Notable

Nascar Gets Automated

The changes NASCAR is making for its “Car of Tomorrow” program won’t be just cosmetic.

The Silicon Valley Approach

With the electronics content exploding in automobiles, perhaps some automotive suppliers can learn a few things from the consumer electronics, computing, and medical technologies industries.

Ford's New Multi-Use Element

In addition to being the engine used in both the Ford Edge (see The ’07 Ford Edge: Is This the Most Important Vehicle in Ford’s Lineup? [Yes.] ) and the Lincoln MKX, Ford Motor Co. is going to be deploying its 263-hp, 3.5-liter V6 in a number of other applications—such as fitting it under the hood of the Lincoln MKZ—the car formerly known as the “Zephyr.” Barb Samardzich, Ford vp of Powertrain Operations calls it “a key component in Ford’s global powertrain strategy,” and goes on to say, “This powertrain is an innovative solution to answering the call for better fuel efficiency, more refinement, more power, and clean emissions, without any sacrifices.” In other words, this engine could become what the Mazda6 platform has become to body architecture.

VW'S Model Moves

As part of its efforts to further expand into the U.S. market, Volkswagen has introduced another variant of its Eos convertible coupe (a.k.a., retractable hardtop; see AD&P, September ’06 or VW Eos: Hats Off), the 2007 Eos 3.2L, which is equipped with the company’s 250-hp, 236 lb.-ft. of torque V6 engine.

Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra: Function Trumps Form

Jully Burau, chief engineer for the General Motors full-size truck program, vividly remembers when GM’s senior executives pushed the team: it was the exact same week her team was told they had to move prototype build operations from a facility at GM’s truck group operations center in Pontiac, MI, to another facility 25.4 miles southeast at GM’s tech center in Warren. “I immediately gathered my team the day we got the message and told them, ‘We have got to roll up our sleeves and see what we can do,’” she says.

Faster Is Better

Unless you are in marketing, chances are the likelihood that you’d pick up a book titled Brand It Yourself: The Fast, Focused Way to Marketplace Magic (Portfolio; $21.95 ) is on the far side of never.

Feature

Assembling Cars In Belgium

If you think that Belgium is dominated by just beer and chocolates, think again. Sure, the country has built a strong reputation as a confectionary leader, but one region is trying to keep a toehold in another crucial industry: vehicle manufacturing.

Audi: Powerful Competitor

By rolling out two more vehicles in its performance S series, this German automaker is strengthening its position in the U.S. market.

2007 Hyundai Elantra

Wherein Hyundai gives other small sedan makers 13,995 reasons to lose sleep.

After The Turnaround

The launch of the 2007 Infiniti G35 Sedan, Nissan Altima and Sentra mark the start of Nissan’s defense of its recent gains.

Nine Lessons the Auto Industry Can Learn From the 787 Dreamliner

When the company's survival is on the line you can do what you’ve done better, or do something different. Boeing chose different.

THE '07 FORD EDGE: Is This the Most Important Vehicle in Ford's Lineup? [Yes.]

As gasoline prices remain high, as Baby Boomers age, as full-size SUVs lose their luster, as pickup trucks become less appealing to those who don’t need the box, the crossover utility vehicle (CUV) emerges. While far from being first to the segment, Ford is now launching the Edge, which is undoubtedly important to the company’s Way Forward.

Control Systems In A Package

Going “lean” goes beyond production management. It even affects several aspects of control systems hardware, software, and application development.

Columns

On Strategy: 12 Golden Rules of Top Performing Automotive Suppliers

While some suppliers have suffered due to changes in the auto industry, many of them have been able to boost their return on investment, a recent study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the investment bank Rothschild shows.

Competitive Challenge: State of the Industry

As I write my first column for Automotive Design & Production, I am troubled by the current state of the industry that I am so passionate about.

Marginal: Hard Truths for the Holiday

During the just-past election season there was a loot of rhetoric about the overall low unemployment in the country.

Insight: When Low-Cost Country Sources Aren't Inexpensive

In the spirit of the old adage “That which gets measured gets done,” companies in the automotive industry have been setting goals for procurement of goods and services from low-cost countries (LCCs). The premise is that this will spur the companies through the arduous process of identifying, qualifying, and sourcing to suppliers in low-labor-cost or lesser-developed economies.

Profile: Alan Taub: GM’s Science Guy

After earning a strong reputation as one of the leading industrial research and development organizations, General Motors Corp.’s R&D labs hit a bump in the road in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Insider: The Talent Pool Deepens

It was just a few months ago that the rumor mills were buzzing in Detroit aboutabout the fate of General Motors Chairman Rick Wagoner as Carlos Ghosn was collabor-ating with investor Kirk Kerkorian on the possibility of Renault/Nissan buying a stake in the world’s largest automaker.

EuroAuto: Fast Performance for Performance Vehicles

Although Mitsubishi was winning all of the plaudits for taking still another victory in the Lisbon-Dakar Rally—a grueling race covering more than 5,500 miles on some of Africa’s most remote and inhospitable terrain—earlier this year (its 11th victory in 24 years), it was innova-tive Italian company CRP Technology that was quietly congratulating itself on a job well done.

Dudder: Return to First Principles

In this issue you will find a story about Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, an airplane that was far from an assured success when it was announced.