Special Coverage

Management Briefing Seminars

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – On average Detroit-based auto makers made $3,814 less per vehicle than Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. last year, including special write-offs, according to a just-released study by analysts at Stout Risius Ross, a financial and operational advisory firm.

A major contributor to the gap, representing a 32% increase compared with 2005, is lack of commonization on the part of Detroit auto makers, says Laurie Harbour-Felax, managing director-Operational Strategy & Performance Improvement Group of SRR. She discussed the study’s results with journalists covering the Management Briefing Seminars here.

Raw material costs and the impact of foreign currency are among other factors affecting the price gap, the study says.

Harbour-Felax says Detroit auto makers are making strides in globally consolidating vehicle architectures and parts, but more gains can be realized with further product development and engineering efforts.

General Motors Corp. has made the most significant strides in improving profit per vehicle, Harbour-Felax says, primarily because it recently introduced popular new vehicle designs and has achieved significant cost reductions in purchasing, product engineering and process engineering.

dwinter@wardsauto.com