1H 2021 Manufacturing M&A Report

If there’s a symbol for the flaws in the global supply chain exposed by the rollercoaster COVID-19 lockdown and recovery, it’s a tourist in Hawaii headed to the beach in a U-Haul moving truck. Car rental companies across the country dumped their fleets in 2020 when nobody was traveling. When cooped up Americans burst out of the homes in 1H21, rental companies went scrambling for new cars, only to find global supply chain glitches and a shortage of essential computer chips were dragging down car production. With no chips for new cars to replace the fleets they sold in 2020, rental car companies were left without enough for a surge in travelers. In Hawaii, where rental rates were approaching $1,000 a day, wily travelers turned to a cheaper alternative, U-Haul trucks. Across the manufacturing industry, COVID’s effects revealed how fragile the global supply chain had become, and how dependent manufacturers had become on others to provide vital parts and materials. As we emerge from the lockdown, manufacturers are also discovering how dependent they had become on workers who – it turns out – weren’t all that happy about the old ways and may not be that eager to go back to the old jobs for the old wages. As demand for goods soared in 2021, factories were scrambling for everything from skilled labor to entry level workers…

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