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Auto industry could face parts shortage in 2014

While most of the auto industry has big dreams for 2014, there is one section that is wary of what is to come: the suppliers. Many companies that make individual components for vehicles are facing extreme pressure to keep up with high demand, and as a result, they are not sure if they will be able to match automaker's expectations in the next year. 

The outlook
A recent survey from IRN, Inc. found that many manufacturers are concerned about a potential shortage of car parts in 2014. With demand for new cars on the rise, many suppliers are being forced to increase their output - a fact that few are prepared for. 

"Capacity may finally be at the breaking point," the survey said, according to Automotive News. "If current projections ... are correct, expect this to be one of the top issues for the industry in 2014." 

According to the survey, those suppliers who made electrical components were most concerned about a potential shortage. As many as 38 percent of survey respondents who made these devices were worried about not meeting capacity. Following those companies were suppliers of chassis and suspension components, of which approximately 30 percent were concerned, the news source reported. 

"This suggests that the industry is maxed out," Melissa Anderson, IRN vice president, told Automotive News. "Among most suppliers, there is a fair amount of scrambling going on. It's not always pretty." 

What you can do
There is not much drivers can do to prepare for a potential parts shortage in 2014, especially because they have no way of knowing what type of auto repair they could need or even what vehicle they'll be driving in the future. If you have an off-road vehicle that you intend to keep throughout 2014, it may be a good idea to give the automobile a thorough inspection and make sure everything is functioning as it should. That way, if you find something that needs to be tinkered with or replaced, you have plenty of time to properly address the issue. This also provides you with some leeway in case a problem is bigger than you expect and requires a new investment. 

Those who plan on doing some extreme off-roading in the next year will also want to take steps to ensure their automobiles are strong enough to handle whatever comes their way. Installing a lift kit to add more ground clearance can prevent any type of obstacle from interfering with the undercarriage. Similarly, installing Jeep armor or other protective plates may also guard exposed areas from harm.