Big Win for Martinrea: Unifor’s investment boosts the Canadian auto industry

Vaughn, Ontario — Auto parts maker Martinrea International Inc. sees the benefits of recent Canadian investments announced by the Detroit three automakers, as the company recovers from the pandemic.

Martinrea says it has so far booked $45 million in new business making propulsion systems for Fiat Chrysler and General Motor (GM), as well as $10 million for EV platforms with GM.

The Vaughan based company had third-quarter sales of $971 million, which went down from $974.4 million in the third quarter of 2019.

“It’s been quite a year so far, with the (second-quarter) COVID-19 shutdowns, to surging volumes in North America that met some of the highest volumes we’ve ever seen,” said chief executive Pat D’Eramo in a conference call with analysts.

“Demand is expected to remain strong for the remainder of the year, and the restart has gone as smoothly as we could have expected.”

Net income for the quarter was $45.6 million or 57 cents per diluted share, compared with $46.7 million or 56 cents per diluted share, in summer 2019.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected revenue of $986.9 million and net income of 38.3 million or 47 cents per share.

The company’s board said it declared a quarterly cash dividend of five cents per share, and executives say that after layoffs stemming from the pandemic, they are hopeful the auto business has turned a corner.

D’Eramo estimated that nearly five billion worth of investments announced this fall in Unifor’s collective bargaining with Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler was “probably the highest level of investment announced in our industry in Canada in over a decade.

“This is good news for all Canadian auto suppliers, including us. There is work to win here,” said D’Eramo.

As well, he said that if remote workers move to the suburbs during the COVID-19 pandemic, they might need to buy cars soon.

“We can keep our plants full and maybe add some work and new jobs.”

Martinrea International is a global leader in the design, development, and production of lightweight structures and propulsion systems that address the automotive industry’s current and future solutions.

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