Barth: Urged early involvement
We are the component experts. You are the car experts, Hari Nair, managing director of exhaust specialist Tenneco Automotive Europe said here this month at the Automotive News Europe Congress.
He was one of four panelists who discussed the relationship between automakers and suppliers.
Nair said he thinks auto suppliers can help customers by designing more components because the automakers often prolong the process and continually redesign some parts.
This process never ends with some customers, Nair said. Some of it is avoidable. I think suppliers can take on more responsibility for this.
Delphi Corp.s Volker Barth, president of Delphi Europe, Middle East and Africa, also thinks automakers and suppliers should start cooperating sooner.
Early involvement is the right way to get the right technical solution at the right cost, he said.
Paul Stokes, Ford Motor Co.s executive director of European purchasing operations, agreed, calling early involvement crucial.
Nair: More design from suppliers
Japanese suppliers dont have to look over their shoulders, he said. It is all about knowing you are going to grow your business with a company.
Barth said other keys to a successful automaker-supplier relationship include empathy for the challenges that suppliers face and clearly defined conditions for doing business.
Jean-Philippe Collin, vice president of purchasing for PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA, agreed with Barth on the importance of providing clear guidance.
We pursue business consistency, he said. We set the rule and enforce the rule.