TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Aug. 8)—Improving its relationship with suppliers will help General Motors Corp. make better products, said Robert Lutz, chairman of GM North America. "The days are past where GM was so arrogant that we thought we knew everything," he said at the automotive seminars in northern Michigan. "We're ready to learn." Frequent and open communication with suppliers rather than "malicious obedience" is a necessity, Lutz said. Suppliers should—very tactfully—speak up about different ways of doing things if they know better ways. "Although it's difficult at times, I believe building trust among your supplier base is a particular key to winning in this business," he said.