Detroit — Nissan is vowing to mend its ways with North American parts suppliers, following a year of criticism that it is pushing too hard for price reductions.
Speaking to an audience of more than 500 supplier-industry representatives here on Wednesday, Nov. 2, a Nissan North America executive said the automaker will begin a new effort at cooperation, and begin working with parts companies earlier on vehicle programs.
"As a team, we want to be more collaborative upstream," said Chris Reed, vice president of component engineering at Nissan Technical Center North America in Farmington Hills, Mich.
He addressed Nissan's supply-chain reputation on stage at the annual conference held by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.
"We've alienated ourselves a little bit."
He said that projects require a balance between "cost optimization" and customer value, and Nissan has tilted too far over to cost optimization.
Reed said he could not yet be specific about what steps the company will take to improve supplier relations. But he said he met two weeks ago with Nissan North America's vice president of purchasing, Hiroki Hasegawa, to outline a plan. Reed said the two supplier-facing operations — Hasegawa is based in Nissan North America's headquarters in Nashville — hope to have clear plans on how to mend fences in the next six months.