BMW, M-B, Porsche open to ideas, suppliers say

From left, Jochen Schaefers of Mercedes-Benz, Eligio Saba of Porsche and Niels Angel of BMW accept European Supplier Choice Survey awards for openness to supplier innovation.
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BRUSSELS -- BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche were named the top three automakers in terms of openness to supplier innovation, according to the 2014 European Supplier Choice Survey.

Conducted by Deloitte for Automotive News Europe, the second European Supplier Choice Survey is based on questionnaires supplied to nearly 100 supplier executives in Europe. The executives evaluated 23 automakers operating in Europe, including Russia, on how they respond to supplier innovation.

Eight automakers achieved above average scores in 2014 with BMW, Mercedes and Porsche on top. Automotive News Europe will provide a brand-by-brand ranking of the top eight in its next e-magazine July 7.

From last year's top three, only BMW finished among Europe's best this year.

Volkswagen brand and Volvo were in the top three in 2013.

Volvo was above average in 2014 and nearly made the top three while VW slipped to below average, according to the survey results.

"Our research continues to highlight the importance of OEM and supplier collaboration as a crucial element to succeed in an increasingly competitive automobile landscape," Bill Forsythe, a U.S.-based principal at Deloitte Consulting, said this month.

He added that the 2014 findings showed there is room for improvement as the automakers at the bottom of the ranking scored far below the top performers. The average score was flat compared with 2013 at about 590 points.

The survey was conducted in April and May.

Supplier executives were asked for feedback on how automakers rank in five categories: openness to new ideas; ease of working together on innovative ideas; level of trust; willingness to provide financial incentives and rewards to suppliers; and willingness to implement innovations.

You can reach Douglas A. Bolduc at dbolduc@crain.com.


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