Japanese automakers' historically close relationship with suppliers could be showing signs of weakening, according to an industry survey released on Friday.
Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd, which since 2007 had been ranked most highly by suppliers in an annual survey, gave up the top spots to Germany's Porsche Automobil Holding and fell below the threshold for good relations, according to a survey by IHS Automotive.
Both Toyota and Honda have been trying to cut costs and have been looking for cheaper suppliers globally, according to IHS.
"Japanese carmakers have lost the momentum they had before," said IHS Global Insight principal analyst Matteo Fini. "The guys at the bottom are more focused on relations."
Chrysler Group, which had been ranked last in the survey from 2007 to 2010, jumped 10 spots to No 23. Chrysler, now controlled by Italy's Fiat SpA, and Skoda, a Czech unit of Volkswagen AG, were the only two automakers to raise their scores in this year's survey.
Overall, relations between automakers and their suppliers are more strained now than they were during the financial crisis. Ratings for all auto-makers plummeted an average of 7.6 per cent and not a single automaker, including No 1-ranked Porsche, broke the threshold for being considered as having good relations with its suppliers.
Porsche's rating actually fell more than 4 per cent compared with a year earlier.
The post-crisis recovery has led to more business for suppliers but has not necessarily meant more profit.
There has been increased pressure on suppliers' margins as automakers have looked to cut their own costs.
From / Gulf News