19 January 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
General Motors last week declined to comment on reports it is to restructure its senior purchasing team.
US-based procurement chief Bo Andersson is understood to be replacing several of his top commodity buying executives.
The team oversees the firm's $85 billion global parts purchasing budget.
Those replaced are believed to include Vicky Morter, buyer responsible for current and future business; Rimon Nasr, executive director for global purchasing of interiors and Rob Deni, purchaser for chassis and chassis systems.
GM spokesman Tom Wickham said the company did not comment on personnel issues but confirmed a three-year savings target set for the purchasing operation had not been met.
It means further upheaval at the firm which last year announced plans to save $1 billion (£562 million) in the next financial year by reducing its purchasing budget. Reducing spend on materials, GM's largest cost item, is a critical part of the plans.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor's last month said GM may have to file for bankruptcy. But GM told SM
: "We have no plans to file for bankruptcy, we have a turnaround plan and that's what we're focused on."
The company hopes its North American operation will mirror the improvements in revenue and cost reduction it has seen in its Asia-Pacific and Latin America-Middle East divisions.