Browse Publications Technical Papers 2006-01-1469

Opportunities and Hindrances to Collaborative Automotive Development 2006-01-1469

The automotive industry is a global industry in which regulatory, economical, and practical issues act not only as incentives, but as barriers and also drivers to collaboration. This paper specifically deals with regulatory and economical reasons to increase collaboration in vehicle development and manufacturing. It discusses typical socio-cultural and technical differences impacting German / North American business relationships, and shows which activities in the product development process have to be changed or added if a vehicle is to be designed and produced globally. A survey of the capabilities and weaknesses of current collaboration tools supports the material presented.
The paper is a summary of a presentation held in May 2005 at BMW Munich by the co-authors. It is based on industry data, on University research and on knowledge gained by the BMW Front Desk office, the office responsible for integration of US suppliers' development resources at the BMW Manufacturing Plant in Spartanburg, SC. It offers the readers a candid view of collaboration challenges, and concludes with challenges to the design community:
  • Understand differences and recognize the context in which these differences evolved.
  • Appreciate the value of the differences and learn what opportunities emerge from such differences.
  • Collaborate; Current tools already allow a significant level of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration.


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