2013 European Supplier Choice Survey: BMW, VW and Volvo most open to supplier innovation

BMW AG, Volkswagen AG and Volvo Car Corp. have been recognized as the top-ranking automakers based on their openness to supplier innovation in the 2013 European Supplier Choice Survey.

The Supplier Choice Survey is a respected industry benchmark that assesses automakers on their ability to adopt and implement suppliers’ innovations. The survey was launched by Automotive News Europe parent Automotive News in North America nearly a decade ago.

Conducted by Deloitte on behalf of Automotive News Europe, the inaugural European Supplier Choice Survey involved nearly 100 executives from suppliers in Europe. The top managers evaluated 17 automakers operating in the region on their openness toward using innovative products and solutions from suppliers.

“With an average score of 589 out of a maximum 1,000, the survey clearly shows there is considerable room for improvement in the OEM-supplier relationship toward innovation and opportunities for differentiation,” said Thomas Doebler, manufacturing industry lead Germany at Deloitte.

Added Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri: “The European auto industry is not a level playing field yet. The OEMs have very different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to innovation, as scores range from a high of more than 700 points to a low of less than 500.”

The European Supplier Choice Survey, which was conducted electronically during April and May, asked supplier executives for feedback on how automakers rank with regard to five specific categories.

• Openness to new ideas.

• Ease of working with OEM on innovative ideas.

• Level of trust.

• Willingness to provide financial incentives or rewards for supplier innovations.

• Ability to implement innovations.

Deloitte and Automotive News Europe presented the key findings of the 2013 survey during the annual general assembly of the European Supplier Association (CLEPA) on June 7, 2013, in Madrid.

Thomas Stadelhofer, BMW’s head of purchasing processes and supplier network, and Martin Liden, Volvo’s vice president of purchasing, accepted the 2013 European Supplier Choice Survey awards.

“We are delighted that European automotive suppliers regard BMW Group as a manufacturer that is open to supplier innovations, because BMW Group is all about innovation,” Stadelhofer said.

For a company that wants to create cars that generate emotions and not just transport from them from point A to point B, innovation is crucial, he added.

Eighteen months ago, Volvo began a program for early involvement of suppliers’ new technologies in future models. The company also increased its openness to its supply base, Liden said.

“This award shows we are proceeding in the right direction to be recognized more and more by our suppliers for our openness to their innovation and for quickly implementing these innovations in our new products,” Liden said.


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