Regarding the May 9 article, "Chrysler's quality commandos": With all due respect to Chrysler group COO Tom LaSorda, this is a perfect example of why the American car manufacturers still don't get it when it comes to world-class vehicle quality.
You can't inspect or audit in quality.
I've been in the automotive biz for going on 40 years and work with suppliers who supply both the Big 3 and Japanese automakers.
The Big 3 require so much bureaucratic gobbledygook of their suppliers (QS, ISO, TS, ad infinitum) while the Japanese companies focus more on good parts than good paperwork.
It's really very simple. Start with a good design, involve a capable supplier early on, don't make scads of engineering changes prior to prototype and pilot builds, and hold true to program timing schedules.
Have a game plan, and keep your eye on the ball.
Also, as the old saying goes, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Likewise, sourcing parts to questionable manufacturers because of low prices and thinking you can inspect or audit quality in will not fare well for your market share in the long run.
The Japanese do disciplined work upfront with their suppliers and then get out of the way and let the suppliers concentrate 100 percent on supplying world-class quality parts, program after program after program.
By the market share numbers I'm seeing these days, I would say they have a formula for success.
Maybe the Big 3 should finally take notice.