More Supplier Survey Stories Ward's corporate sibling, Primedia Business Research Dept., collected data for the 27th Annual Supplier Survey between April 8 and June 10.

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 143 responses from supplier employees (for a 12% effective response rate) and 167 from OEM employees (for an effective response rate of 15%).

As in previous years, the OEM sample mirrors the North American production market share breakdown: General Motors Corp. produced 32% of the vehicles in 2004, so 32% 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. (21.5%), DaimlerChrysler Corp. (17.5%), Honda of America Mfg. (7.5%), Toyota Motor North America Inc. (9%), Nissan North America Inc. (7%) and other OEMs (6%).

A wide range of Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers participated. Some 46% of respondents describe their companies as Tier 1s selling directly to auto makers, while 24.5% describe their companies as primarily Tier 2. Of the supplier respondents, 30% say their companies have annual sales of $1 billion or more, and 30% have sales of less than $250 million.

The supplier sample limited Delphi Corp. and Visteon Corp. employee participation to 1.5% each, to prevent skewing of results.

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.