After building a solid relationship with its suppliers that may have helped it, in turn, solidify its ties to American consumers, Toyota has slipped from the top spot in an annual study of carmaker supplier relations.
The decline, which could add to the list of recent woes facing the Japanese maker, was revealed in the ninth in a series of annual studies by the Detroit consulting firm, Planning Perspectives Inc. The report shows that not only has Honda taken over the top spot, but that Ford is making fast and solid gains in building bridges with its suppliers.
Why does that matter? “Because suppliers normally give a lot of benefits to their best customers,” explains Planning Perspectives’ President John Henke. A supplier that feels it has a solid and long-lasting relationship to an automaker will not only accept “a premium in pricing,” but also bring that automaker the sort of cutting-edge features and technology that can provide a much-needed advantage in today’s highly-competitive auto market. (more…)