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BIG THREE TEAM UP IN TEARDOWNS

 DETROIT, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In a unique effort to benchmark competitive cars and trucks, Ford (NYSE: F) recently began working with Chrysler (NYSE: C) and General Motors (NYSE: GM) on joint "teardowns" of other competitors' products, Ford Vice President Dr. John P. McTague said today.
 Dr. McTague told several hundred executives attending the 1993 Automotive News World Congress here that this latest, cooperative project sprang from the companies' relationship as members of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR). USCAR promotes cooperative pre-competitive research among the Big Three auto makers and aims to strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry.
 "An important part of every benchmarking exercise is the teardown, where we disassemble our competitors' products to see what makes them tick, how well they tick and how they are manufactured," Dr. McTague said.
 "Teardowns are very costly, and while we will always do our own teardowns of our most important competitor products, we recently began doing joint teardowns.... Thus far, we have done one joint teardown. That pilot was performed by Chrysler, which also supplied the vehicle -- a Renault Espace. The purpose was to determine how many different or unique parts Renault had to design for right-hand drive as opposed to left-hand drive on the same platform. We all want to export more efficiently, and felt that this teardown would give us important information."
 Ford may be next to do a comparative teardown in the cooperative research effort sometime this year, Dr. McTague said.
 Cooperative offshoots to the teardown program already have sprung to life, Dr. McTague added. A Big Three subgroup to study aerodynamics, and another to study weight reporting already have begun work.
 "As a result of these groups, aerodynamic measurement and weight reports could be standardized into a common reporting format," Dr. McTague said.
 As vice president - Technical Affairs, Dr. McTague directs Ford's Worldwide Strategy and Planning, Research Staff, Environmental and Safety Engineering and Alpha Simultaneous Engineering. He also is Ford's representative on the USCAR Council.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: Pam Kueber of Ford, 313-337-2456/
 (F C GM)


CO: Ford Motor Company; Chrysler Corporation; General Motors
 Corporation; United States Council for Automotive Research ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: JVN


JG -- DE017 -- 4089 01/12/93 13:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 12, 1993
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