Plastech Defends Chrysler Parts Quality

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

When Chrysler went to court to retrieve tooling from their bankrupt supplier Pastech, the automaker's Director of Interior Purchasing dissed their former "partner's" quality control. Douglas Doran testified that Plastech components had triggered 450 "quality issues" in 2007. Doran drolly described the defect rate as "more than the average supplier." According to The Detroit News, Plastech execs have finally fired back. They claim that parts quality had improved steadily since 2006. What's more (or less), company data shows that there were five times fewer quality issues in the fourth quarter of 2007 than in the same period in 2006. In January of this year, a month before declaring bankruptcy, Plastech reported 26 problems per million parts. While Plastech's suits figure that's below industry targets, analysts counter that it also isnt industry leading. With the only proof of financial malfeasance by Plastech coming from an auditing firm staffed by former Chrysler flacks who refuse to answer our questions, it's beginning to look more like Chrysler squeezed on price, then whined about quality.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Mar 10, 2008

    Remember 1-2 years ago when Lasorda said Chrysler will cut material costs about 25% as part of the company turnaround plan? Sounds like Plastech was on the losing end of that initiative.

  • Claudster Claudster on Mar 10, 2008

    When I worked for Magna, we had to deal with the same issues as well. We met our NA clients cost requirements, in the manner in which they wished (reduce number of clips, lower grade PVC for exterior use, incresed tolerances, ect.).In return our company was then blacklisted for not meeting quality standards. We had no issues with Japanese companies. The japanese were much strictor on quality up front, but thier quality standards and pricing were consistant throughout the production run.

  • Threeer Threeer on Mar 10, 2008

    26,000,000 PPM? Good grief! I'm a Supplier Quality Manager, and if one of my suppliers had that kind of performance, I'd be resourcing ASAP! Of course, we're talking Chrysler, so 26,000,000 PPM was probably more than acceptable. Amazing that I target 150 PPM for all of my suppliers...

  • 50merc 50merc on Mar 10, 2008

    "Hello -- Chrysler? Giganto Rent-a-Car here. We want to buy a million cars, and since you've been a major source in the past, we were wondering if you could fill the order. You say you can? Great! We'll fax the PO. Oh, another thing -- if 26 of those million cars have a defect, we won't pay."