Matching strategies in car assembly: The BMW-Rover-Toyota complex

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Authors:

Coffey, D.

Source:

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 5, Number 3, p.320-335 (2005)

URL:

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-30344451996&doi=10.1504%2fIJATM.2005.008224&partnerID=40&md5=809d197205bea567401d070cfac804d6

Abstract:

This paper considers a case in which an attempt to organise a Toyota-like production regime proved to be a poor choice for an assembler seeking to evolve a model platform that would be marketed on the basis of customisation and build-to-order. The case analysis throws light on a specific phase in the history of the British car industry, but more generally it offers a basis for reconsidering the associations often made between 'flexibility' in assembly, and the defining characteristics of a Toyota-like system. The paper argues that the literature on car assembly has become desensitised to the need for careful strategic matching between marketing objectives and product supply policies because of a misdirected assumption that Japanese assemblers are flexible-assemblers. It develops this point in the context of an analysis of scheduling lock-ins and customer lead times in mixed-model assembly, illustrated by comparative assembly data. Copyright © 2005 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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