Toyota on Suppliers

Gary S. Vasilash

Although there was a record turnout of attendees at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City this week, presumably some of you we’re Up North this week, and if you were up there, you may have found yourself wandering with purpose with a golf club in your hand and so didn’t hear all the presentations. . . .But we’ll let that go.

Jim Lentz, president and CEO, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., made some comments that are certainly germane to the supplier community, a group that is often put-upon by their OEM customers.

Jim Lentz


“We know that to continue successfully building our business, we need help, and we particularly need the ongoing dedication and teamwork from our suppliers.
“Currently, we have around 500 North American suppliers and purchase annually $25-billion dollars in parts, materials and components.
“And, as our business grows, our reliance on local suppliers will increase.
“Here again, teamwork will ensure both sides are successful and profitable.
“That’s why, several years ago, we launched This web site is part of our commitment to building long-term relationships with current and potentially new North American suppliers.
“So if you have some great ideas or want to team with Toyota, I encourage you to go to this site first.
“You can get information on our purchasing policies, newsworthy articles, and register to tell us more about yourself and what you do. . . . [W]e can leverage the energy of each other’s ideas and knowledge to propel our business further.
“At Toyota, we fully realize, if our suppliers aren’t successful, we won’t be successful. It’s that simple.”

Yes, it is that simple.