An Automotive News survey of North American auto suppliers put Chrysler in fifth place, well ahead of General Motors and several import brands. The results of the survey were revealed today by the weekly industry trade magazine, which also has daily news on their web site.
The survey looks at each automaker’s openness to new ideas, trust, incentives, innovation, and ease of working together.
Before Chrysler was acquired by Daimler in 1998, the company established a strong reputation for working together with suppliers; executives at the time said that by sharing the financial returns with suppliers, they could both innovate more quickly and save money. Allpar has numerous examples of how the company benefitted from its relationships, including a look at Thomas Stallkamp, who was credited with much of the effort.
The survey was last conducted in 2011, and the results were similar in both years, except that Mercedes dropped down from #2 in 2011 to #6 in 2013, and Ford moved up from #4 to #2. The top company in the US is BMW, followed by Ford, Honda, Toyota, and Chrysler; other than Ford and Mercedes, the relative position of each company has remained the same, with GM in #9 and Volkswagen at #10. Subaru and other relatively minor automakers were not listed.
The article suggested that bringing suppliers in early, as Chrysler did in the 1990s, was a key differentiator.