BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Carlos Mazzorin doesn't stand still for long, and neither should automakers and suppliers.
"You either eat lunch or you are lunch" Mazzorin said at the Automotive News Manufacturing Conference.
Mazzorin, a veteran of 43 years in the auto industry, said the increased competition from the industry's consolidation leaves only two groups: "The quick and the dead."
There is no room for rest, he said.
"You constantly have to reinvent yourselves. The days of the Big 3 setting the rules are over. The Japanese move with flexibility and speed," Mazzorin said.
As the man once feared or reviled by suppliers to Ford during his tenure as the automaker's global purchasing chief, Mazzorin now is on the other side of the table. He was named CEO of the newly formed Magna Donnelly of Holland, Mich., in January.
Anyone who thinks competition is lessening should remember that China is producing 200,000 engineers a year, Mazzorin advised.
Economic pressure on the industry demands continuous innovation. "Innovation is a journey," he said, "not a destination."
The only defense against the economic forces is relentlessly trying to be the best you can.
Said Mazzorin: "The automakers won't pay you for the convenience of being a one-stop shopping site."