Suppliers see the benefits of locating near automakers, but there are lots of challenges, too Just-in-time parts delivery once was good enough for automakers. Now they're looking for just-around-the-corner. From Ford to Toyota, auto plants are experimenting with ways of getting their production suppliers geographically closer than they've ever been.
Q&A: Toyota's Tundra lines are not the same
Toyota Motor Corp.'s Tundra-Sequoia-Sienna plant in Princeton, Ind., is not yet 10 years old. But when it was time to construct another Tundra plant in San Antonio, Toyota created a different blueprint.
Putting suppliers where they want ?em
Automakers have been drawing component makers closer to their North American vehicle assembly plants, but the model also is used globally. Here is a breakdown.
Technological acrobatics are Hyundai Mobis' specialty
At Hyundai Mobis, automation rules. It must. Hyundai Motor Co. relies so heavily on the affiliated supplier that Hyundai Mobis' plants must spew out multiple parts for multiple vehicles in multiple versions.
Hyundai Mobis looks to the world for growth
Hyundai Mobis is not a typical automotive supplier. How many global Tier 1 suppliers own a professional basketball team? One. Hyundai Mobis owns the Mobis Phoebus. "The objective is to give a friendly image to our customers," a Hyundai Mobis spokesman says of the team.
Hyundai Mobis: Ties that bind - and confuse
To grasp the growth potential of Hyundai Mobis, it is important to understand the supplier's links to Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. But get a pen and paper. This is going to get complicated.
Employees take trips to understand other cultures
As a step in becoming a global top 10 supplier, Hyundai Mobis is fostering a global culture among employees. Posters at Hyundai Mobis' headquarters in Seoul promoted a campaign to learn about India. The supplier will open a factory there in 2007.
New Corvette Z06 is fast as lightning, strong as steel
Dana supplies aluminum frame to reduce weightSometimes it's what you can't see that makes a car different. Consider the 2006 Corvette Z06. While it may look like a regular C6 Corvette, the Z06 that goes on sale in the fourth quarter will have a new 7-liter V-8 engine capable of producing 505 hp. That is 100 hp more than the previous Z06.
Mazda thinks outside the bin
Ujina No. 2 plant is a 2-level success storyWalk along Mazda Motor Corp.'s Ujina No. 2 assembly line in Hiroshima, Japan, and you'll notice something strange. The racks of parts bins filled with parts waiting to be installed on cars are nowhere to be found.
Recyling program's goal is to bust rust
Ford turns shipping containers into splash shieldsFord Motor Co. is starting at the bottom in its efforts to become more environmentally friendly - the bottom of the wheel well. Ford plans to recycle plastic containers used to ship transmission extensions made in China into splash shields for its light-duty trucks.
Ex-carpet company exec champions manufacturing
Al Frink reports to work each day at an aging government building in Washington named for Herbert Hoover, the president who is remembered, perhaps unfairly, for dithering while the Great Depression unfolded.
Ford: Flexible plants ease workers' jobs
Flexible manufacturing is changing the way Ford Motor Co. builds vehicles. Besides saving an estimated $2 billion by 2010, Matt DeMars, Ford's vice president of North American vehicle operations, says flexibility has other advantages.
Soul-searching for suppliers
Market share losses by the Big 3 have prompted North American component suppliers to do some soul-searching. The race is on to cement business with prospering Asian and European carmakers that continue to build plants in the United States.