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Automakers Still Need to Foster Better Supplier Relations

New survey shows GM made biggest leap in improved ties to suppliers.

by on May.16, 2016

If automakers hope to keep their assembly lines moving, shoring up the relationships they have with their suppliers is the first order of business.

Despite a long-history of mutual antagonism, General Motors has succeeded in improving its relations with suppliers, while Nissan and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV have seen their relations with suppliers worsen over the past years.

The improvement in GM’s relations with suppliers is one of the highlights of the North American OEM- Supplier Working Relations Index prepared annually by Planning Perspectives.

Supplier News!

The 16th edition of the annual study showed that of the six major automakers building vehicles in the United States only General Motors posted “significant improvement,” adding 26 points to its score and moving up to fourth place overall as Nissan slipped to fifth. (more…)

Nexteer Workers Heading to Polls on New Deal

Second contract includes wage increases, improved health-care benefits.

by on Dec.14, 2015

Nexteer workers ended their strike after they secured wage increases and health-care improvements.

Workers at the Chinese-owned Nexteer plant in Saginaw, Michigan, who staged a brief strike that threatened production at both General Motors and FCA U.S., will vote Thursday and Friday on a new tentative contract.

Union officials will hold meetings through the week to explain the changes in the new agreement, fashioned after the overwhelming rejection last week of the first tentative deal by the 3,200 workers at the Saginaw plant.

For the Record!

The contract rejection set the stage for a one-day strike that forced both GM and FCA to curtail production of some truck and sport-utility vehicles that use steering-gear components manufactured by Nexteer.   (more…)

Nexteer Employees End Strike, Head Back to Work

Supplier gets improvements on pay, health care issues.

by on Dec.09, 2015

Nexteer workers ended their strike two days after it began securing improvements in pay and health care.

Almost as quickly as it began, the strike at Nexteer Automotive is over. The walkout, which lasted less than 48 hours, had its top customer, General Motors, sweating it out for a while.

Nexteer produces components for GM’s full-size pickup trucks produced at the maker’s plant in Flint, Michigan, which is less than an hour from the supplier’s plant in Saginaw. The new deal, which addresses the workers concerns about pay and health care, goes to a vote later this week.

Union News!

“Following an interruption in production on Dec. 8, 2015, employees have resumed regular schedules as Nexteer and the UAW have reached a new tentative agreement,” Mark Decker, vice president and chief human resources officer of Nexteer, said in a statement. (more…)

Nexteer Strike Could Idle GM Truck Plant in Michigan

Employees cite wages and health care as reasons for no-vote on contracts.

by on Dec.09, 2015

Nexteer workers are on strike after two contract offers have been deemed unsuitable. GM's truck plant in Flint could be idled soon if a deal doesn't get done.

With one of General Motors most valuable assembly plants threatened with shutdown, the United Auto Workers and Nexteer Automotive of Saginaw, Michigan, scrambled to find a solution to a day-old strike that could wreak havoc with pre-Christmas production schedules not only at GM, but also at other automakers as well.

The strike began early Dec. 8, and the UAW said late that day they had worked out a new tentative agreement with Nexteer’s management that would be presented to members of UAW Local 699 quickly.

Union News!

Members of UAW Local 699 had overwhelmingly rejected one contract offer during a Dec. 6. ratification vote. UAW’s leadership rejected the second contract offer presented by Nexteer because it did not go far enough in meeting the objections of Nexteer’s workers.  (more…)

Magna Drops $1.9 Bil to Buy Getrag

Canadian supplier looks to dominate transmission segment.

by on Jul.17, 2015

Magna announced its plans to acquire transmission supplier Getrag for $1.9 billion.

Magna, the giant Canadian-based supplier, has agreed to acquire the Getrag Group, one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive transmissions, in a deal valued at $1.9 billion, or 1.75 billion euros.

The transaction is expected to close near the end of 2015, subject to a number of conditions including obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals.

A Winning Deal!

Don Walker, Magna’s chief executive officer, said the acquisition bolsters the company’s overall product portfolio by adding one of the world’s largest suppliers of automatic transmissions to the Magna family. (more…)

Brazil Investigating Takata, Autoliv for Price Fixing

Allegations match U.S., European inquiry results.

by on Jul.09, 2015

Takata and Autoliv are under investigation by the Brazilian government over price-fixing allegations.

Brazil’s antitrust agency is looking into whether Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp., and its Swedish-American competitor Autoliv formed a cartel in the South American country to fix prices on seat belts, airbags and steering wheels.

Takata and Autoliv combined are virtually the only suppliers of airbags, a key piece of safety equipment mandated around the globe. Takata has come under fire in the past in the U.S. for price fixing and faces a host of lawsuits and recalls involving deteriorating and defective inflators. However, Autoliv, the larger of the two companies, has largely escaped criticism.

News You Can Trust!

The auto parts cartel investigation is now a global enterprise and has led to major investigations in the U.S., the European Union, Japan and China as well as Brazil. (more…)

Toyota, Honda Have Best Relationship With Suppliers

Relationship with Detroit makers continues to deteriorate, finds study.

by on May.19, 2015

Honda's relationship with its suppliers is the best in the auto industry, according to a recent survey. Toyota tied for the top spot.

When Henry Ford built his massive rouge assembly complex near Detroit, he’d ship in sand and iron ore at one end, then truck out fully assembled vehicles at the other. But that era is long gone, and these days, manufacturers are highly dependent on suppliers who provide a major share of the parts and components that go into a modern vehicle.

But how well suppliers and automakers work together varies widely, and a new study finds that Toyota and Honda have the strongest relationship with U.S. parts suppliers while the situation has actually deteriorated when it comes to Detroit’s Big Three.

Automotive Insight!

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. topped the list, according to the 15th annual Automotive OEM Supplier Working Relations Index, a study produced by Planning Perspectives, Inc., in Birmingham, Michigan. It was the fifth year in a row the two Japanese makers led the industry. (more…)

Delphi Shows Automated Driving System with SF-to-NYC Trek

Supplier sends Audi Q5 on cross-country trip.

by on Mar.16, 2015

Delphi is demonstrating the capability of its automated driving system by driving an Audi Q5 from San Francisco to New York City.

Delphi, the giant automotive supplier, plans to show off the growing sophistication of its automated driving system by taking a specially equipped Audi Q5 on a 3,500-mile cross country journey starting at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and winding up in New York City.

Jeff Owens, Delphi’s chief technology officer, said the long journey will allow Delphi engineers to gather critical data and further advance the company’s active safety technology development in this rapidly growing segment of the auto industry. The car will also have an engineer/observer in the driver’s seat but they won’t operate the car.

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“Delphi had great success testing its car in California and on the streets of Las Vegas,” Owens said. “Now it’s time to put our vehicle to the ultimate test by broadening the range of driving conditions. This drive will help us collect invaluable data in our quest to deliver the best automotive grade technologies on the market.” (more…)

Takata Uncertain When It Will Have Enough Parts for Recall

Partsmaker facing serious financial impact due to action.

by on Nov.03, 2014

Takata isn't sure how long it will take to manufacture enough replacements for its defective airbags.

Despite pressure from automakers and automotive regulators, embattled Japanese safety systems supplier Takata says it has no idea how soon it will be able to provide the parts needed to complete last month’s recall of 7.8 million vehicles due to potentially deadly airbags.

The company acknowledges it is facing what could become the second class-action lawsuit related to a recall that has so far been linked to four deaths and a number of injuries. And a Takata official says the supplier is discussing with its customers how it might have to help them cover the massive costs associated with the airbag recall.

Global Safety News!

“But right now, that is not a top priority,” spokesman Alby Berman says. “For now, the top priority is getting replacements parts out.” (more…)

Takata’s Troubles Don’t End with Faulty Airbags

Japanese supplier investigated for price fixing.

by on Oct.24, 2014

Takata's problems are bigger than the 7.8 million vehicles recalled due to its faulty airbags.

The Japanese auto supplier at the center of a massive recall of due to potentially explosive airbags, Takata Corp., is also mired in a criminal price-fixing investigation by the Department of Justice.

Four Takata executives pleaded guilty to price-fixing charges brought by the Justice Department’s anti-trust division, which charged the company’s executives with colluding with other suppliers to rig bids for seat belts against Honda, Toyota and Mazda.

Your Auto Safety News Source!

In addition to the charges by the DOJ, the U.S. District Court in Eastern District of Michigan has levied fines against Takata totaling more than $71 million. All three Japanese carmakers also have been heavily impacted by the concerns over airbags supplied by Takata, which have exploded and in a number of cases injured motorists. (more…)