Japanese Automakers Tops In Supplier Relationships

Relationships between U.S. automakers and their suppliers have improved but are still far behind Japan's Big Three, according to a recent survey.

The study, released Monday by Birmingham, Mich.-based Planning Perspectives Inc., shows General Motors Corp. ranks last in supplier relationships behind Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group, respectively. Toyota Motor Corp. ranks first followed by Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

Planning Perspective ranked OEMs based on 17 criteria in the areas of relationship. OEM communication, OEM help, OEM hindrance and supplier profit opportunity.

GM shows the greatest improvement in OEM/supplier relationships with a 14.9% gain over 2005. Chrysler Group increased its score by 11.2% and Ford moved up 10.8%. Toyota and Honda reported slight decreases since 2005, while Nissan improved its relationship with suppliers by 0.6%.

"This is good news for Ford and General Motors," said John Henke, president and CEO of Planning Perspectives, in a written statement released June 12. "It appears they have bottomed out and the programs they announced last year to improve their relations with suppliers are starting to have the desired effect."

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