Suppliers have cut costs so much, it's hard to imagine how they can find more ways to trim. But automakers, under intense pressure themselves, keep pushing.
The latest example: General Motors' search for 20 percent cost cuts from its biggest suppliers during the next three years.
GM has a legacy of mistrust to overcome as it tries to convince parts makers that this is indeed all about sharing. That mistrust can't be blamed solely on decade-old memories of the Inaki Lopez reign of purchasing terror.
If GM's new approach truly is collaborative, it is indeed a step in the right direction and should be broadened to a larger group of suppliers. Cooperation, not confrontation, is the way to go.