BARCELONA -- The chairman of the world's largest auto supplier has called for an end to the blame game in manufacturer-supplier relations.
Carmakers and their suppliers share in the design and development of components and systems and should share the responsibility when things go wrong, said Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of Robert Bosch.
"If we don't stop this finger-pointing, it will be to the disadvantage of all of us," Fehrenbach told the Automotive News Europe Congress here. "There is no alternative to a trustful relationship."
The contentious climate in manufacturer-supplier relations was a hot topic at the conference.
Executives from both sides addressed the issue during a roundtable.
'Tough but fair'
"As a supplier, I want my customer to be tough but fair," said panelist Volker Barth, president of Delphi Europe, Middle East and Africa. "What I think a supplier wants in order to be a partner is first longevity -- enough predictability to believe in commitments that they will last."
Paul Stokes, head of European purchasing operations for all Ford Motor Co. brands in Europe, said: "I spend a good chunk of my time looking at supplier quality. I also spend a good deal of time looking at warranty costs.
"Unfortunately, I also look at field action," he said, referring to recalls. "We regularly have far too many field actions. This is not something we should be proud of and should work harder at."