Susan Skerker, Dave Bing, Neil De Koker and B.N. Bahadur know plenty about the challenges of auto suppliers.
Skerker plots strategy at a big company. Bing runs a smaller one. De Koker represents 270 of them. And Bahadur rescues ailing ones.
The four will be part of a panel discussion, "The Trials, Tribulations and Opportunities for Suppliers," on Jan. 15 at the Automotive News World Congress in Dearborn, Mich.
Bing, a former Detroit Piston and eight-time NBA all-star, knows all about competition. As chairman of the Detroit-based Bing Group, he still faces tough opponents in the form of automakers demanding price cuts.
Bing Metals Group supplies stampings and other metal products. Bing-Lear Manufacturing, a joint venture with Lear Corp. of Southfield, Mich., supplies seat assemblies and mirror products.
Skerker, Visteon Corp.'s senior vice president of business strategy and corporate relations, is in charge of aligning the varied divisional strategies for the world's second-largest supplier. She also must decide which ones Visteon should keep and which ones it should shed.
Before joining Visteon, Skerker was senior director of global public policy at the Dearborn, Mich., company's former parent, Ford Motor Co.,
De Koker is managing director of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, the trade group he helped form in 1998.
He spent 23 years at General Motors. Since then, he has been a senior executive at Magna International Inc., Woodbridge Group and MascoTech Inc. He also is the former chief of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association of Canada.
Turnaround artist B.N. Bahadur has stepped into trouble many times. Bahadur's firm, BBK Ltd. of Southfield, Mich., is known for turning around troubled supplier companies.
Clients have included Guide Corp., Peregrine Oshawa Inc., Tube Products Corp. and Van Dresser Corp.
The four panelists will join GM manufacturing vice president Guy Briggs and DuPont Herberts Automotive Systems Vice President Marty McQuade for the afternoon discussion.