Robert Sherefkin and David Barkholz
May 28, 2007 - 1:00 am
New title: Chrysler executive vice president, procurement and supply
Previous jobs: Head of production planning for Mercedes Car Group in Stuttgart; vice president of assembly and stamping for Chrysler
Other employers: Held several positions at GM. He was CEO of GM-Argentina and was president of CAMI Automotive, a GM-Suzuki joint venture
Academic: Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, University of Toronto; master's degree in management, Stanford
There is one other bit of unfinished business: When DaimlerChrysler AG announced the sale of the Chrysler group to Cerberus Capital Management LP, it indicated that the new Daimler AG no longer would have a global purchasing position on its board.
That leaves global purchasing chief Tom Sidlik in limbo. Until the deal is complete, Sidlik retains his title as the board member in charge of global purchasing. Chrysler has not said what the future holds for Sidlik.
One of Boag's top priorities will be to nurture Project Magellan, Chrysler's effort to buy more parts made in low-cost countries.
In recent months, Rosenfeld had set aside day-to-day purchasing responsibilities to run Magellan. Chrysler hopes to buy $5 billion worth of parts annually from low-cost countries, but it could make the automaker vulnerable to global supply disruptions.
So Boag has a lot to worry about. But he won't have to blow up Chrysler's purchasing operation and start from scratch. Two independent supplier surveys conclude that Chrysler enjoys smoother relations with suppliers than General Motors or Ford Motor Co.
Over the past three years, Chrysler has sharply improved its ability to encourage and carry out supplier innovation, reports a just-released Automotive News supplier survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. (See story, Page 1.)
But in recent months, the automaker's efforts to improve relations with suppliers appear to have stalled, concludes a second report by suburban Detroit consultant John Henke Jr. "The early indications are that Chrysler is now treating its suppliers in a more adversarial fashion than in the past," reports Henke, president of Planning Perspectives Inc. Henke's survey will be released June 4.
The bottom line: While Chrysler treats suppliers better than Ford or General Motors, it still lags behind the Japanese automakers. Is the glass half full or half empty? Boag soon will find out.