Supplier relations have taken a hit, at least according to the most recent study by Planning Perspectives Inc.
The firm just completed its 16th annual North American Automotive OEM Supplier Working Relations Index Study, evaluating Ford, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler U.S., Nissan, Toyota and Honda on the working relationship with their suppliers.
None of the six original equipment manufacturers received a “good” rating, which is a score of 350 or more. Toyota led the way at 332, and Honda was not far behind at 323, both down compared to their 2015 scores.
Ford and GM improved their scores compared to 2015. Ford was up six points to 267 and GM made the biggest leap to 250, which was the cutoff for adequate, up from 224 in 2015.
Nissan and FCA both received “poor” ratings of 225 and 222, a step back from 2015.
“Everyone is under such pressure right now,” said David Andrea, executive vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research. “I don't know if you can pinpoint any one reason for any particular company, but across the board some of the things I would look at are a number of major organizational changes going on in the purchasing groups. More even if you look at the supplier side.”
Andrea added that both Ford and GM have made improvements, and it is apparent in their 2015 scores. Toyota and Honda traditionally score well in this survey thanks largely to their global architectures, which Andrea said helps simplify the relationship with the supply base because their cars are made in basically the same way with virtually the same parts all over the world.
But as Toyota and Honda have expanded their platforms, their performance in surveys like these has weakened, he said. Both OEMs last received a “good” rating in 2008—Toyota at 367 and Honda at 359. The pair has been the top two in every survey since 2002.
“They're moving toward that same mod-el,” he said. “If you look at the complexity of the product portfolio, the Detroit 3 with very diverse product portfolios from small subcompacts to large utilities, it's harder to maintain a relationship trying to quick-ly relaunch all of those different models. As the Japanese companies put more product into their portfolio, more complex-ity, you've started to see their numbers come down a bit because their product complexity has gone up.”