Once one of the highest-flying of automotive suppliers, Lear Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but after receiving support from lenders, bondholders and customers, it is expected to make a relatively quick passage through the courts.
Best known for its seating systems, Lear is the latest domino to fall among automotive suppliers, many of them among the world’s largest. In May, Ford Motor Co.’s one-time in-house parts supplier, Visteon, filed for Chapter 11, and industry analysts expect still more parts manufacturer to file as they try to dig out from the burden of years of mounting debt at a time when the U.S. auto market has plunged to its lowest level in decades.
Lear’s bankruptcy was anything but a surprise, as TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported. But it still shakes a creaky system that some observers fear could collapse at any time.