Study says General Motors supplier relations improve in North America

General Motors

Nissan Motor has fallen behind its top North American rivals in the health of its working relationships with providers while General Motors jumped to 3rd place in rankings released on Monday.

Toyota Motor and Honda Motor kept their longstanding first and second rankings in the research study which looked at the 6 biggest car manufacturers in North America and is carefully watched in the market.

General Motor’s leap knocked Detroit cross-town competitor Ford Motor into 4th place and Nissan’s drop from fifth to sixth spot meant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) avoided coming last as it had done since 2008, despite a lower index score than last year.

Automakers’ success is directly linked to good working relations with their providers, stated study author John Henke, head of Planning Perspectives Inc, a company that concentrates on company-supplier relations.

Nissan stated that the study does “not reflect our experience of the technical and commercial relationships that we have with our providers, who have made considerable contributions to Nissan’s growth in North America.”

Since study started in 2002, Toyota has been first and Honda second on the study’s OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index except for 2 years when the two Japanese car manufacturers swapped the two top spots.

The study shows the results of studies of 652 salespeople at 108 first-tier suppliers to the 6 automakers.

GM’s rise to third place and its ramifications for profitability are good news for the biggest U.S. automaker and its CEO Mary Barra as it wages a proxy battle with Greenlight Capital. The hedge fund has proposed splitting GM stock into two classes: one that pays dividends and one that does not.

The car manufacturer has turned down the concept and rating agencies have said it would adversely impact GM’s credit rating.

The index reveals that under Barra – who took over the helm at the automaker in 2014 – GM has gone from joint last with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2015 to third spot.

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