Hamilton, ON — Over 400 Canadian supplier executives attending the tenth GM Canadian Supplier Council seminar in Hamilton last week were told that General Motors intends to increase total spending with Canadian suppliers to $20 billion by 2005.
Gary Cowger, president of GM North America (GMNA), was the keynote speaker for the event. He praised the Canadian supplier community for its outstanding performance in winning purchasing contracts that have grown from $3 billion in 1991 to $16 billion in 2002.
Cowger noted, “There’s no question about it. Our goals are ambitious. We want to be the industry’s highest-quality, lowest-cost producer and our expectations are high on our supplier contracts. The additional revenue — at least $4 billion — is there for the taking. The best performing suppliers in quality, service, technology and price will grow with GM.”
Michael Grimaldi, president of Oshawa, Ont., based General Motors of Canada, kicked off the conference stating, “Canada is definitely being revved by a healthy and dynamic auto industry. But this strong industry is not guaranteed a strong future. At GM, we are focused on continuously improving so we can grow the business in Canada and provide growth opportunities for our Canadian suppliers.
“As a critical member of our team, we need Canadian suppliers to lead in their respective businesses and to participate in our new product renaissance, and sales and market share growth,” he said.
Kevin Williams, vice-president of GMNA Quality said, “GM is striving to be the automotive industry quality leader — we won’t settle for second place. The Canadian supply base has demonstrated with two consecutive years of 50% quality gains; they are committed to world-class performance to continue growing their business with General Motors.”
The conference provided an opportunity for automotive business partners to get together to share ideas and gain insight on where the automotive industry and GM are heading. Some of the other speakers included, Dr. Sherry Cooper, a leading global economist, and Mike Robinet from CSM Worldwide Inc., Mountainside, N.J.
General Motors of Canada employs 22,000 people nationwide and manufactures a variety of vehicles, engines, transmissions and other components. It markets a full range of vehicles and related services through 800 dealerships and retailers across Canada.