Looking out at Geneva
Performance, economy, and individuality, each achieved by
technology, were the three overriding motor show themes at the
Geneva-Palexpo--all good reasons why auto industry executives
closely monitoring competitors needed to be on Swiss watch.
North American automakers and suppliers know that moving the ball
forward and technologically is their best bet for survival, if not
success. In the special section on the following pages, some of the
automotive industry's top executives discuss the latest trends
and their strategies for game-changing vehicle engineering and
Putting design in the driver's seat
General Motors has dramatically shifted its product development
focus from one led by engineering and manufacturing to one led by
design and styling.
Ford's new approach
The company has restructured its engineering organization to
maximize efficiencies and help bring stylish new vehicles to market
In a sharing mood
To help shorten development time, contain costs, and satisfy demand
for differentiation, Chrysler Group is pushing flexible vehicle
architectures that can be shared by many products.
Integrating and differentiating
Visteon aims to leverage its global presence by effective
integration of technology and providing customers with efficient
ways to differentiate their vehicles.
Lear will rely more on its expertise in electrical distribution and
electronics to help customers enhance vehicle safety and
Customer diversification Job One at
Anticipating modest content growth in North America and even less
in Europe, the Canada-based company looks for advantage in
Getting charged for new business
Hybrid-electric vehicles have found an early adopters audience, but
predictions that HEVs willl soon sway the mainstream public could
spur high-volume sales and better returns for suppliers like
Delivering greater safety at lower cost
TRW Occupant Safety Systems' top engineer discusses product
development challenges as safety systems suppliers race to
out-innovate and out-integrate their competitors while they outpace
future legislation and constantly reduce cost.
"Wright"-ing the ship at
Improving supplier relations is Job One at Collins & Aikman for
the woman now at the helm of the company's sales, marketing,
and program management activities.
Blending brains and beauty
For instrument panels, smarter chips help as clusters adapt to
Refreshing the formula
F1 reins in power with a new generation of smaller V8 engines.