State of Suppliers

HARD-CORE SOFTWARE

A new breed of software engineer

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
As auto suppliers beef up their software development, the hunt for software talent has taken on the urgency of a gold rush.

Today's Volvo XC90: A rolling computer chip

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
When the XC90 was introduced in 2002, it had as many as 38 electronic control units -- small computers that receive data from sensors and components and issue control instructions. Now, it has as many as 107.

Seeking N.A. niche, China's Minth expands in Mexico

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
Minth Group, a maker of roof racks, hopes to gain a niche in North America. The company supplies the Detroit 3 along with Audi, BMW, Honda and Nissan, and it already has three plants in Mexico and one in Michigan.

Diversity is Calsonic Kansei's top priority

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
Hiroshi Moriya, CEO of Calsonic Kansei Corp., wants a bigger slice of sales from customers beside Nissan Motor Co., its top shareholder with a 42 percent stake. He also wants to internationalize Calsonic Kansei's management. Of its 23 top global executives, only three are non-Japanese.

OESA zeros in on Mexico, new-tech suppliers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
Tier 1 companies are struggling to build networks of Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers in Mexico because smaller vendors are reluctant to shoulder the financial risk, says Julie Fream, CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.

RICHARD TRUETT

Performance rules -- despite the push for more mpg

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
Right now, we are in the golden age of high-performance cars, be they gasoline, electric or hybrid.

Former Toyota exec leads supplier into new era

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
Toyota Motor Corp. sees high-tech braking as so critical to its next-generation vehicles, it has sent one of its highest-profile executives to run Advics, its brake-making affiliate.

Swift and secure vehicle software updates?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
When it comes to connected cars, Redbend, an Israeli software company, is sitting in a prime position. As automakers add software to vehicles, those systems will require updates, just as home computers and mobile devices do.

Denso maps out two-pronged mpg drive

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
Yasushi Yamanaka, the newly appointed global r&d chief at Toyota Group mega supplier Denso Corp., is chasing two elusive methods to radically improve fuel efficiency by 2025. And neither involves sexy next-generation technologies such as electric-gasoline hybrids.

JTEKT targets diversification and steer-by-wire technology

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2015
JTEKT Corp. is not just the world's biggest supplier of steering systems, it is the world's 19th largest auto parts supplier, period. Yet to President Tetsuo Agata, his company is still not a “real global company.” Of JTEKT's 40 top executives, for example, only one is a non-Japanese.

Nissan inspired by high-end fashion

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 2, 2015
Nissan wanted some European fashion to move its American-made Maxima sedan further upscale for 2016. It turned to Alcantara, the Italian producer of material used in high-end apparel and automotive seating, to give the Maxima SR sport package the look of some exotic European sport coupes.

GM powertrain plan calls for advancing on many fronts

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 1, 2015
When you ask Dan Nicholson about a certain powertrain or technology, he doesn't tell you why it can't be done. Chances are, he'll tell you where it fits in General Motors' ambitious global powertrain portfolio. Nicholson, 51, who took over as GM's vice president of global powertrain late last year.

SENSOR-CENTRIC

Toyota-affiliated Denso readies technology for other automakers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
Denso Corp., the world's No. 2 parts supplier, is developing advanced radar sensors as it seeks to catch Robert Bosch and Continental in the market for parts that prevent accidents.

Can transparency help GM mend supplier ties?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
GM's Strategic Supplier Engagement process was rolled out this spring in an effort to smooth contentious supplier relations that have kept GM from accessing the best of suppliers' technical innovations. It is gaining fans.

Supplier goal: 'Emperor of the electrical world'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
Kunihiko Ohnuma, CEO of Hitachi Automotive Systems, isn't shy about his quest to transform his company into the "emperor" of electric and hybrid powertrains.

After investment, Aisin eyes N.A. profit surge

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
After scrambling to improve its North American manufacturing base, Japanese supplier Aisin Seiki Co. targets a dramatic improvement of profit margin in the region. But its biggest challenge remains finding high-quality American subsuppliers.

M-B, Infiniti engines get global input

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
To source fuel-efficient engines for their new small, premium cars, competitors Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti joined forces to create the Infiniti Powertrain Plant. Its an engine plant that is a little bit German, a little bit Japanese, a little bit American and very much global.

Toyoda Gosei aims to be 'real global supplier'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
Toyoda Gosei Co., the Toyota Motor Corp.-affiliated Japanese auto parts supplier, boasts all the hallmarks of a global industrial giant. But to President Tadashi Arashima, it's just a small Japanese player. He wants to change that.

Q&A

Toyota steps in to avert supply bottlenecks

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
As North American production rises to record levels, Toyota Motor Corp. is taking steps to prevent production glitches among its suppliers. Bob Young, the automaker's North American purchasing chief, is providing assistance to 50 suppliers that are struggling to keep up with Toyota's production needs.

Carmakers bet on big global platforms to cut costs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
The auto industry's switch to global platforms is rapidly picking up momentum. In 2020, the top 10 platforms are expected to generate production of 27.8 million vehicles, according to IHS Automotive, a consulting firm based in suburban Detroit. That's up from 19.2 million units this year.

Q&A

Comau helps automakers meet changing mpg goals

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
As fuel economy standards grow more stringent, automakers are turning to aluminum and other lightweight materials and more complex manufacturing methods to meet their goals. And they have turned to Comau Inc., a subsidiary of Fiat S.p.A., to make their designs buildable.

NSK: Electric power steering saves fuel

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
NSK Ltd., a Japanese auto supplier best known for its ball bearings, sees a big future in electric power steering as carmakers rush to boost fuel economy. But its engineers are avoiding steer-by-wire technology now coming to market.

Q&A

Magna Steyr hunts acquisitions that will add expertise

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
To compete in the hotly contested market for engineering services, Austrian supplier Magna Steyr is heading in new directions. Karl-Friedrich Stracke, head of contract manufacturing and engineering at the unit of Magna International Inc., is betting on targeted acquisitions and growth in China.

Tape emerges as go-to wonder bond

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
Time was, any vehicle worth its mettle was a lumbering construct of solid steel welded together by fiery robots. But increasingly, today's cars are being held together in ways other than hot-fused metal. Tape is the new go-to bonding agent.

Electric turbocharger eliminates lag, Valeo says

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2014
French supplier Valeo has developed an electric turbocharger that it says eliminates "turbo lag." The new turbocharger is powered by an electric motor instead of exhaust gases.

Suppliers may offer cameras to watch drivers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 2, 2014
Many of the cars on sale today carry as many cameras as a cluster of paparazzi, pointing five or more lenses at lane lines and blind spots to assist drivers. The next step, experts say, could be cameras that observe the driver instead of the road.

Chrysler pilots no-bid contracts on new minivan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
Chrysler Group is using its next minivan to pilot a collaborative, no-bid purchasing system that guarantees favored suppliers a profit but requires them to open up their financial books.

Suppliers are snapping up smaller robots to boost productivity, reduce worker strain

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
North American suppliers are on a pace to boost robot purchases 22 percent to a record 7,872 units this year.

Internet radio gains traction with motorists

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
Automakers are rushing to add Internet radio apps such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Aha to their infotainment systems.

Ford strengthens bonds with its elite suppliers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
The majority of Hau Thai-Tang's budget -- 65 percent -- now goes to an elite lineup of just 104 preferred suppliers that Ford calls its Aligned Business Framework.

BorgWarner automates supplier parts monitoring

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
The ideas of a 19th-century Russian mathematician are helping BorgWarner Inc. minimize costly parts disruptions and other glitches in its supplier network.

Denso expects safety technology boom

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
Denso Corp., the world's No. 2 parts supplier, expects its safety technology business to surge starting in 2015, when tougher European auto safety standards take effect.

Distress to success: A German supplier's story

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
When the Berlin Wall fell in East Germany, supplier VEB GPM endured the ultimate shock therapy.

Nissan's next supply wave: Mississippi

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
To make its big new assembly plant in Canton, Miss., feasible 10 years ago, Nissan Motor Co. had to recruit suppliers to the remote area.

Jatco's job: Boost CVT efficiency, acceptance

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
Jatco Ltd., a leading maker of fuel-efficient continuously variable transmissions, is seeking ways to make the pulley-style gearboxes more appealing to U.S. customers.

Automotive News Cover
News by Brand