Product Development: Now More Than Ever

The product development challenge—that is, creating products, be they at the component, assembly, system, process, or some other type or level—is one that is certainly germane to the auto industry.

The product development challenge—that is, creating products, be they at the component, assembly, system, process, or some other type or level—is one that is certainly germane to the auto industry. Arguably it is more relevant—and important—today than it has been for some time.

The reasons are simple:

  1. The industry is undergoing a transformation that is taking it from a monotechnology-based one—meaning the internal combustion engine—to heterogeneity, including various types of hybrids and electric powertrains.   2
  2. The industry has undergone a downsizing and reorganization the likes of which hasn’t been experienced in the lifetimes of those who still work in it. One could make the case that the only time in relatively recent history that a change of this scale occurred was during World War II, when many of the workers left the factories to go to war, the factories switched over production to military goods, and vast numbers of women joined the workforce.
  3. The level of competition is increasing from companies like Hyundai and Kia, and it is expected to be ratcheted up even more in a few years with Chinese OEMs in the U.S. market. 2
  4. So, you want to survive? Well, you’d better have superlative product development capabilities.

If you want to get a concentrated dose of the tech and the concepts, then block out May 11-13, 2010, on your calendar and plan to attend PDx/amerimold, which is being held in Cincinnati, an event that will combine a tradeshow, tech conference, networking, and a heavy emphasis on getting products to market faster. You can check it out at pdx-amerimold.com.