InlinePaul wrote:I hope Trump will fix it.
Me too - he's got to be good at something, right?[/quote]
Well, so far he hasn't gotten much done. Oh, but then he wasn't planning on doing much anyway. He has been busy undoing stuff.
But even if he gets our auto parts to be made in the USA, then we still have all kinds of foreigners here to build them, so will it do any good? Why can't they manage quality control with overseas production?[/quote]
Yanno, I think there are many fine parts (and cars) produced overseas.
It is more work to specify part requirements properly than to just accept the same design that they ship to "Brand X". Maybe Brand X has warranty problems with that part that you don't know about. Maybe Brand X is not a critical customer themselves and has low expectations of the part. Maybe usage in your vehicle places more extreme demands on the part than what usage in Brand X vehicles does.
Wisely chosing the part supplier takes more effort than just awarding the business to the lowest bidder. One point is you need to understand how overloaded the supplier's engineering or manufacturing operations may be. Did the guppy just swallow a whale of a big contract that will require all of their resources to digest? Is the supplier interested in a long-term business relationship, or is this just some extra work to keep their plant busy for now? How experienced is this supplier - do they have a lot of depth with engineering and manufacturing of this type of product, or are they just getting into it and if one or two people leave the company you're screwed? I could go on and on, but it isn't easy to know what the supplier knows unless they are bragging about it to impress you, like "We've been Brand T's main supplier for this item for 20 years now".
Language and distance can make communication difficult. Also, you always need some kind of presence local to their plant in order to understand how they can be assured to produce quality parts and get them to the vehicle assembly plants on time. Someone who understands how the tooling degrades over time and how often it needs to be refreshed or replaced to ensure good parts are still being produced. You need someone who speaks both languages well, who is familiar with manufacturing processes, who can be your man on the ground to perform the initial process reviews, to understand the risks in their supply chains, to swoop in if an issue erupts.
How much attention do you think goes toward Amish transmission system components as the production volumes head downward?