• May 26, 2009
In the latest installment of an annual supplier relations survey put together by Planning Perspectives, Honda and Toyota have upheld their top positions in spite of suppliers describing downgrading them to merely "adequate." Still above average in supplier relations rankings (along with Nissan), previously Japan's two largest automakers were ranked "good to very good." Honda is still gets top marks for involving suppliers in product development and for helping suppliers lower costs and increase quality, while Toyota's decline was attributed to "less experienced staff in Toyota's purchasing group for whom the 'Toyota Way' is not yet the way of doing things."

Domestically, the big winner was Ford. All three domestic makers still rank below average in supplier relations, but six years ago, Ford was dead last among the top six carmakers. This year, Ford takes the U.S. crown, with just 19 of surveyed suppliers said they would rather not do business with the Pentastar. Thank you for the tip, Leonard!

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      My sister works quality control for a supplier to Ford, GM and in the past Honda. They make similar parts for the Focus, Cobalt and used to for the Civic. They are having problems keeping parts to up to Ford's current quality standards. Ford has fined them for bad parts (bad mold jobs, poor finish, bad labling and packing resulting in line slow downs). my sister keeps trying to tell them production numbers don't matter if Ford drops the account. GM has a lower quality spec and they lost the Honda account because of quality problems.

      In the past Ford wasn't as picky, they are getting better making sure they good parts and think it's showing in the end product.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I worked for a supplier some years ago. Ford and Toyota were the biggest pains the ass, for different reasons. Toyota was just plain stupid about it. Ford required books maintained by QC with pages of charted data on things such as paint thickness, defective parts found, etc. Toyota just seemed to randomly bitch about stupid things like blemishes in our parts that could not even be seen by the naked eye and had no effect on the quality of the parts but we didn't have any logical course of action like Ford required.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So much for the superiority of the "Toyota Way". At least Ford has a documented quality protocol for their suppliers to follow. I worked as a sales rep to an auto supplier for many, many years. Called on Toyota's engineering center in Ann Arbor, MI for five years, and never got so much as a return phone call from them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @tuxchown
        So you're saying Toyota did their own additional QC themselves on your parts?
        And cared about stuff other than just what you could see with the naked eye...

        What's wrong with that exactly? Might be a pain to have to live up to obsessive quality standards, but as far as car reliability goes it's probably a good thing when a manufacturer does their own QC on supplier parts, even if they're overly obsessive about details.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sure, tekd. Because three little invisible dots the size of a pinprick on a piece of hidden plastic is more important than 3.5 million sludged up engines.

        http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/01/toyota_sludge_settlement.html
      • 5 Years Ago
      I remember when Mulally came in to Ford, all the haters came in full force. Now Ford is showing how an American car company can survive. Ford still has lots of work to do, but it's on the right road. They are subscribing to Ghosn mantra that a car company's trouble can't be fixed by good cars. It has been years that we've all said "I wish Ford brought over those European cars". I'm glad that they merge the development teams for worldwide production. Here is hoping that the European teams get to lead small car development and not the American counterparts.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, expectations are high for Toyota and Honda and dead low for the not so big tree.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd rather not have to go to work everyday. Also I'd rather not pay out the @$$ in taxes. But what choice do I have.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well it'd be kinda hard to do much worse when your suppliers already hate you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn you Autoblog. Stop teasing me with the Fiesta!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe suppliers are catching on its no longer the Big 3's obligation to turn millionaires into multi-millionaires. That time has passed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        let us not forget that the squeezing is usually preceded by ideas, concepts, suggestions and improvement that are handed to the suppliers by the RnD departments. It's not simply "Hey we want stuff for less money". They say "here's all the ways to save us both money"... Seems fair and kinda nice to me!
      • 5 Years Ago
      More good news for ford.
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