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Study: Ford cracks top three in OEM rankings

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May 10, 2010—Ford Motor Co. has moved up to the No. 3 spot in a study ranking working relations between OEMs and suppliers.

Honda and Toyota held onto the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, in the North American OEM Supplier Working Relations Study, conducted by Planning Perspectives, Birmingham, Mich. The study tracks supplier perceptions of their working relations with the top three U.S. and top three Japanese automakers across 14 commodity purchasing areas.

The results of the study are used to calculate the Working Relations Index (WRI), which ranks each OEM across 17 variables, comprising five key categories: How the OEM is perceived in terms of its overall supplier relations; OEM communications with the supplier; OEM help given to suppliers to reduce cost and improve quality; OEM hindrance to suppliers doing their best job; and the supplier's profit opportunity at the OEM. Ford improved in five of the categories this year. General Motors and Chrysler also improved their scores, while Honda, Toyota and Nissan all slid in their scores.

"If there was a silver lining to the recession for U.S. suppliers, it has to be that it caused the domestic automakers to wake up and realize how important their suppliers are to their future fortunes," said John Henke, Jr., Ph.D., president and CEO of Planning Perspectives. "This in turn has caused the automakers to redouble their efforts to improve their working relations with suppliers. As this year's results show, it's paying off."

This year 646 sales personnel from 510 suppliers participated, providing data for nearly 2,500 different buying situations.

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