From cars to wheelchairs? Auto parts suppliers take stock of healthcare

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Some auto-parts makers have begun targeting the healthcare sector, according to recent news reports. These firms are retooling their plants to make everything from beds to wheelchairs. It's not hard to see why: Many auto-parts companies are facing bankruptcy or liquidation as automakers slash car and truck production. Conversely, a rapidly aging population and greater demand for healthcare services will almost certainly spur the need for new products. Moreover, the medical-products field appears to be a good fit for auto suppliers. These firms are accustomed to machining tight-fitting, high-quality parts in high volumes.