Our October-December coverage has dedicated a lot of space to the logistics management of tier one suppliers, including Magna International, the Behr Group and Johnson Controls International. Their prominence is no coincidence, as suppliers’ supply chain management is becoming more important. 

With carmakers such as the Volkswagen Group producing vehicles on global mega-platforms or along modular strategies, even more supply chain complexity is being pushed to the tier suppliers’ inbound and outbound logistics. As well as more intercontinental material flows, this requires tighly connected planning, as these companies are deeply embedded in product cycles that are becoming ever shorter, faster and more aggressive. 

For the past eight years or so, Magna Logistics Europe has been integrating logistics planning, purchasing and IT systems across the company’s massive network of plants in Europe, Russia and South Africa. As Jörg Blechinger and Michael Druml reveal, the group is increasingly making the move from long-term planning to supply chain execution and supplier development. 

Tier suppliers like Behr and Johnson Controls are also making progress in areas on par with, or even ahead of some of their OEM customers. In North America this year, for example, Behr will switch a significant share of its inbound transport onto to rail. Johnson Controls, meanwhile, has made advances in packaging tracking and management with packaging expert Surgere[sam_ad id=6 codes='true']

In news from our own parish, there have been a few developments here at Automotive Logistics. First, many of you on this site will have noticed our new website design, which pulls together editorial, conference content and social media, making it easy to read online, including on mobile and tablet devices. You’ll find news stories, executive changes, features, data, conference reports and much more. You will notice that many stories from our print issue were published first online. You'll find all of our features, including our archive that we're currently working on, under the Intelligence toolbar. As well as receiving your print copy, you can still read the turning pages versions of Automotive Logistics and Finished Vehicle Logistics. Check out the site or follow us on social media to keep up with the industry’s daily changes.

We have also hired a talented new reporter, Zoë Apostolides, who will help us expand our feature and news coverage, so look out for her at our events. Of course, our global team of correspondents is always ready to hear from you, so whether you are in Shanghai, Delhi, Sao Paulo, Washington DC or anywhere in between, if you have a story to tell, get in touch.