Traditionally, the second of the two Press Days at the Frankfurt Motor Show is when the supply side of the industry gives its press conferences and blows its trumpet. This year, that second day fell on September 12. Most press conferences were canceled, and those that did take place were solemn affairs that were necessarily cut short. When at presenting the Delphi Automotive Systems' reception, company president J.T. Battenberg, who was visibly moved by what had occurred in his homeland, called for a short silence before going ahead with a foreshortened review. Visteon Automotive Systems' president Pete Pestillo welcomed everybody, but gave no presentation at all, opting to point out that his executives on the stand were there for one-to-one talks.
When GM launched the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center in the mid-1980s, it was a showcase of automation—of sorts. You see, things didn't work quite as well as expected with some of the technology. But now the focus is on helping people build quality product.
Today's logistics involves sophisticated supply chain management applications infused with collaborative capabilities, all running on top of an Internet-based e-commerce infrastructure—and fully integrated with back-office information systems to create a seamless system from product development to delivery.
In Europe, automakers are looking at stiff rules related to how end-of-life vehicles are handled, which may have effects on how much plastic is used in manufacture.
The old slogan has it that “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” But that no longer holds because if you’re doing today what you did yesterday, there’s someone else who is innovating and who will leave you way, way behind.
Hypercar Inc. (Basalt, CO) is not an automobile manufacturing company.
There are dark clouds well over the horizon so far as conditions in auto go right now, but for those companies that practice lean, things aren’t entirely bleak. A new lean training organization may help those who are hoping to ride out the storm.
A Russian inventor and a Detroit veteran claim their hybrid drive system can do the impossible: drastically cut emissions, improve performance, and increase fuel economy without adding significant cost or weight to a vehicle. Plus, they say, their “power amplified internal combustion engine” does so without resorting to exotic materials or unproven technology.
No single action of the manager can earn the loyalty and full support of his people.
Year 2001 is certainly a watershed period in auto/I.T. history. Multiple events, but especially the dotcom crash and the World Trade Center disaster, will forever leave their marks.
This summer I had the chance to witness part of what makes this industry so great.
The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is forming an interest group to explore aspects of the Intelligent Enterprise.* What does intelligence mean when applied to an enterprise?
As I sit and write this, the future is far from clear.
One thing that we know about these times: They're different.