DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Automakers such as Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. derive a direct financial benefit from healthy relationships with their parts suppliers, researcher Planning Perspectives Inc. said today.
Positive rapport with parts makers has a “definite connection” to a car company's profit margins and earnings, said John Henke, president of the firm, which is based in Birmingham, Michigan.
Henke declined to give specific numbers, saying the data haven't been verified.
“We're seeing that a high portion of profitability is associated with relations” with suppliers, Henke said today in a speech to the Society of Automotive Analysts in Detroit. “It's far more substantial than anyone has ever thought.”
Henke has compared the financial results of automakers for at least the past eight years with performance in his annual survey of supplier relations. Suppliers gave their relationships with Honda, Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford the best rankings in the latest survey released this month.
Ford this year became the first U.S. automaker in the Planning Perspectives study's top three since 2002. Honda surpassed Toyota last year for the first time.
General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group both are in the bottom half of the survey, and their scores improved this year.
The study tracks suppliers' impressions of their working relations with the top six U.S. automakers in 14 purchasing categories, including electronics, interior and chassis. The survey is based on responses from 646 sales staff at 510 suppliers.