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Lear lost $293 million during second quarter 'in one of the most challenging quarters in history'
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Lear lost $293 million during second quarter 'in one of the most challenging quarters in history'

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Lear loses $293 million during second quarter

Lear Corp.'s new Hammond plant is shown. 

Lear Corp. lost $293.9 million in the second quarter as compared to a profit of $183 million during the second quarter of 2019.

The Southfield, Michigan-based auto parts supplier, which operates a seat-making factory in Hammond, saw its second quarter financial results "significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in unprecedented extended shutdowns of automotive industry production."

Vehicle production fell an unprecedented 46% worldwide and 69% in North America as a result of coronavirus and related shutdowns.

Lear lost $4.89 per share as compared to a profit of $2.92 per share at the same time last year.

“The second quarter of 2020 was one of the most challenging in our history,” said Ray Scott, Lear’s president and CEO. “Our business was negatively impacted by unprecedented production shutdowns in our major markets in April and May. As restrictions and closures eased, we concentrated our efforts on safely and efficiently restarting operations, managing costs, and positioning the company to take advantage of growth opportunities."

In the second quarter, Lear had sales of $2.4 billion, down 51% from $5 billion in the quarter quarter of 2019. The Tier 1 auto parts supplier, which furnishes seats for Ford Explorers at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch, lost $248 million in core operating earnings, compared to $352 million in net income in the second quarter of 2019.

But business has been picking back up.

"Following the resumption of production, we saw weekly improvements in capacity utilization and in our business performance throughout the month of June," Scott said. "We also had another quarter of strong business wins, including additional conquest business in seating. I am so proud of the Lear team for what we have accomplished this quarter, and, while we will continue to face an uncertain operating environment in the near term, I am confident that the Lear team will continue to rise to the challenge.”

The company has liquidity of $2.5 billion, including $1.8 billion in cash, to weather the pandemic-induced downturn.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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