Ward’s AutoWorld’s corporate sibling, Primedia Business Publishing Planning and Research, collected data for the 26th Annual Supplier Survey between April 26 and June 3.

Primedia Research selected the original sample from the magazine’s circulation and targeted the following job titles: corporate management, engineering, design, quality, testing, manufacturing and purchasing.

Some 2,400 surveys were mailed – 1,200 to OEM readers and 1,200 to supplier readers. The finished survey consisted of 171 responses from supplier employees and 122 from OEM employees, for an overall response rate of about 12.5%.

As in previous years, the OEM sample mirrors the North American production market share breakdown: General Motors Corp. produces 34% of the cars, so about 34% of the OEM sample came from GM employees. All North American producers, including the foreign-based transplants, are represented in the same way, including Ford Motor Co. (23%), DaimlerChrysler Corp. (16%), Honda America Mfg. (8%), Toyota Motor Mfg. (8%), Nissan Motor Mfg. (5%) and other OEMs (6%).

A wide range of Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers participated. Some 41% of respondents describe their companies as Tier 1s selling directly to auto makers, while 34% describe their companies as primarily Tier 2. Of the supplier respondents, 25% say their companies have annual sales of $1 billion or more, and 34% 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.