The Future of Auto Suppliers


    by Jamie Flinchbaugh

    For those not paying close attention, billionaire and industry-fixer-upper guy Wilber Ross has been on the prowl for struggling auto supply assets. Ross has gone in to both the textile industry and the steel industry, swept up the ashes, fixed things up and made a mint. He sees the auto supply market as the next big opportunity. Here are his latest comments.

    An interesting part of Ross' turnaround strategy is that he often partners closely with unions and works very closely with front-line employees. Most of job loss comes from the management ranks. He asks people “what's wrong with this place?” and seems to take action on the outcomes. Quite a different approach than Steve Miller at Delphi, although these are very different situations. Based on Ross' plans, he may be one of the largest auto suppliers in the world in a few years.

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    Jamie Flinchbaugh
    Jamie Flinchbaugh is an accomplished Entrepreneur, Senior Executive, and Board Member with more than 20 years of success spanning finance, manufacturing, automotive, and management consulting. Leveraging extensive operational experience, Jamie is an invaluable asset for a company seeking expert guidance with process improvements, lean strategies, and leadership coaching in order to transform operations, reduce costs, and drive profitability. His areas of expertise include continuous improvement, entrepreneurship, coaching and training, process transformation, business strategy, and organizational design.


    1. That’s great that Ross does that, if he takes a more respectful approach to people.

      I’ve recently discovered a great leader in the healthcare world, Quint Studer. As a hospital CEO, his leadership style was absolutely “lean” although he never called it that.

      His approach was to ask people (nurses, doctors, patients) “what do I need to fix for you?”, the idea of servant leadership.

      Even if you’re not in healthcare, I’d encourage you to check out his website and books (including Hardwiring Excellence) for ideas on leadership.


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