That pent-up demand for new automobiles has finally caught up with the manufacturers.
The auto industry is reporting it could face shortages of parts and materials needed to meet the demands of new car buyers.
Suppliers cut back their staffs and inventories in the depth of the recession in 2008 and 2009. Some mothballed entire factories, closed assembly lines and terminated workers.
Now, as orders increase, they can’t make enough parts to fill them and they are having a hard time ramping up production to meet sales.
The Associated Press reports at least 57 parts makers closed, were bought out or went into bankruptcy during the economic downturn. Nearly 20 percent of auto suppliers — more than 100,000 workers — lost their jobs between 2008 and 2011.
Sales dropped to a 30-year low in 2009, with only 10.4 million vehicles sold.
Last year, the industry sold 12.8 million vehicles and is on track this year to move 14.5 million cars and trucks.
If that number grows above 15 million, the trade group for automakers says there could be spot shortages in American showrooms, something that hasn’t happened in years.