Automaker-supplier relations have dipped, according to the latest North American Automotive OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index.
It's not a particularly big downturn, but, cutting to the chase, it was not an upturn. The $100 question: Why — at a moment of rich industry profits, at a time when automakers badly need input from suppliers in a changing technology era — can't we all just get along?
The index's author, John Henke, says the souring isn't because automakers are asking for price cuts. It's that some automaker purchasing departments are belligerent, threatening and arrogant in how they ask.
Hey, does the expression "spirit of cooperation" resonate with anyone?
Writing 274 years ago, Benjamin Franklin could have had purchasing managers in mind when he said: "A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar."