MOTOR Interview with Thomas Kowal, President of Seraph

September 26, 2022

Auto-parts suppliers face challenges as they strive to regain ground lost during the pandemic.

If the microchip shortage that is continuing to crimp auto production were to end today, it would still take a full year for automakers to get up to speed and manufacture cars at the level they were pre-pandemic. 

Why is this the case? Automotive suppliers can’t produce enough parts to fulfill that kind of demand. More so, auto suppliers are running at approximately 30 percent less efficiency than in 2019.

Thomas kowal - president of seraph.

“There is a massive issue with semi-conductor shortages, but even if we had enough semi-conductors tomorrow to produce all the vehicles that need them, the supply base still is 30 percent inefficient–and supplier factories are running at maximum capacity.

So where do you add 30 percent more efficiency? It’ll be approaching a year before the supply chains recover and can hit regular production volume.” 

– Thomas Kowal, President of Seraph.

Kowal’s remarks underscore the fragility of the intricate automotive supply chain, which has been rocked by a perfect storm of events: skyrocketing costs for everything from raw materials and components to shipping and labor; parts and materials shortages stemming from events such as COVID-related plant lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine; a tight labor market; shipping and delivery delays and disruptions; and the precarious financial state of suppliers themselves as surging costs reduce profit margins. 

More suppliers in critical state 

The biggest factor in that 30-percent efficiency drop includes an inability to manage material and inventory, which creates labor inefficiencies, wait times, drops in morale and ultimately, employee turnover, For more information on this, view the Seraph North America Automotive Market Update. 

For the full article, please view An Industry In Distress from Motor.

Please let us know if you have any industry related questions or would like to learn more about Seraph.

Thank you for your time.


About Seraph 

A global enterprise consulting firm that partners with business leaders to handle their most complex problems in areas such as supply chain, operations, and manufacturing challenges while delivering long-term operational and leadership improvements. Seraph has extensive on-site industry experience in the automotive, private equity, defense, medical device, electronics, energy infrastructure, and engineering sectors. The Seraph leadership team brings vast expertise across; crisis management, mergers, acquisitions, due diligence, restructuring, turn-around services, product launches, and logistics. Our four-phase process has been proven to provide quick payback and positive ROI, which is measured throughout customer engagement. Learn more at and follow Seraph on LinkedIn.

Related Articles

Case Study – Seat Supplier Success Story

Case Study – Seat Supplier Success Story

INDUSTRY: AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES: Logistics; project  management;  Situation. An Automotive Just in Sequence plant was struggling with capacity constraints and quality issues producing seats as the OEM launched two new programs causing the production model to change from...

Case Study – Launch of new facility amid pandemic

Case Study – Launch of new facility amid pandemic

Industry: Automotive Services: Project management; Logistics; PROJECT LAUNCH   Situation A large tier-1 roof supplier opened a facility during the start of the pandemic. However, during the pandemic, the supplier suffered significant setbacks in product design,...

Case Study – Automotive Lighting Supplier

Case Study – Automotive Lighting Supplier

Industry: Automotive Services: Project Management; Logistics;  Situation. An Automotive Lighting Supplier had oversold machine capacity and had contractual commitments to multiple OEMs requiring them to produce significantly more volume than they had demonstrated...