After a 10-year-long ride, the automotive manufacturing sector in Southwestern Ontario is coming in for a landing.That landing, however, is looking like it will be a smooth one, with recent cuts of more than 100 workers at London’s Brose auto parts plant a sign of turbulence, not a looming crash, say auto industry observers.“Overall it will be a smooth landing. There are still very healthy levels for automakers, but we will not see a repeat of 2017 any time soon,” said Juan Manuel Herrera, economist with Scotiabank and an automotive analyst.“We expect it to stabilize.”In 2017, nearly 2.2 million vehicles were made in Ontario, and more than two million were sold here.That is forecast to drop this year to 1.95 million vehicles made here, with sales again keeping pace at about 1.93 million vehicles purchased, said Herrera.Since auto sales and production across North America, have been hot in recent years, a cooling is not unexpected, he said.“There has been a dampening due to reduced demand by Canadian and U.S. customers,” said Herrera.“This is following the general pace of the economy. A slowdown is bound to occur here. It is normal at this point in the cycle. There is a natural decrease in demand.”Brose, located near Highbury Avenue and Highway 401, recently announced the cuts by year-end due to production changes, meaning there has been a drop in demand for the seat and window systems Brose makes. It now employs more than 600.“I am not aware of any additional cuts at other automakers,” other than GM Canada’s planned closure of its Oshawa plant by year end, said Herrera.In 2018, 2.02 million vehicles were made in Ontario, down from 2.19 million in 2017.Unifor Local 27 represents workers at several parts plants across Southwestern Ontario, and agreed “there is no indication now the sector is shedding jobs,” said Jim Wilkes, executive with the union.“No one has given us a heads-up about layoffs. Businesses are holding their own now.”Among the plants it represents is Martinrea, Autoneum, London Automotive and Cooper-Standard Automotive in Mitchell, to name a few.Jason Bates, chairperson of the London Region Manufacturing Council, is hearing from members there still is strong demand for parts and workers.“Plants are looking for people. They can’t find people especially in the skilled trades area,” said Bates.“The sector is healthy. There are open positions”.Steve Rodgers, president of consulting firm GS Global Solutions, agrees the parts sector is seeing growth.“While there has been some softening in the industry, the reality is that, at this point, it has not been significant and has not really affected volumes very significantly,” said Rodgers.While the Oshawa closing is a cloud over the automotive sector, the GM plant is forecast to assemble about 50,000 vehicles a year before it closes. That is not a lot and means its impact in the parts sector will not be great, he said.While Oshawa will be “devastated” by the closing, London region industry is not a major supplier to Oshawa and the closing will have little impact here, said Rodgers.In 2018, the GM plant assembled 128,000 vehicles and in 2003, it peaked at one million vehicles assembled that year.As for area automakers, Toyota is continuing with its $1.4 billion expansion of its plants in Woodstock and Cambridge, announced in May, adding 450 jobs to the 8,000 that work there now assembling the RAV4.Cami Assembly in Woodstock continues to make the Equinox, employing nearly 3,000 people.