After 32 years of building cars and trucks for General Motors, Gary Henson moved to Chrysler Corp. three years ago to direct the company's stamping and assembly operations. He spoke with Staff Reporter Aaron Robinson.
Why is it important for Chrysler to have an operating system?
The difference between a traditional manufacturer and Toyota is the Toyota production system. We've created our own operating system by doing a lot of benchmarking, including Toyota. It starts out with a set of core beliefs and values on how we operate, how we measure what we do, and what we expect to get as a result. Then it standardizes it and communicates it to the rest of the company.
Why not just copy Toyota's system?
It's got to be Chrysler's, and it's got to fit within our culture. You can do an operating system philosophically the same (as Toyota), but you have to do it the way North Americans are comfortable with.
How will it help Chrysler sell more vehicles?
Enhanced quality sells more vehicles. We all know that we have not been where we want to be on quality. The operating system is our vehicle for higher quality. There's no reason we can't increase our market share a few more points. Who says we can't have 20 percent of the market?