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 saying they'd rather not do business with the company (or that they are ambivalent about it). For its part, General Motors has also improved, but Chrysler has, not surprisingly, remained on the bottom: Fully 54% 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]