To survive in the automotive industry, to be a part of the growth curve, suppliers need to be proactive. And that means being global.
Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS, during a presentation at the Center for Automotive Research Managament Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich. stressed the need for proactive suppliers ready to support OEMs and their global growth plans.
"The proactive supplier is one that looks out to '18 and '19 and '20," he said.
Those suppliers will be ready for the estimated 161 worldwide vehicle launches expected in 2018.
To be ready, suppliers are working now to ensure that they are on the leading edge of new technology, prepared for its entry point into the market.
They are working directly with manufacturers to get their components and specifications in front of the design teams and engineering teams as technologies are being integrated, "instead of waiting for the RFQ to hit their desk," Robinet said.
Those aggressive moves are necessary because manufacturers are largely only looking to work with one or, at most, two suppliers on any one program.
"It's all about risk reduction," Robinet said. "That proactive supplier really ensures the longer term success going forward."