In the emerging tier structure of the new millennium, an intense focus on technology, innovation and core competency may be the only key to success for many automotive suppliers, said Joseph C. Day, chairman and CEO of Freudenberg-NOK. In a keynote speech -- "Tiers and Technology: A Supplier's View" -- given at the Automobile Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) Annual Conference and Exhibition here, Day urged automotive supplier executives to re-evaluate their companies' positions and strategies, in light of automakers placing more responsibilities on their suppliers, which has created a new hierarchy and tier structure.