ZURICH, Switzerland - This year, General Motors will complete its program to bring all its European car factories up to the lean manufacturing standards set by its assembly plant in Eisenach, Germany.
'Eisenach has been the model plant for lean manufacturing not only in Europe but in other areas of the world, such as Argentina and Thailand,' said Rex Finnigan, GM Europe's executive director of logistics. 'Within Europe, the program to bring all plants into the lean system is nearing completion.'
The Eisenach plant builds the Astra, Corsa and Corsa van.
GM wants to set up supplier parks around its assembly plants to improve efficiency throughout its supply chain, Finnigan said. Logistics will play a key role in GM's campaign to standardize production.
GM is using a route-planning module supplied by Paragon Software Systems to control the movements of the 1,000 trucks delivering parts to 12 assembly plants.
Finnigan predicted that automakers will intensify their focus on parts deliveries as they make their assembly plants more efficient.
Said Finnigan: 'Many of the traditional logistics functions will have to change radically in the future to adapt to these new concepts.'