One of our mantras here is that suppliers don’t give their best ideas to their worst customers, and buried in the last four paragraphs of this story in the New York Times today is a hint that maybe General Motors has come to the same conclusion.
Talking about a new Cadillac in the works that is supposed to compete head-to-head with the BMW 3-series of sports sedans, Mark Reuss was quoted as saying, “G.M. will pay top dollar if it gets the most advanced technology before other automakers.” That’s a huge break from what the Times described as the old GM tactic of writing out a spec for a part, and shopping for the lowest bid.
Of course, he is talking about one model car in a premium brand. The real test will be if GM spreads this approach across its brands, and if the supply chain be able to support and contribute to the innovation.
It is likely that new electric and hydrogen cars will require a whole new supply chain and supply base who in collaboration with GM can bring new solutions to the market place. When I look at the history of the domestic automotive supply chains, suppliers have not been really collaborating partners.
This article is the first visible evidence that there may be significant changes in the works. I am wondering if the transformation will require current
suppliers to adapt, or if new suppliers will be taking their place.
We will be watching this carefully.