Alysha Webb, Automotive News Europe
Shanghai, China - China is often mentioned as a good place to source high-labour, low-tech parts such as castings. While that is still true, many suppliers also are producing more advanced parts. Fiat hopes to capitalise on that change.
â€œChinese suppliers are growing up very quickly, especially in design and development capability,â€ say Charles Cai, engineering manager of the global sourcing office for Fiat China.
For example, many now have their own facilities to see if a part will pass an automaker's validation tests, says Ted Liu, senior manager of product development in Fiat China's global sourcing office.
He also is finding fewer tolerance and moulding problems than in the past, Liu adds.
Fiat will favour suppliers with better r&d capability.
Says Jack Cheng, vice president of purchasing at Fiat China's global sourcing office: â€œIf you are good in technical development, we would be interested in you.â€
The Fiat executives were at a Fiat supplier conference here on June 12. The conference aimed to show Chinese suppliers that Fiat is growing worldwide, and is looking to buy more parts from China.
Suppliers could be supplying more than one model with the same part, says Cai. Fiat is designing models so they can share more parts, he says. For example, the Fiat Grand Punto and Fiat Panda share many parts.
Fiat plans to produce 2.8 million cars worldwide in 2010, says Gianni Coda, senior vice president of group purchasing coordination and Fiat auto sector purchasing.
From Automotive news Europe (A Crain publication)