The Tight Squeeze At Chrysler

Its cost-cutting is souring relations with suppliers

Talk to sales reps at one Detroit-area auto supplier about relations with Chrysler these days, and you're likely to get an earful. The cost-cutting pressure coming from the U.S. unit of DaimlerChrysler has been building for months--and that, they complain, is hurting the cooperative relationship they shared. The give-and-take at meetings, says one executive, has been replaced by one-sided demands on the part of Chrysler representatives. And once-flexible goals have become unforgiving. The result: Chrysler may be blowing years of painfully built goodwill for short-term cost savings. "They're only interested in the bottom line," laments the exec, who asked not to be identified. "There's a sense they're going to nail suppliers."

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