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Motor Vehicle Parts Suppliers Testify Before Senate Subcommittee to Assist Industry

Mon, 10/12/2009 - 9:07am
WASHINGTON, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dave Andrea, vice president, industry analysis & economics, Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), testified last week before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy.

The testimony for the hearing, entitled "Restoring Credit to Manufacturers," focused on the current state of the parts supplier sector, the need for greater access to capital, and the importance of long-term programs to support technology and innovation.

Mr. Andrea represented the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and its affiliates, OESA, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA).

Specifically, the testimony encouraged Congress and the Administration to: Assure sufficient capital for restructuring, consolidating, and diversifying the industry; address specific needs of small suppliers for sufficient capital for ongoing operations; and create technology funding programs that support long-term innovation.

"Bankruptcies are happening, and will continue to happen," said Neil De Koker, president and CEO, OESA.

"Suppliers continue to struggle under the weight of this economic crisis, and we are eager to work with the members of the Subcommittee in a coordinated effort to preserve the industry's employment base and technology innovation going forward."

The groups are urging an increase in the limits for loan programs within the Small Business Administration as current limits typically do not cover the investments suppliers make to assist with the design, engineering and tooling for a component on a new vehicle program. Suppliers are also encouraging Congress to pass legislation like the IMPACT Act (S. 1617) and the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act (H.R. 3246) to provide both original equipment and aftermarket suppliers with greater access to funding for investment in research and development and retooling.

"The supplier industry remains at a crossroads," said Bob McKenna, president and CEO, MEMA. "It will require the conscious efforts of the industry, lending institutions, and federal and state governments to provide a stable environment in which the industry can restructure."

MEMA represents motor vehicle parts suppliers, the nation's largest manufacturing sector, employing nearly 686,000 people across the country. Suppliers are also the largest manufacturing employer in eight states. These jobs contribute to 3.29 million private sector jobs across the country.

Suppliers manufacture the parts and technology used in domestic production of new cars and trucks produced each year, and the aftermarket products necessary to repair and maintain more than 247 million vehicles on the road today.

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