16 March 2009
Worries over vendor survival are adding to the woes of the embattled US car industry.
Toyota president Jim Lentz told the American auto taskforce the carmaker had "real concerns" about the health of as many as 30 of its suppliers.
The loss of suppliers could disrupt production, and would have wide implications across the sector as many of the producers rely on the same vendors.
"The biggest challenge is on the supplier side," Lentz said after the meeting in Washington last week.
Neil De Koker, chief executive of Original Equipment Suppliers Association, said last month (Web news, 9 February): "The failure of one or more key suppliers, large or small, can shut down entire supply chains."
The squeeze on suppliers has been heightened by the closure of many North American car assembly plants in December and January.
A Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders spokeswoman told SM that conditions within the supply chain in the UK were also under strain.
"Many companies [are] making cutbacks through short-time working and redundancies as a result of reduced demand from manufacturers," she said.