DETROIT—BorgWarner Inc. saw its sales drop in the first quarter and lowered its full year guidance because of the impact of COVID-19.
The turbochargers and electric motors supplier said net sales for the quarter fell 11 percent to $2.28 billion. BorgWarner's drivetrain segment net sales dropped 12 percent to $860 million, while the supplier's engine segment sales were down 10 percent to $1.43 billion, the company said in a statement.
Net income fell 19 percent for the quarter to $129 million while adjusted operating income dropped 21 percent to $234 million from last year's period.
BorgWarner joins several other major suppliers, including Aptiv and Adient, in reporting their first quarter earnings this week during the coronavirus crisis.
"Given the pace the shutdowns occurred, we think this is a relatively good outcome," CEO Fred Lissalde told investors in a May 6 call about the company's results. "Overall, we expect a very challenging environment in 2020, especially in the second quarter."
As a result of the downturn brought on by the pandemic, Lissalde said BorgWarner has implemented a 20 percent temporary salary reduction for the senior executive leadership team and board of directors, and up to 10 percent temporary base pay reductions for other salaried employees.
The company also has experienced plant closures, temporary layoffs and other reductions in staff because of lower production.
As the pandemic started to impact the North American supply chain, BorgWarner said it was reassessing its previous full year guidance, which had forecast net sales of $9.75 billion to $10.08 billion. Operating cash flow was expected to be $1.25 billion, and full year free cash flow was expected to be $675 million to $725 million.
BorgWarner updated its guidance May 6, with net sales now expected to be $7.25 billion to $8 billion. Full year operating cash flow is expected to be $530 million to $780 million, and free cash flow is expected to be $100 million to $300 million.
"Due to the impact of COVID-19/coronavirus, global light-vehicle production expectations remain volatile," BorgWarner said in a statement.
The updated guidance excludes the potential impact from BorgWarner's acquisition of Delphi Technologies, which the supplier disclosed Jan. 28. The $1.5 billion merger is expected to help position the two suppliers for the future as they have long been navigating headwinds in power electronics products and propulsion technologies and an industry shift toward electrification.
BorgWarner and Delphi said May 6 they resolved a potential snag in the transaction. BorgWarner earlier said Delphi breached deal terms by drawing down all of its available credit, about $500 million, to stabilize its balance sheet amid the pandemic.
Both companies say they agreed to amended terms and BorgWarner consents to Delphi Technologies' drawdown of its revolver. The amended transaction agreement also provides for new closing conditions, and the companies say the deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.
BorgWarner also addressed the impact of the tornado that hit its Seneca, S.C., plant April 13 in a first-quarter earnings presentation. The tornado killed one contract worker and four employees suffered minor injuries.
Damage to the machining area of the plant was limited while assembly area damage was more extensive, BorgWarner said.
The plant was not in operation at the time because of stay-at-home restrictions but resumed limited production May 4. The company said its Seneca plant supplies transfer cases, primarily for Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota.
"The production rates should improve throughout the month of May," Lissalde said. "This was an amazing accomplishment."
Delays at the plant could have jeopardized Ford's pickups and large SUVs, including the F-150 and the four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the Expedition, Super Duty, Explorer and Transit and the Lincoln Navigator and Aviator.
On March 13, BorgWarner increased its revolving credit facility to $1.5 billion, and on April 29, the company entered into a $750 million delayed-draw term loan facility. As of March 31, the company had cash balances of $901 million.
BorgWarner has said the temporary suspensions and other reductions in auto maker production led it to temporarily suspend operations at some of its manufacturing and assembly facilities but did not provide further details.
BorgWarner Inc., of Auburn Hills, Mich., ranked No. 22 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide sales to auto makers of $10.5 billion in 2018.