Relations between General Motors and Ford Motor Co. and their suppliers are improving slightly. But don't get carried away with a lot of backslapping, because much work remains to be done.
A small but growing number of suppliers think Ford and GM are becoming better business partners, according to an annual survey by Planning Perspectives Inc. in suburban Detroit. But suppliers overwhelmingly say they still prefer to do business with Toyota first, then Honda, Nissan, Chrysler, Ford and GM, in that order.
And in nearly all categories, suppliers say Toyota is most attuned to their needs and concerns, while GM is least attuned. That's no way to build a long-term relationship in which automaker and supplier can flourish.
It's high time the traditional Big 3 realize they won't turn their operations around on the backs of their suppliers -- and then act accordingly.