To the roll call of auto industry titans that have gone or are going bankrupt -- Visteon, Chrysler, GM, Saab, Karmann, ASC, Source Interlink -- we can now add Tier 1 supplier Metaldyne, which filed for bankruptcy for its American operations. Metaldyne makes metal bits for car and truck chassis and NVH components.
Within the auto industry, it's something of an secret that most suppliers prefer to work with Asian "transplant" OEMs, who are perceived to be easier to work with. Planning Perspective's recently released survey shows that the Big 3 are making substantive improvements, but still have a long ways to go until becoming Best Friends Forever with the companies that supply parts to them.
American Axle Manufacturing (AAM), one of General Motors' main suppliers, isn't bankrupt,but it is feeling financial pain from the 1,100 workers that it is currently paying not to work. A grand total of $75 million is spent by AAM each year to maintain its share of the United Auto Workers "jobs bank", which represents approximately 2 percent of the supplier's gross sales and a substantial dent in the company's $56M of profit last year.
"Restructuring, improving base operations and growing global business" were the Big Three for Visteon in first quarter, who turned a profit, despite lower revenues. Following the news, shares rose $1.14 to $7 on the New York Stock Exchange, a substantial 19 percent improvement.
The importance of quality parts and strong supplier relations was laid bare for the Ford Motor Company Thursday, as it was forced to hit the red button on five assembly plants (and partially close a sixth) after it learned that of a defective clutch mechanism employed in certain 4-speed automatic transmissions. The costly shutdown idles plants producing F-Series pickups, E-Series vans, Expeditions, and the Lincoln Town Car. 15,000 workers are affected.