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

Image

Finalists named for 2014 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards

October 30, 2014 11:00 am ET

The Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division has selected finalists for its 2014 Automotive Innovation Awards competition. Category winners...    More

Auto supplier receiving grant to help expansion

October 30, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Summit Polymers is receiving an $800,000 performance based grant to help with a $7.3 million expansion of three of its Michigan facilities.    More

Image

Magna opens new exterior facility, plans for lighting investment

October 30, 2014 1:36 pm ET

Canadian automotive supplier Magna International Inc. on Oct. 28 opened a new injection molding and robotic paint line facility in Delta Township,...    More

Image

Detroit Manufacturing Systems to hire 200 for F-150 production

October 29, 2014 10:40 am ET

Interior trim supplier Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC plans to hire 200 assembly workers by January to support production growth of Ford Motor Co....    More

Image

Automakers globally using 3-D printing to speed production, prototyping

October 27, 2014 11:41 am ET

As the cost declines and capabilities improve, automakers and suppliers increasingly are relying on 3-D printing to shorten product development cycles...    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion Market Trends

This report provides in-depth analysis of current trends, statistics and innovations in product design and production impacting the PP&T industry in North America.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events