Lutz: GM played hardball with suppliers

Published: May 14, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive

TROY, MICH. (May 14, 4 p.m. ET) — Suppliers need a champion at General Motors Co., says Bob Lutz. And he says he tried to play that role, with mixed success.

During the recent Automotive Industry Action Group conference in Troy, Lutz said he tried to coax former GM CEO Rick Wagoner and purchasing chief Bo Andersson to foster long-term relationships with suppliers.

Lutz, who left GM in 2010, said he didn’t have much success. Andersson encouraged bidding competitions among suppliers to extract the lowest possible price, Lutz said — a tactic that actually drove up component costs in the long run.

“According to that view, automakers are the aristocrats living on top of the hill in a castle,” Lutz said. “And the suppliers are the serfs, taking their products up the hill in carts.”

GM’s current purchasing chief, Bob Socia, has quietly repaired relations with suppliers, Lutz said. “It has to be a relationship of equals.”


Comments

Lutz: GM played hardball with suppliers

Published: May 14, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

OSHA probes alleged asthma link to Lear's Selma, Ala., plant

July 23, 2014 11:58 am ET

U.S. foam manufacturer Renosol Seating LLC is being investigated following allegations its workers are at risk of asthma from TDI exposure at its...    More

Image

Illinois injection molder expands

July 21, 2014 1:23 pm ET

Automotive supplier All-Rite Industries Inc. has added two new injection molding machines to its operations.    More

Image

More head-up displays going into cars, with improved information, graphics

July 21, 2014 10:48 am ET

Head-up displays with "augmented reality," the technology that employs much of the windshield as a display area for data and images, is poised to...    More

Image

This is one bump that looks good on a car

July 18, 2014 1:34 pm ET

PSA Peugeot Citroen Group is using plastic for both design and protection on the exterior of one of its newest cars.    More

Image

New Smart cars start production

July 18, 2014 10:46 am ET

Daimler AG has launched new versions of its Smart ForTwo and ForFour city cars, which, as in previous models, make extensive use of plastics in exteri...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events