Auto sector driving blind, Reliance says

The beleaguered US auto industry is reacting as best it can to volatile market conditions, but future visibility remains murky, says Reliance Steel and Aluminum executives on a recent earnings conference call. 

Reliance president Karla Lewis says auto is “operating with the least visibility that they’ve had in quite some time, and they’re just reacting to support their customers.”

Most production schedules are being done week-to-week, due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductors and other critical components, she adds. 

Reliance is a major supply to the US auto industry, Kallanish notes. While auto’s woes have impacted Reliance, the company has offset that through shifting volumes and finding sales opportunities outside of auto. 

“We think our operations have done well managing through that [volatility],” Lewis says. “They’re able to move their business around with their multiple locations to support whichever platforms we need to. They’re also seen a lot of opportunity to pick up other non-automotive business with their lines.”

Dan Hilliard USA