Columns

(In the) Red Rover, Red Rover: Why Couldn‘t I take Over?

Round about the first time that BMW announced the sale of Rover to a bunch of wankers, err, bankers, I happened to be on a bit of a government-sponsored press junket to the U.K.

One Liner

As Tom Jones might croon, “It’s not unusual”—and my apologies to Mr.

The Future of GM: Time to Bite the Bullet

 Corporate executives like playing a game that I call “King for a Day.” They quiz automotive industry experts to inquire what they would do if they had the reins of a major corporation for one day.

Roger Smith Was Right

 I’m moderately perplexed to see that General Motors is going to invest some $1.5-billion into Saturn Corporation.

Cadillac: From the Internet to Smarter Struts

To be first to market with a new technology is a challenge in these highly competitive times, but Cadillac claims to have done just that with its 2001 Seville and Deville sedans.This Bose “infotainment” radio will provide Internet functionality in addition to tunes.Both models will offer the first application of an OEM-installed personal computer in a car.

Revelers and Weepers in the Dotcom Market Crash

The auto industry has gone through an amazing dotcom, roller-coaster ride.

Feature

Getting Lean Everywhere and Every Day

Of all of the practitioners of lean that we’ve ever encountered, Plymouth, Michigan-based Freudenberg-NOK continues to be an exemplar of what can be done through dedication to doing things in a better way. Here are some of the new things we’ve learned about this muda-eliminating firm . . .

Inspection Without Frustration: Simplifying Vision Automation

Is it possible to setup an inspection system without pulling out the programming documentation? Two companies in the vision arean say that the answer is yes—and it seems as though they are right (functionally, if not technically).

The Color of Money

The greening of the auto industry is a good thing. But beyond being the right thing to do for your kids and their kids and their kids' kids, you may still ask “Why?” Go ahead now and fish a bill out of your wallet and look at it. There's your reason. Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about environmental awareness is that if it hasn’t already, it will come to occupy a prominent place in your work life. Soon. It will come to you cloaked in a philosophy called life cycle thinking, in which the environmental impact of every action taken by your company is measured, optimized, recorded and improved. But don’t be afraid, green is good. Not only can it save or generate money for your company, but it’ll keep Big Government off your back, and may even help to make better products. Best of all, the kids will thank you.

Building Better Vehicles via Axiomatic Design

Axiomatic design is not just a theory: it's another step in the design process that is finding a home in the automaker's relentless drive toward creating “good” designs.