North American Die Casters Remain Resilient
Through the COVID-19 Pandemic
Annual benchmarking study conducted by NADCA unveils industry’s performance
Arlington Heights, Illinois., March 23, 2021 – The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) recently released the results of the 2020 Die Casting Performance Benchmarking study conducted by manufacturing experts, Harbour Results, Inc., (HRI). The study indicates that the die casting industry as a whole proved resilient through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Despite some negative effects that brought revenue down 12% compared to 2019 throughout the industry, die casters remained profitable.
“North American manufacturing faced significant challenges in 2020 due to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Capacity across the industry dipped to 38% in Q2 of 2020, but rebounded to 58% by year’s end,” said Steve Udvardy, president of NADCA. “Looking to the future, we predict the industry will see a significant uptick. In fact, many die casters are already reporting extremely high operating levels based on the increased demand for cars, RVs, home appliances and other consumer products that require die cast parts.”
As expected, headcount dropped drastically due to COVID-19 – 22% from 2019 to 2020. Additionally, approximately 50% of respondents indicated that recruiting talent was more difficult due to increased unemployment benefits, personal health/safety, increased competition and childcare challenges.
“Although there is a great deal of uncertainty in the market, including trade/tariffs, economic instability, supply chain disruptions and the growing cost of raw materials, the top concern for die casters is access to labor,” commented Udvardy. “Attracting and retaining a qualified and reliable workforce has become increasingly more challenging for business owners and, as an industry, we are working to raise awareness of career opportunities in die casting.” In 2021, the study forecasts capacity utilization to grow to 65%, a mark the industry hasn’t experienced since Q1 2019. Additionally, die casters on average will invest 4.5% of revenue on capital expenditures including machine and equipment, automation, software and facility enhancements.
The survey population was comprised of North American die casting companies. Businesses with pounds shipped from less than 2.5 million pounds to more than 10 million pounds were represented. Additionally, the study included shops that cast aluminum, zinc and magnesium, with aluminum representing the largest percentage of shops (91%).
The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) is a trade association advancing the North American die casting industry by providing resources to help members solve technical, operational and business challenges, while raising overall awareness of the industry’s critical role in manufacturing. Founded in 1989, NADCA provides comprehensive educational, networking and collaboration opportunities as well as leads a research and development program focused on advancing the industry. For more information or to become a member visit diecasting.org.