TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Remember the old days when automotive purchasing czars such as General Motors’ Inaki Lopez and Ford’s Carlos Mazzorin threw their weight around with suppliers?
Those days are gone. At a time when suppliers are developing systems for cutting-edge features such as collision avoidance, infotainment and augmented reality, those vendors expect to be treated like partners rather than supplicants.
This week, researcher John Henke estimated that suppliers fattened Toyota’s profits from 2008 through 2013 by $2,390 per vehicle.
Want more evidence? Rob Csongor, general manager of Nvidia’s automotive unit, hammered that point home Monday after his presentation at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars here in Traverse City.
Nvidia, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., produces graphics chips for Audi and Tesla. While the company is a major player in the gaming industry, it’s a relative newcomer to the auto industry.