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GM - Delphi: Plenty of Blame To Go Around

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On: Wed, May 14, 2014 at 1:31PM | By: Karen Cook

GM - Delphi: Plenty of Blame To Go Around

It appears that consumers and the government aren't the only ones that have issues with General Motors. Planning Perspectives, Inc recently completed a survey of suppliers who make and sell products to the biggest auto makers in the United States. The survey found that GM rates lowest on the list of customers the suppliers want to deal with.

The survey covered areas such as how easy it is to communicate with the company, how trustworthy and flexible they are, and how they handle intellectual property. More than half of the suppliers rated GM “poor to very poor”. They were particularly peeved with the company's unwillingness to adjust their prices when the materials needed to produce them cost more than originally expected.

This issue is what led to the ignition-switch debacle which GM is still trying to put to rest. The switches came from a company called Delphi which blames the defects on GM's insistence that costs be cut wherever possible, even if it meant that the product would not meet the original specifications. Delphi submitted component designs that necessarily fell short of the mark but which GM approved because they were cheap.

In the wake of customer complaints, government intervention, fines, and lawsuits, GM says it is now focused on safety and has created an “integrity” unit which is separate from the engineering department.

It occurs to me that if suppliers like Delphi wanted to maintain their own integrity they could have refused to produce substandard components. If they had banded together GM would have had no other option than to pay whatever it costs to get safe equipment. Aren't the suppliers partially at fault here?


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