For the seventh year in a row, GM has been ranked third in the annual Plante Moran Supplier Working Relation study, coming in behind Toyota and Honda in first and second, respectively.
As compared to the 2022 edition of this study, General Motors, Nissan and Stellantis all improved their WRI (Working Relations Index) figures. In fact, Stellantis posted the largest jump of 17 points, while The General followed at 10 points.
Notably, Toyota and Honda scores actually dropped slightly from last year, while Ford fell significantly.
Now in its 23rd year, this rendition of the study found rising tension over increased risk related to short-term cost-recovery issues, production scheduling, and supply chain disruptions, all resulting from the industry-wide transition to electric vehicles. These issues are also compounded by long-term strategic concerns from suppliers.
“The industry continues to face unprecedented challenges in the shift to EVs that unless effectively addressed will only get worse,” Plante Moran’s Strategy and Automotive & Mobility Consulting Practice Principal Dave Andrea was quoted as saying. “During Covid, a ‘war room’ approach was adopted to quickly resolve critical issues. That approach is what auto manufacturers need to maintain during the transition to EV technologies. The industry needs that level of collaboration, even without the pressure of a crisis.”
Overall, there were four major takeaways from the 2023 Supplier Working Relations study, including:
- OEMs have enhanced relations with improvements to their personnel performance metrics, corporate strategic planning processes, and communication strategies.
- A higher WRI score reflects stronger OEM cross-functional internal relations with suppliers, and indicates how well purchasing, engineering, and manufacturing are working together.
- Unpredictable market conditions require short- and long-term forecasts and production schedules to effectively communicate with suppliers.
- The rise in costs – largely driven by inflation – must be addressed in a consistent, tested, institutionalized and timely fashion.