The sessions dedicated to logistics provision for the automotive industry at last week’s International Automotive Conference in Durham, UK, drew comment from some of sector’s leading figures and what they said revealed that upheaval was an opportunity to look closely at traditional practice and bring long-term change:
“There are many things we couldn’t do a year ago that we can do now because things have changed fundamentally in the supply chain… Change is chance, we have to see [the current situation] not as a threat but as an opportunity to make things new, to change the way we operate and to brush aside the previous inefficiencies.”
Robert Mountain, Supply Planning Dept. Manager, Honda Motor Europe (pictured)
"When you get partnership moving between a customer and a supplier, that’s where you can really make the advances… its about matching costs and environment and showing them together as one picture, and a positive picture."
Melanie Moore, Global Head of Environment and Quality Management, WWL
“We build more and more of our cars where they are sold. The (Ford) plants in China and India are directed at the local markets.”
John Buchanan, MP&L Manager, Emerging Market Sourcing, Ford of Europe

“It's cheaper for us to ship a car from the UK to North America than it is to ship it from Mexico to North America, because of the empty return trip.”
Julian Hetherington, Director, Land & Strategic Asset Development, Jaguar Land Rover

“The speed of development of supplier capability [in emerging economies] is astonishing. Their high inflation on a low cost base never closes the gap with the low inflation on a high cost base [in developed economies]. Their cost advantage is here to stay.”
Geoff Smith, General Manager, Parts Purchasing - Powertrain, Body & Materials, Truck & Aftersales, Nissan International SA