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It's very hard to work with FCA

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by Dave Z, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Plante Moran has released their 2020 study of suppliers. Toyota was the most favored by suppliers, winning by a good margin. Honda dipped a little but remains #2, even if it's pretty far from Toyota. GM improved dramatically when Mary Barra took over, but since then, has declined slightly; while Ford has improved, so that GM is now barely above Ford. Both are a good distance below Honda.

    Meanwhile... down on the bottom, Nissan and FCA are fighting it out to see who can be crappiest. FCA gained a bit from 2019 to 2020, but is further from Ford than GM is from Honda — both Nissan and FCA are below 200, while Toyota's roughly 350 and Ford and GM are around 270 and Honda's around 320.

    Why does this matter? Because suppliers are likely to help more, working with solving manufacturing and quality issues, when they have a good relationship with the automaker. Also, they may provide higher-quality parts to the most favored companies. In short, this should keep Toyota #1 in quality, and keep FCA and Nissan well below most of the others.

    Sadly, while the ordering was roughly the same in 2016, Toyota, GM, and Ford gained; while both FCA and Nissan fell. The companies were much closer together in 2016.

    It's hard to believe we've fallen this low since the third golden age of Chrysler (or the fifth golden age of Maxwell/Chrysler) in the 1990s.

    via Automotive News (at https://www.autonews.com/ )
     
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  2. Shane Estabrooks

    Shane Estabrooks Active Member

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    Interesting.. It's like that in the Mining world too... Maybe FCA is like us.. Have a terrible time with SAP which in turn make vendors mad. But this has to do with the managing part of the deal.. so matter what it's always the people factor that makes it or breaks it.
     
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  3. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    I was about to post this; you beat me to it.

    Here is the chart from Plante Moran

    [​IMG]

    My professional experience reflects these findings: Toyota is head and shoulders above everyone else, followed by Honda; Nissan just sucks.

    Notice how FCA's supplier relations have been in decline, particularly since 2014-2015. This coincides with the time frame I noticed CDJR dealers' customer treatment started to decline. Both combined suggest a systemic problem inside FCA.

    According to the study, Trust and Clear Communications are the two fundamentals driving supplier relations. These are precisely the two areas where Toyota excels...and FCA struggles.
     
  4. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    2014 was when Sergio vowed to get back profit from the suppliers. I guess that didn't improve relations.
     
  5. tabutler

    tabutler Active Member

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    Does FCAs drop coincide with Doug Betts leaving?
     
  6. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Yup.

    FCA trails the rest of the industry across most consumer satisfaction (IQS, CSI, VDS, CR), dealer satisfaction (NADA), and supplier satisfaction metrics. I haven't seen any employee satisfaction results, but I doubt FCA is much better.

    Apparently, the only stakeholders that are relatively happy are investors.
     
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  7. AgentSkelly

    AgentSkelly Active Member

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    I'm trying to jog my memory, but doesn't Toyota own a good chunk of their suppliers?
     
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  8. Cody's Car Conundrum

    Cody's Car Conundrum Active Member

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    I'm curious to see if this will be affected once the PSA-FCA merger is complete.
     
  9. aldo90731

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    Some, but not always.

    I am an independent supplier to Toyota as I am to Honda, Nissan, FCA and everyone else. Toyota’s policies and procedures are there to the benefit of all suppliers, regardless of ownership structure.
     
  10. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Note that this is a survey of the US industry - it covers only US domestic and Japanese manufacturers (it's about time they added the Koreans, given their presence in the USA), so PSA's European practices (or FCA Italy's for that matter) would have very little impact on how US suppliers feel about working with FCA...

    Full charts and details are here:
    Toyota Sweeps Supplier Relations Rankings in Study; is "most preferred" customer (at https://finance.yahoo.com/news/toyota-sweeps-supplier-relations-rankings-100000884.html )
     
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  11. aldo90731

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    Good point. However, Fiat has had a significant impact on how FCA interacts with suppliers and dealers. And judging by the trends, not a good one. Hopefully, PSA can have as much impact, but in a positive way.
     
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  12. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

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    More like they’re part of a big conglomerate.
    In my 40 years of construction in auto plants I’ve done three small projects for the Japanese transplants. All the engineering and subcontractors are Japanese transplants also. All part of the conglomerate. Years ago we just quit bidding their work. They acted surprised that we weren’t willing to blow a couple $100k just to not get the job.
     
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  13. aldo90731

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    Admittedly, it is very difficult to break into Toyota’s circle of suppliers. But once allowed in, you also enjoy Toyota's long-term trust and loyalty. This long-term thinking deepens the relationships and often results in suppliers sharing their best ideas and best practices with Toyota.

    By contrast, Nissan tends to award contracts to the lowest bid, which leaves the supplier relationship in a tenuous position over time.
     
  14. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

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    Surprisingly GM has embraced that team network approach since the bankruptcy.
    They have been great to work with since. We have done over $6 billion with them since 2012 keeping same group of subs. Ford and FCA besides not releasing much work are harder to deal with.
     
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  15. Shane Estabrooks

    Shane Estabrooks Active Member

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    Yes .. and this is the root cause, Currently this is how contracts are awarded for work and supplies.. but there is small pockets of "Toyotaism" within our company structure. I have the pleasure to work for a guy just like that.
     
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  16. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

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    In 2010 Nissan got $1.45 billion from U.S. government to build or expand a plant in Tennessee.
    Again, we’re shut-out after spending loads of time and money in proposals while their Japanese subs get awarded the projects funded by my tax $$$ anyway.
     
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  17. WXman

    WXman Active Member

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    In terms of quality and materials, I don't see it. I'd take any FCA vehicle over any Toyota vehicle any day of the week. Toyota vehicles are always plain, bland, low tech, and outdated. They are my last pick.

    In terms of parts availability, yes FCA has massive problems. I found that when the COVID panic struck in March, it became difficult to even find basic needs like oil and fuel filters to keep my truck on the road. And if you have a recall, good luck getting it fixed within six months due to parts availability. That's something that FCA definitely needs help with.
     
  18. mopar22

    mopar22 Well-Known Member

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    Toyota has more options that come standard then the majority of fca vehicles. On top of that their quality is better but the materials aren't. Quality and materials don't go hand in hand
     
  19. aldo90731

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    I had to compare Toyota vs FCA quality very closely going from a Jeep to a Tacoma back to a Jeep.

    From what I’ve seen, Toyota pays more attention to how well something works and holds up than to aesthetics or emotional look-and-feel; FCA is the opposite.

    The assembly quality on my Tacoma was impressive; the truck drove and felt like a vault. Toyota even went through the trouble of covering sheet metal that is too exposed, like the rocker panels and the leading edges of the truck bed, with additional coating and/or rubberized material to minimize the chance of the paint chipping. The bed itself is made of a composite material to further minimize rust, and renders applying bedliner unnecessary.

    The interior was attractively laid out, although the instrumentation was rather plain. The silver paint on the dials looked like something out of the 1990s. There was an array of mismatched and misplaced switches throughout the interior. The leather on the seats was so plastified it felt like, well, plastic. But they looked like they could take a serious beating. All interior surfaces struck a good balance between providing an inviting environment and looking tough and durable. In Tacoma’s specific case, I was never able to find a comfortable driving position: the seat is too close to the floor and too far away from the steering wheel relative to the pedals. No doubt Toyota had to compromise a lot with what is one of the tightest cabins in the segment.

    Toyota’s infotainment system pales in comparison to FCA’s Uconnect in terms of ease of use, responsiveness and graphics. The Toyota interface looks dated and you can get lost in the sub-menus, but it works. In terms of connectivity, I’d rate both Toyota and FCA systems on par, which is very good. One thing that drove me bonkers is that the Tacoma loved to beep! If you locked the car with the sunroof open it’d beep; if you tried to open the door with the shifter in neutral it’d beep; if you tried to pull the passenger side door handle while the truck was locked it’d beep. It had a million different beeps and 2/3 of the time you didn’t even know why it was beeping. A few times the truck kept beeping incessantly without I knowing what was wrong. I’d just walk away in total frustration letting the thing beeping on the driveway knowing that it’d shut up, eventually. It always did.

    Where Toyota completely dropped the ball was in the calibration of the 6-speed automatic. It can only be described as “atrocious”: it refuses to downshift; when it finally does, it downshifts so far down that sends the V6 screaming. When driving around town it tends to constantly hunt for the right gear. Everyone says that the transmission is bulletproof, and chances are the shitty calibration is on purpose to attain better MPG numbers. But it made for a terrible driving experience.

    Tacoma handled more confidently than my JL, and the suspension struck a nice balance between comfort and capability. On the trail, Tacoma’s Bilstein shocks absorbed bumps so well I rarely had to air down the tires. But Wrangler provides much more articulation and, when going slow, Wrangler follows the terrain with more aplomb.

    My JL has a much richer interior than the Tacoma. FCA clearly pays more attention to the emotional elements of design, and the driving position is great; I’ll have to wait to see how the materials hold up. Jeep’s removable top produces much more creaks and allows more noise into the cabin than Tacoma. FCA’s 8-speed automatic is the best in the business, and according to the reports, it’s pretty durable, too. The 3.6 V6 feels much smoother, responsive and refined than Toyota’s, although the Toyota 3.5 V6 is marginally more efficient.

    One area where Toyota excels is in delivering value for money. A well equipped Tacoma costs $10,000 less than a similarly equipped Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. And the Toyota dealership experience is much more consistent and, often times, more professional and more respectful.

    All in all, the Jeep is much more fun to be in and to drive; the Toyota imparts a greater feel of solidity, durability, overall value and peace of mind. Take your pick.
     
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  20. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

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    My comments are not really a knock on FCA or Ford. Over the years we’ve worked well them also. Of all the transplants BMW and Mercedes seemed a better fit for us IMO.
     
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