Development of Low Cost Vehicle Concept for United States Using Systems Engineering Principles 2011-01-1019
The paper presents a development strategy for a Low Cost Vehicle (LCV) concept set at a target MSRP of $8000 (USD) for the U.S. market. Tata Nano, currently the world's cheapest car in production, is developed on similar principles of the Ford's Model T concept. This paper adopts a similar methodology behind the development of the Tata Nano and is considered as the starting point for the LCV development. It gives an overview of the unique product development process of the ‘Tata Nano’ and shows the possibility of applying similar methodologies, based on systems engineering principles, for future low cost vehicles which will be suitable for the American market. The major automotive systems were assigned specific cost targets based on the set target cost of $8000 (USD) for the LCV. The specifications of the systems were derived based on customer needs and the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) using analytic tool Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and by comparing and benchmarking current vehicles sold in US for its specifications. System level modifications necessary to comply with the FMVSS are considered. Adhering to the Systems Engineering principles, sales volume, target customers, manufacturing & assembly factors are discussed to realize the importance of integrating all aspects of vehicle product development, to achieve the final target.