Toyota, Honda and Nissan appear to have taken criticism to heart two years after parts makers called them out in Planning Perspectives’ annual study on supplier relations in North America.

All three have rebounded nicely in the latest report to be released today by the Birmingham, MI-based firm, meaning the performance gap once again is widening for Detroit-based automakers.

The study, now in its 14th year, surveys suppliers about their attitudes toward nine automakers operating in North America, including the three Japanese, plus Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.

The roughly 50-question survey covers five broad areas: OEM Help, OEM Hindrance, OEM-Supplier Relationship, OEM Communication and Supplier Profit Opportunity. This year it was completed by 411 sales people from 362 Tier 1 suppliers.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan, which had fallen to all-time low scores over the past two years, all have rebounded in 2014. Top-ranked Toyota now scores 318 on the index, up from 296 in 2012, while No.2 Honda, judged the “most preferred” customer by suppliers, is rated at 295, up from 287 last year.

Nissan, which had fallen to No.4 behind Ford, is back up to third place in the ranking, having improved its score 17 points from year-ago.

“You’ve got leaders doing the right thing, buyers doing the right thing at the Japanese (automakers),” Planning Perspectives CEO John Henke tells WardsAuto. “(And) the three Japanese OEMs are starting to pull away again. I think that is critical.”

He blames their recent decline on adverse effects of the 2008 recession, 2011 Japan earthquake and growing purchasing staffs that caused the transplanted automakers to “lose their way.”

Relations are seen improving further for Toyota as it relocates its purchasing staff from Kentucky to Michigan, where its engineering operations reside, although Henke admits there is a chance of negative impact if too many veteran department managers decline to make the move north.