29 November 2001 | David Arminas
Automotive suppliers must not sacrifice quality as they struggle with fluctuating production schedules, MG Rover's chief executive told delegates.
Kevin Howe said that in smoothing its production volumes from the previous "feast and famine" era under BMW, the car maker has seen a major weak spot in the supply business.
"Many component manufacturers are having difficulty in matching our production flexibility and schedules," he said.
"Conversations with suppliers are unfortunately moving away from quality subjects, which is parts per million improvement, to how many vehicles have we lost from production caused by supply shortages."
Howe's comments came soon after 1,000 staff lost a day's work when a supplier failed to deliver gearboxes.
He said many suppliers had gone too far in paring investment or cutting heavily into their cost structures, including moving production out of the UK.