Collaboration in the Automotive Supply Chain – Realizing the Full Potential of a Powerful Tool

The automotive industry has undergone a transformational evolution over the last two decades. Compared to just 20 years ago, the industry is now building different, more complex products and using changing corporate structure to deliver more content to consumers while actually decreasing prices. The increases in efficiency necessary to accomplish these changes have come about as a result of painful structural change that has significantly increased collaboration between automakers and suppliers. The industry is therefore functioning under a different operational structure for which the business practices and corporate departments of both automakers and suppliers were not conceived. To take maximum advantage of the benefits offered by collaboration, and to advance the implementation of collaborative business practices even further in the future, automotive manufacturers and suppliers need to structure their companies in a way that will maximize collaboration while freeing employees and departments to do the tasks for which they are most appropriate.

The Specialty Equipment Automotive Company of the Future: Guideposts for Strategic Planning

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) have engaged in a multi-phased project to create business strategy guideposts for SEMA members. The first report in the program—The Specialty Equipment Company of the Future: Guideposts for Technology Forecasting and Strategic Planning—identifies strategic challenges for SEMA and its member companies in the mid-term (3-7 years). The information presented is based on a series of interviews with thought leaders from vehicle manufacturers (VMs), original equipment (OE) parts suppliers, specialty equipment (SE) suppliers, and other auto industry stakeholders. These interviews were supported by literature reviews and other data gathering techniques.

The Strategic Value of Information in the RFQ Response Process

The gestation of a new component made by an automotive supplier typically begins with a Request For Quotation (RFQ) being issued by the supplier’s customer, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The supplier typically has about two weeks to submit its response.

Innovate or Die

The new business forces acting on the industry are challenging traditional beliefs, and only those capable of adaption will survive.

Vehicle Technology Trends in Electronics for the North American Market; Opportunities for the Taiwanese Automotive Industry

The purpose of this study is to conduct a preliminary investigation into the future business potential for automotive electronics, particularly for general Taiwanese companies. Although many Taiwanese companies are targeting China as a growth opportunity, our preliminary investigation was based on North America with the understanding that a more targeted investigation for China could be a future investigation. We recognized that the North American perspective would provide significant input, even to the Chinese market, because many of the auto companies and supplier’s practices and projections are easy to generalize from since they are global.

Low-Volume Vehicle Production

Many auto companies are targeting low-volume vehicles as a means to increase market share and, in some cases, to establish a “halo effect” with niche products. Engineering and production resource availability, and manufacturing cost are two critical constraints present in low-volume products.

Sponsored by: American Plastics Council; ASC, Inc.; Dana Corporation; Diversified Tooling Company; KUKA; Flexible Production Systems; McKinsey Consulting; TATA Consulting and United Tooling Coalition.

The World Class Tool Shops and Its Prospects in Michigan

Automotive companies are trying to buy their tools, dies, and molds (TDM) at the lowest possible price. With the recent emergence of tooling capacity in “low-cost countries” (LCCs), that low price is getting even lower. Domestic TDM sources are being pressed to meet the “world price” for tools or risk losing their bids to suppliers who can provide TDM at this lower price. This paper examines how this new environment affects domestic TDM builders. This paper is the result of a nine-month study made possible by the generous support of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.