On Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Automotive News World Congress, Guy Briggs and Marty McQuade will offer views from each side of that spectrum on a panel that will discuss supplier troubles and opportunities.
Briggs, vice president of vehicle manufacturing at General Motors, has spent 30 years with the No. 1 automaker.
He pushed for commonizing the assembly process while maintaining distinct vehicle design. For example, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Oldsmobile Bravada are assembled in the same sequence, but 70 percent of the sheet metal is unique.
In his previous job as vice president of truck operations, Briggs launched the GMT800 full-sized truck platform. Manufacturing flexibility played a key role. Assembly plants building the GMT800 can switch from building GMC Sierra or Chevrolet Silverado pickups to Cadillac Escalade or Chevrolet Suburban sport-utilities without major delays when demand for one model outstrips another.
Earlier, Briggs headed up manufacturing for Saturn Corp. from its inception in 1985 until 1991.
McQuade is vice president for the Americas at DuPont Herberts Automotive Systems, a division of DuPont Performance Coatings in Troy, Mich. The group was formed as a result of DuPont’s acquisition of Herberts Coatings from Hoechst AG.
Before being named to the position in 1999, McQuade served four years as managing director of DuPont Automotive Coatings in Europe. He was responsible for the company’s automaker coatings activities there, including marketing, sales, research and development, and manufacturing and support services.