08 June 2009 | Jake Kanter
Struggling US carmaker General Motors (GM) heaped praise on 99 of its suppliers on Friday as part of its 2008 vendor awards.
The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, announced parts manufacturer Gentex Corporation (GC) as "corporation of the year" and recognised 98 other vendors for their work last year.
GC manufacture products related to automotive safety, including rearview mirrors that automatically dim to cut glare and microphones for speech recognition and hands-free communication.
GM vice president of global purchasing and supply chain Bo Andersson, who is on the editorial advisory board of SM's sister magazine CPO Agenda, said GC was a "technology leader" and had an excellent performance in 2008.
"During these difficult economic times, it's more important than ever to recognise performance in our supply base," he said. "These suppliers are the best of the best and we want to honour them for their tremendous performance."
Other winners included steel firm ArcelorMittal and Johnson Controls.
The awards presentation followed a business meeting, where senior GM executives spoke on a number of "key business issues", the details of which were not disclosed.
Information is yet to emerge on how GM's bankruptcy filing will affect vendors long-term, but this month financial newswire Bloomberg reported payments in bankruptcy court for old bills would only "cushion the blow" of lost business for parts makers (Web news, 1 June).
The company pledged last week to pay "essential suppliers" in the "normal course".
The GM supplier awards have run since 1992 with buyers, engineers and logistics staff determining winners based on quality of service, technology and price.
Seventy-five of the 99 vendors recognised in the latest ceremony had received awards in the past. The winners included six minority suppliers.