Sweden-based brake maker Haldex AB said that a major drop in North American trailer production in the fourth quarter of 2001 reduced both revenues and net income for the year. Haldex also predicted that trailer production would continue to drop in 2002.
Haldex said all of its divisions showed weaker sales and operating profits than the average for previous quarters. The company said its preliminary year-end report for 2001, which is not yet fully audited, shows a 47% decrease in operating profit and a 59% decrease in income before taxes.
Haldex said its weak fourth quarter results are attributed to two main factors. In North America, the production of heavy-duty trailers was reduced by 35% in the fourth quarter compared to earlier forecast and also compared to previous quarters. Haldex also said fourth quarter charges for the costs of warranty claims rose 42% over the average for previous quarters.
Haldex added that forecasts for vehicle production in 2002 point to a further decrease compared to 2001. Even though the production of heavy vehicles in North America is estimated to increase by some 2%, the forecast for the production of heavy-duty trailers has recently been adjusted downwards and shows a decrease of 20%, according to research by J.D. Power and Associates.
Combined, this means a forecast of some 9% production decrease of heavy-duty tractors and trailers in North America 2002 compared to 2001. In Western Europe, the estimates for 2002 point to a production rate of heavy-duty tractors and trailers that is about 12% lower than 2001, Haldex said.