Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are still the top two car companies that were voted as friendliest by suppliers, but their percentage leads over other auto manufacturers have narrowed. The annual survey conducted by Planning Perspectives Inc on supplier relations among the six largest automakers in the United States shows that Toyota’s ratings fell 9.5 percent to 19 percent, good enough to secure the top position.
Honda’s ratings fell 5.2 percent, but the carmaker was still able to hold onto the runner-up post. Both Japanese car manufacturers have been suffering from ratings drops for five straight years. US automaker Ford Motor also dropped 1.5 percent, but managed to remain at the third spot for the second straight year. Ford is the only non-Japanese automaker that made the top three of the survey since its initiation.
Nissan, another Japanese car manufacturer, is at fourth place. At the bottom of the list are GM at fifth and Chrysler Group at sixth. According to John Henke, Planning Perspectives’ chief executive officer, Chrysler is in last place but the difference between the company, GM and Nissan is not statistically significant. It is to be noted that gains made by GM and Chrysler helped close the gap between the top and bottom companies on the list. According to the survey, all six carmakers are now in the “low adequate range.”
Henke said that carmakers that cooperate with suppliers could lower their costs, improve quality and induce innovation. Henke noted that last year’s natural disasters in Japan could have affected the top two’s ratings, since they have to rely on suppliers to cut costs, said John Henke, Planning Perspectives’ chief executive officer. Henke noted that Toyota and Honda became “a little more adversarial” with suppliers since the 2008-2009 economic downturn.