Auto parts maker Autoliv says 2012 is difficult to predict image

Car safety equipment maker Autoliv sees 2012 as difficult to predict due to the possibility of a global economic downturn, CEO Jan Carlson said on Monday.

The company announced it will stick to its 2011 outlook, although the auto market began to soften in the third quarter. “One can see a gradual decline in vehicle production, but there are also big differences between different regions. On the other hand, things can move quickly, we also saw that in 2008,” Jan Carlsson was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Automakers are reducing their European production plans for 2012, preparing for a drop in consumer demand. “We do not know today what is going to happen, so one must be prepared,” Carlson said.

He added that Autoliv sticks with its forecast for 2011 sales growth of more than 15 percent and an operating margin of about 11 percent. However, 2012 is another story. “It is unusually difficult this year to talk about next year. It will have to wait until February for a forecast… But this year is more difficult than normal,” he said.
Carlson said the company’s budget would allow acquisitions worth about $1 billion.