Germany triumphs over the US – Mercedes and BMW star in auto industry supplier survey

Over at Spend Matters US, there's an interview with Dr. John Henke, President and CEO of Planning Perspectives, "the world's leading authority on buyer-supplier relations".

The firm conducts an annual in-depth analysis of North American automotive OEMs and their Tier 1 suppliers. This year's results, released last Monday, are a must read for any metal supplier to the automotive industry. Dr. Henke is also a Professor of Marketing at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan.

The annual study tracks supplier perceptions of working relations with their automotive customers, in which suppliers rank the manufacturers across the six major purchasing groups, broken down into 14 commodity areas. The results of the study are used to calculate the Working Relations Index (WRI) based on 17 working relations variables. This year, 451 suppliers participated, representing 63% of the six automakers' annual buy.

In terms of the results, it is interesting to see how well BMW and Mercedes do, while the  US manufacturers are improving, and closing the gap on Toyota and Honda. Dr Henke himself expresses some surprise about the Mercedes performance, but as he says, "BMW and Mercedes have a stable German supply base (albeit parts from North American operations), characterized by a very tight knit customer/supplier relationship".

If all nine automakers are ranked, Mercedes would be in first place, followed by Toyota, BMW, Honda, Ford, VW, Nissan, GM and Chrysler; but do take a  look at Spend Matters US for the full interview and analysis.

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