Ward’s corporate sibling, Prism Business Media Marketing Research Dept., collected data for the 28th Annual Supplier Survey between May 2 and June 16.

Prism Research selected the original sample from the magazine’s readership and sent questionnaires to those in the corporate management, engineering, design, quality, testing, manufacturing and purchasing ranks.

Some 2,400 surveys were mailed – 1,200 to OEM readers and 1,200 to supplier readers. The finished survey consisted of 157 responses from suppliers (for a 13.2% effective response rate) and 181 from OEMs (for an effective response rate of 16.1%).

This represents the seventh year the research division has conducted the Supplier Survey for Ward’s.

As in previous years, the OEM sample mirrors the North American production market-share breakdown: General Motors Corp. produced 28.8% of the vehicles in 2005, so 28.8% of the OEM sample comes from GM employees. All North American producers, including the foreign-based transplants, are represented in the same way, including Ford Motor Co. (19.4%), DaimlerChrysler Corp. (17%), Honda of America Mfg. (8.6%), Toyota Motor Mfg. (7.6%), Nissan Motor Mfg. (7.6%) and other OEMs (11%).

A wide range of Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers participated. Some 50% of respondents describe their companies as Tier 1s selling directly to auto makers, while 31.8% describe their companies as primarily Tier 2. Of the supplier respondents, 28.7% say their companies have annual sales of $1 billion or more, and 47.8% have sales of less than $250 million.

Basing the sample on North American OEM production market shares and ensuring diverse supplier responses allows for the survey to accurately reflect the industry at large.