Peter Anthony, the head of a Chicago-area auto supplier, has spent much of this year feeling left on the sidelines in an industry delivering solid profits to car makers and dealers.

Raw-material prices and labor costs have soared for his firm, UGN Inc., which makes insulation products for vehicles. Hiring had become such a challenge that the company eased its drug-screening policy and recruited former inmates to fill factory vacancies, he said. All the while, car companies keep canceling orders last minute due to their own challenges with a computer-chip shortage, denting revenue.



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