% in 2017 after increasing 3.1% in 2016, supporting domestic automotive sales.
- Swedish automotive manufacturers are investing heavily in connected vehicle technology and look for new development ideas. In July 2017 Volvo Cars announced that every car it launches from 2019 on will have an electric motor.
- Profit margins are expected to remain stable in the industry. Most businesses should be financially resilient enough to cope with some minor volatility in demand or commodity prices. The current interest rate environment (the Swedish benchmark interest rate remains at -0.5%) favours companies in servicing their debt, and banks are willing to lend.
- Depending on the level in the supply chain, payment duration in the automotive sector ranges between 30 and 90 days. The level of non-payments and insolvencies is low, and this is expected to remain unchanged in the coming months.
- Our underwriting stance remains generally open for this industry, with no restrictions on any subsectors. Due to its high export dependency the automotive sector is exposed to currency exchange risk, as most costs incurred are in Swedish krona. Therefore we observe if businesses take adequate measures to manage this risk.