As far as North American suppliers are concerned, Toyota and Honda are the gold standard, while Ford, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors are also-rans.
In the latest annual survey by Planning Perspectives Inc., 435 suppliers gave the purchasing operations of Toyota and Honda high grades for their top executives, bureaucracies and efforts to cultivate long-term relationships.
BMW AG, which was rated separately, also drew high grades.
But Ford, Nissan, FCA and GM each got worse scores than they did last year, ending a six-year stretch in which they had closed the gap with Honda and Toyota. Volkswagen, which was graded separately with BMW, did worst of all.
The survey did not get enough get responses to rate Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz.
John Henke, president of Birmingham, Mich.-based Planning Perspectives and author of the survey, says the Detroit 3 automakers appeared more willing to collaborate with suppliers during the recession, when their survival was at stake.
Now, purchasers at FCA and GM once again are focusing primarily on price cuts, Henke said.
"When internal mandates come down to reduce cost, buyers are simply reverting back to their old adversarial ways of getting the reductions," he noted in a written statement.