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Industry Forecast electric car manufacturers to


Continued from pg 13 identify


areas where incorporation of investment cast components can offer production and operational benefit. In 2019, North American investment casting sales to the Automotive Sector finished the year at $430 Million, reflecting a 1% decline from the previous year. Last year’s forecast for 2020 put the year at $420 Million, but as the poet Robert Burns noted, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” The combined effect of the three month GM strike, adaptation to the new norm and economic factors have impacted sales to this sector by approximately 23%, resulting in an estimated $330 Million in 2020 Automotive investment casting sales originating in North America. In 2021, gradual recovery is expected to continue with minor erosion from the electric vehicle market. As a result, sales for this year are forecast to be approximately $400 Million, a level comparable to 2014/2015 levels. In the longer term, passenger vehicle and light truck OEM production will not return to 2019 levels until 2025, but as previously noted, with a shift in product mix towards electric vehicles.


General Industry The General Industry Sector historically accounts for 13% of all North American investment casting sales and is comprised of numerous subsectors, including but not limited to Oil & Gas, Orthopedic Implants, Medical, Marine Food & Beverage, Recreational Firearms, Farm & Mining, Transportation and Pump & Valve. Due to major declines in other sectors, most notably Aerospace, the General Industry Sector accounted for 16% of total 2020 North American investment casting sales, finishing the year at an estimated $730 Million, representing a 7% decline from 2019. On an aggregate basis, the overall


14 ❘ January 2021 ®


North America


sector generally tracks to the US rate of industrial production, though subsectors can and do vary. In 2020, most subsectors experienced declines ranging from 5% to 20%, but there were two sectors, Recreational Firearms and Food & Beverage, that prospered from the pandemic experiencing significant growth as consumer buying trends experienced a major shift.


When


considering the Industrial Rate of US Production on an annual basis, 2020 was off by 6.9%, which correlates to the 7% decline as Member foundries


contributing to this analysis. Looking forward to 2021, there are


several subsectors of which we should take note.


Recreational Firearms experienced


an estimated 40% increase in sales, resulting from pandemic concerns and civil unrest.


Fourth quarter sales have


since shown signs of normalization. This subsector is expected to experience 2021 sales at or near 2019 levels. Food & Beverage, like Recreational


Firearms, also experienced an unanticipated rise in 2020 sales, but


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