Canadian Plastics

Customer-focus best strategy, say engineers

Engineers and designers planning to attend the 2005 SAE World Congress this week in Detroit believe "emphasizi...

April 11, 2005   Canadian Plastics

Engineers and designers planning to attend the 2005 SAE World Congress this week in Detroit believe "emphasizing consumer-focused innovations" and "increasing collaboration along the value chain" are the top strategies that will strengthen the industry, according to the 11th annual DuPont Automotive SAE survey. The two strategies garnered 33% and 21% of the survey’s responses respectively. Globalizing the customer base (20%), greater use of flexible manufacturing (16%) and consolidating supply base (15%) were other strategies the respondents felt were important.
Top challenges facing the automotive design and engineering community in 2005 are cost reduction (26%), safety (15%) and fuel economy and alternative power trains (11% each), according to the survey’s responses.
"Cost still tops the list of challenges faced by the industry, but when you look over time cost has fallen from a high of 44% in 2003 to 26% this year," said Christopher Murphy, automotive director, Americas, for DuPont Automotive Performance Materials. "It appears the focus is shifting to new prioritiesinitial cost reduction is and likely always will be a driver, but it is not an end in itself."


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