NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Pickups are popular in the United States, rare in Europe. Diesel engines are popular in Eu-rope, rare in the United States.
So much for the idea that the world's automotive tastes are about to converge. And that makes it tough for suppliers.
'We are operating in a large and growing worldwide market,' said Robert Oswald, chairman of Robert Bosch Corp., 'but with substantial product and regional differences.'
Oswald told the Automotive News Southeast Conference that the suppliers who thrive will not only understand differences between global and regional trends, but they will know how to cope with them. They will have to, as automakers give suppliers more responsibility and ask them to set up plants to serve assembly plants around the globe.
Suppliers also must continue to help automakers cut costs.
Said Oswald: 'The global auto industry cannot expect to enjoy volume growth if vehicle prices are not stabilized - or, better yet, reduced.'