I could not help but think that there has to be a direct relationship between yet another General Motors vehicle recall (they seem almost as frequent as Goodwrench advertisements) and the recent GM declaration to its suppliers: "Be the cheapest or be gone" (Automotive News, Nov. 3).
The intense pressure on suppliers to provide a cheaper product at the risk of losing such a massive client must be absolutely overwhelming. The impact appears to be just as devastating.
GM is struggling with quality issues while there appears to be a diametrically opposed view within GM to sell quality but force suppliers to cut corners in order to meet the new contracts.
The tide is changing in the North American automotive market, and the commitment to quality must be more than just a catchy line in a television commercial. For every step forward in quality, certainly the very next recall has to crush the consumer's confidence and further erode market share.
Long-term mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers are difficult to achieve, but the long-term benefits of the supplier and the vehicle assembler working together to find more efficient and, thus, cost-reduced parts should be the objective.
Cutting costs to compete strictly on price can mean only that quality will suffer. In today's rapidly changing market it has become painfully obvious that cheap is not the route to take.
I am hard-pressed to find an example in today's world where cheaper equals better. The math rarely works, and eventually something breaks down.