BMW sees gains from tougher testing of parts

Munich, Germany. BMW's two-year effort to reduce recalls by improving the quality of its parts is paying dividends.

BMW engines boss Klaus Borgmann says that the number of complaints regarding the carmaker's engines has halved since the improvement program started.

"Our quality level is the benchmark within the industry's engine sector," Borgmann says.

As part of its "product and process quality" program, BMW's suppliers test important components under clearly defined extreme conditions until the parts break.

"These tests are highly profitable," Borgmann says. "That way the number of cars that need to be recalled if problems arise is reduced dramatically."

BMW board member in charge of development Burkart Goeschel said that BMW's major suppliers and sub-suppliers are being asked to perform the endurance tests.

He says the tests help detect and fix problems quickly while maintaining mutual trust and cooperation with the suppliers.

"We definitely are doing this to get away from recalls," Goeschel said in an interview.

Another reason for the tests is BMW's unsatisfactory ranking in German breakdown statistics. BMW CEO Helmut Panke told his 300 managers in January: "We have to and will improve our cars' reliability."

Tags: Automakers BMW

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