Everywhere you look there are fresh data indicating the industry is in recovery mode -- and not just in terms of rising sales, production and profits.
Not long ago it seemed all major suppliers were nervously tracking the financial health of long lists of wobbly companies in their own supply chains. But those "watch lists" are much shorter these days, according to a survey done in early March by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.
Only 5 percent of the 107 respondents to the survey reported that more than 5 percent of their suppliers were on a watch list.
In March 2011, 42 percent of respondents had more than 5 percent of their suppliers on a list.
And the trade association says the main reason companies are added to a watch list these days -- or remain on one -- is concern about quality, not financial weakness.