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GM has improved its relationships with its suppliers by leaps and bounds, its score up from "Poor" two years ago to the high end of "Adequate" this year, closing in on "Good." Meanwhile, Nissan is heading in the other direction, ranking lowest of the six U.S. and Japanese OEMs measured in the study.
GM actually puts more pressure on its suppliers but it treats them better and the payoff is better," said John Henke, president of Planning Perspectives, the Michigan research firm that conducted the study.
GM’s buyers and their boss, the vice president of purchasing, were perceived to go the extra mile for suppliers, said Henke. Suppliers perceived Nissan, on the other hand, as making less effort to build trust. Nissan also had the largest gap in approval ratings of its buyers vs. its vice president of purchasing, indicating some internal discord that could make its way down to suppliers.
“Down at the buyer level at Nissan, they’ve just been very adversarial,” cutting ties with suppliers who don't meet steep profit demands, said Henke.
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