European suppliers are shifting their business toward automakers they like and away from manufacturers they dislike.
Asked in an Automotive News Europe /SupplierBusiness survey which automakers they expect to do more business with in 2008, partsmakers picked BMW, Volvo and Toyota as the companies from which they expected the greatest gains in business (See chart, bottom right).
Supplier respondents said they expect to do less business with only six of the 15 car brands. Nine respondents said they expect to do no business with General Motors Europe in 2008. Six said the same about Fiat Auto.
Suppliers are making rational decisions, said Colin Whitbread, editor of UK-based newsletter Supplier-Business, which conducted the survey for Automotive News Europe.
"A few decisions may be based on personal experiences, but suppliers have sound commercial reasons for doing this," he said. "It really comes down to whether automakers are willing to pay you for your investment."
The results correlate closely with answers to financially related questions and very closely to responses to the question about suppliers' preferred carmaker customers.
But there are also broad similarities in how suppliers rate the long-term prospects of the 15 automakers.