24 June 2009 | Jake Kanter
Car parts suppliers voted BMW the most innovative manufacturer in an industry survey.
The German carmaker topped a list of 11 companies, scoring highest for supplier relationship management, openness to new ideas and willingness to share financial rewards.
BMW had 716 out of a possible 1,000 points - an improvement of 29 points compared with the 2007 study. Toyota was second with 692 points, while Honda, with 671, ranked third.
One supplier told the survey, which was carried out by trade magazine Automotive News and marketing firm JD Power and Associates, that BMW was a "team player" willing to pay more for innovative technology.
Ford climbed to fifth place after scoring 544, a rise of 108 points compared with two years ago. Ford's improvement has also been recognised by the Working Relations Index, which noted its "dramatic and steady" progress in supplier relationships (News, 11 June 2009).
Other American car firms performed poorly. Chrysler plummeted to second from last in the ranking, after dropping 99 points compared to 2007. General Motors, which this month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, came last with 445 points.