José Ignacio Lopez's reign as purchasing boss at Opel caused more harm than good, claims a source at General Motors' German carmaker.
The Basque's strict cost-cutting approach resulted in quality problems that undermined Opel's image as a reliable brand, according to a senior GM manager.
"Today we are still fighting the long-term side effects of Lopez's strategy, which was simply to get the parts more cheaply from the suppliers," the manager said.
Opel's new cost-cutting approach, adopted alongside the Olympia turnaround program, focuses on scale effects and synergies - for example, the purchasing and powertrain joint ventures with Fiat. It also involves a very early integration of suppliers into product development.
The controversial Lopez later quit GM to join Volkswagen, where he was responsible for dramatically cutting supplier prices in the mid-1990s.