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Technical and structural strategies in the automotive parts supplier industry.

Technical And Structural Strategies In The Automotive Parts Supplier Industry

In order to compete favorably in the auto parts supply markets, domestically and internationally, participating companies must position their manufacturing to meet the changing demands of the auto manufacturers. Changes are taking place in the supplier industry (of about 30,000 companies and 950,000 workers), including both technological and business organizational.

To determine possible strategies for auto parts suppliers, research was conducted with select-positioned firms. Their information was correlated with literature regarding manufacturing systems and in the trade press. Industry-based strategies were obtained by applying the Strategic Management Process to the research. This is a report on the results of the systematic approach to the environment (economic, social, political and technological) and offers proposed alternative approaches to survive and prosper in this industry.

The research of these auto parts suppliers (APS) was conducted regarding the impact of products as systems and modules on their management approach. This demand from auto manufacturers (original equipment manufacturers, OEM) imposes strategic change on supplier companies. The research probed into the extent of change adopted by supplier companies, and the organizational effect induced. Information gathered from the companies was correlated with literature on the industry and then analyzed strategically.

Within the APS industry there is a hierarchy of consumer-manufacturer-supplier relationships ending with the OEM demand. The tier-hierarchy structure of the industry is given in Figure 1A. The tier-hierarchy portrays the different levels, relating (1) OEM demand for an extended product to (2) response of some companies as Tier One systems and modules manufacturers and (3) other firms as Tier Two manufacturers supplying parts and components to Tier One manufacturers.

This tier-hierarchy was analyzed using the Porter strategic model given in Figure 1B. The model, called the task environment model, comprehensively depicts the strategic concerns of supplier companies: (1) customer-buyer (OEM, higher-tier suppliers), (2) suppliers (lower-tier suppliers), (3) potential of substitute or extended product, (4) competition in the products, and (5) entry of new companies.

With change in the industry comes new terminology and structures. Definitions for module, system and modular manufacturing, and tier-hierarchy, are given in Table 1.

Companies were identified as having moved from manufacturing parts and components into modules and systems. Interviews were conducted with five companies. They were chosen on the basis of their response to demand for extended manufacturing, design and engineering, and development of products. Senior managers were interviewed to determine:

1) organization of the company and its operations; 2) assessment of the firm's change; 3) process of organizational change; 4) implementation of change for operational units; and 5) results and experiences. The interviews and literature clearly show an acute awareness of the need to respond to changing OEM customer demand.

The research was focused at creating a framework for assessment, formulation, and implementation of appropriate strategic response. The Strategic Management Process provides a framework for assessing, formulating and implementing a strategic response based on the research from the interviews. The nine-step process (Figure 2) has a mission statement, directional goals and specific objectives.

Mission/Goals/Objectives (Steps 1 & 2)

The mission is an enduring statement of purpose that distinguishes one company from other similar ones. A generic statement of an APS purpose is: Remain or strive to become a world-class supplier in the field of specialization, with focus on exceeding customer expectations.

Related goals include: exceeding quality requirements, providing consistent and reliable delivery, and leading in cost-performance of products and services. Achievement of these three goals (and associated market factors) distinguishes the successful company as providing system capability: the ability to anticipate the OEM's needs and to actually supply systems as OEMs expand the degree of outsourcing.

Performance objectives sustaining the goals must be established. The performance objectives are target results or outcomes desired by the company. They can be categorized as long-run and short-run and can compel reconsidering the goals and even the mission. They are presented in Table 2.

Technological objectives are positioned in conjunction with the customers' needs (Table 2A). These must be attained to support the goals as a viable APS.

The successful supplier will have to utilize flexible organizations that can cope with the difficult decisions on desired levels of vertical integration and investments. The organization of the supplier company must be flexible to the strategy (or mix of strategies) adopted.

Environmental analysis (Step 3)

The environment for the supplier consists of three environments: macro-environment, task environment, and internal situation.

The macro-environment of the automotive industry, and indirectly of the APS, is influenced by economic, political, social and technological dimensions that are so dynamic and interactive, the impact of any single element cannot be wholly disassociated from the impact of other elements.

The macro-environment (also remote environment) is the same for Tier One and Tier Two companies; however, changes in the macro-environment have a different effect on suppliers differently situated, as opportunities, threats or constraints. The macro environment for the APS industry is briefly described in Table 3.

From the task environment model in Figure 1B, the five forces that influence the APS companies' strategic response are analyzed.

Bargaining power of buyers. The OEMs typically have immense and overwhelming bargaining power compared to their Tier One suppliers. The OEMs previously maintained business with many independent Tier One suppliers of a certain product, either to gain the benefits of an open bidding process for a new product, or due to sheer necessity for the high volume of parts involved.

In a move to increase the quality and consistency of outsourced products, the OEMs have reduced, and will continue to reduce, the number of suppliers for a particular product. The ideal is one supplier per product. This reduces the OEM's bargaining power. To counter that, a new relationship of trust is sought. Openness and disclosure of operations data are expected. In return, assistance with the operations and a fair profit margin are granted to the Tier One supplier.

The relationship between Tier One and Tier Two is developing in the same way. The Tier One supplier reduces its supplier base and trades reduced bargaining power in exchange for higher quality and consistency (increasing its evaluation criteria).

Bargaining power of suppliers. The suppliers (Tier Two to Tier One, Tier One to OEM) were in a difficult situation as the OEMs started to reduce their supplier base. Reductions took place in steps of about 50 percent each. The criteria employed were evaluations performed by OEM inspectors at supplier plants. The successful contestants were given special awards, which made them eligible for new business with the respective OEM. After each cut, the bargaining power of the successful suppliers increased. However, the gained power cannot be used to increase profit margins, as this is measured against world standards of quality and cost.

Technological distinctiveness and leadership increase considerably the supplier's bargaining power. The OEM may prefer one supplier over others because of a new product or advanced process capabilities. To develop and market systems of components, instead of components alone, a technological breakthrough is needed and once achieved, has the potential to offer to the OEM fresh solutions and additional value.

Threat of substitute products. The automotive market is a mature one. Improvements of the automobile are basically incremental. Many APS complain about their products being commodities, with the associated cost pressures. Quality as required can be taken as a given, and then cannot differentiate among suppliers -- as does the ability to market systems. Substitute auto parts based on a new product idea, using superior process technology, can put the individual supplier in a strong position relative to other suppliers. The ceiling on prices nevertheless is derived from the price an OEM can charge for an automobile. And, as noted, this price is set in a competitive, global market.

New entrants. Established APS are subject to new competitors who start to produce or to market parts and components on their home turf. Currently, three groups of new entrants can be identified: First are Japanese suppliers, which have followed their OEM customers to the U.S. Second are strong European suppliers looking for new markets. The number of companies in both groups will increase if the U.S. decides to apply local content regulation to transplant OEM. The transplant suppliers will most likely, or do already, sell their products to the U.S. OEMs to benefit from economies of scale. Third are companies resulting from joint ventures of OEMs with other OEMs, Tier Ones with OEMs, Tier Ones with Tier Ones, and suppliers at different Tier levels.

This competition is localized. While the supplier industry is developing toward an industry with globally oriented participants, the OEM expects its suppliers to coordinate their operations closely with the local plant served, including making timely deliveries. Local production facilities, therefore, are essential.

Industry competitor analysis. Existing APS are differentiating their products by expanding their development, design and testing facilities. The goal is to offer their customers (OEM, Tier One) not only a product that meets but exceeds specifications. The offer also provides all services associated with the product, from the concept stage to delivery. The ultimate differentiation is combining a number of components in an intelligent and proprietary way, doing the assembly and delivering the system "just-in-time."

Exit barriers could cause an APS to persist in the industry despite earning only marginal returns. Barriers to exit include the write-off of assets in the case of downsizing; the discount of market value in case of spinning off a plant or product; and the loss of business value (between individual assets and synergy within the organization) in the case of dissolution of a business unit.

APS face such high exit barriers in case they are forced to downsize production. Usually, production is high volume, which allows the supplier to benefit from economies of scale. A flexible organization will make an easier transition to a different product and the company will be more profitable in the long run. While upgrading the product line to system level, the organization faces the challenge of integrating higher complexity of the product along with providing for the high volume of the core of the business.

The summary of this environmental analysis is the implication for strategy formulation. That is, how can the organization marshal its resources to best compete within the five forces. Porter concludes that the stronger the forces are the lower is profit and return on investment.

Research of supplier resources (Step 4)

Assessment of the internal situation consists of analyzing forces and resources within the organization. This part of the environment can be controlled, whereas the external influences cannot. The five participating firms provided descriptive information and strategic positions regarding the areas of the research.

Characteristics describing the supplier firm are the following:






Personnel Products



Systems Plans for Future Change


Structure Mission Goals Tier-Hierarchy Position Geographic Focus Production Engineering Marketing Both quantitative measures and narrative descriptions were provided.

Positions of the supplier. The companies responded to their positions regarding five topics in the research:

1. Application of terminology for systems, modules, and modular manufacturing. 2. Systems as a strategy to market a product, within the tier-hierarchy position of the company. 3. Anticipated developments in outsourcing, based on technology breakthrough and economies. 4. Influence of kind/extent of outsourcing on increasing levels of tier-hierarchy. 5. Change of the internal organization, reflecting strategic response to OEM extending outsourcing.

Response indicated the companies' active participation in the dynamic shifts in the OEM-supplier relationships.

Status of the firm (Step 5)

A strategy to seize opportunities for and to overcome threats to profitability requires an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of the organization in the environment of these opportunities and threats. A widely adopted analysis of the juncture of internal forces and external influences is the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis.

The underlying rational for the S-W dimension is stated as "distinctive competence." That is, the company's strategy is best for its capabilities. Stated along the O-T dimension, the opportunities are generically those in the industry; however, for the company's strategy, it is only the opportunity related to the company's competence that is of significance. The threats may not allow such distinction: threats of the industry may be those specific to the company's well-being and survival. Systematic analysis checklists to assess competitive strengths and weaknesses are available.

The company's strategic gap (Step 6)

Following the analysis of the current position of the company, the next step is to determine the specific competitive position it desires. This determination positions the company within its goals and objectives. The difference between the current position and the desired position regarding goals is the gap in the company's position. To bridge this gap, a strategic change must be formulated to determine its bridging effect and evaluated to determine its ability to achieve goals and objectives.

The conclusion of this gap analysis is that the competitive advantage leads to one of three positions: low-cost leadership, product differentiation, or focus or niche producer. This positioning is said to relate the company best to the external five forces (see Figure 1B). The position can be offensive (leading) or defensive as shifts in the other forces dictate.

Strategy formulation (Step 7)

Strategic management is a dynamic process, and whenever a gap (a deviation of the actual position from the desired competitive position) occurs, some action must be taken to bridge the gap and change the company's position. The following focuses on optimal strategies for Tier One suppliers to develop a lasting competitive advantage.

The general strategy framework from the research is presented in Figure 3. The strategic implications for APS are that, by adding systems capabilities (as described under technological and organizational objectives) it will be possible to acquire an initial order from an OEM (or higher Tier supplier) and after successful execution comes enhanced customer recognition.

The three strategic in Figure 3 are defined and presented in Table 3. These strategies require either superior technology, specific material or component application knowledge, or unique knowledge of the customer's requirements. The prerequisite for pursuing these strategies is competitiveness in total product cost and in quality of products.

The particular supplier, with its unique capabilities and facing a menu of products, must find the matching strategy (strategies) that provides the greatest return. The organization of the supplier company must then be adjusted to the strategy (or mix) adopted.

Strategy implementation (Step 8)

The successful supplier will have to utilize resources and flexible organizations that can cope with decisions on acceptable levels of vertical integration (that is, horizontally in Figure 1A) and investments.

Alliances and joint ventures with other suppliers are mutually beneficial in developing strategic characteristics, which can be costly if done individually. As market access becomes easier, technology can be shared and jointly developed and manufacturing capacity can be shared.

The joint venture is a formation of interests and partners, and contribution of resources, to pursue a common interest or purpose with control jointly and equally shared by the partners. (Operation may be entrusted to one, but control is shared.) The joint venture is particularly applicable in a changing business environment (providing limited purposes, specific duration, etc.).

As the environment of the OEM-APS is shifting substantively, an organization particularly adapted for such combination of interests and resources, in that environment, may be necessary. Recognition has been given to the joint venture, as a cooperative strategy at several levels in the tier-hierarchy. (see Figure 4)

The central drawback to a joint venture is the exposure to liability for each of the joint venture partners. The joint venture falls within the principles of partnership. The limited liability of a corporation, as a single joint venture partner, still pertains. However, each joint venture partner is "jointly and severally liable for everything chargeable to the partnership" -- broadly as to "any person not being a partner;" and power to bind another partner, within the business of the joint venture, must be express in the joint venture agreement. So then one corporation can be held for the liability of the other corporate joint venture partner(s).

Alternatives to this liability exposure are the limited partnership, with the general partner fully liable, and the limited partners having limited liability; and incorporation. The limited partnership is not applicable here, as the limited partners must be passive in conduct of the business by the general partner.

Other business forms

The Hyde Group, which owns a group of subcontractor APS companies (Tier One and lower supplier firms) and manages its OEM interface, provides a framework for consideration. This group provides contract management for the OEM, and resource management among the subcontractors. The group is in a strong position to manage the interface, developed as a main consideration in its strategy as an APS.

A conglomerate corporation would perform the same function with the subsidiary firms owning the conglomerate, and controlling conglomerate affairs. Consider the structure in Figure 5. The central, common functions, interface management, engineering and testing, and business development with the OEM, are known requirements of the environment.

The conglomerate umbrella organization would form the interface with the OEM, and establish the corporation's collective position appropriate to changes in the environment. In effect, this umbrella organization would mirror (or partially replace) the OEM purchasing function. As new business and business changes come forward, the strengths-weaknesses of the subsidiaries would be coordinated, to best meet the new opportunities-threats. Where specialty technology, processes and products are needed, appropriate subsidiary (subsidiaries) would be employed. Where interface management is needed, either the umbrella organization or a subsidiary organization would be assigned.

The beneficial effects of a conglomerate organization would be multiple: effective availability and employment of tier-level technologies; joint production synergies, in the system environment; providing equivalence to the OEM purchasing function; continuous up-grading of OEM classification of subsidiaries. Individual companies participating in the conglomerate would: own a stated share and control of the business; access business opportunities (enhanced by the interface management); receive appropriate income and dividends, and direct the overall position of these companies in the industry.

A permanent ownership would likely be required to avoid antitrust scrutiny of such outright cooperation. The central anticompetitive concerns are: unreasonable restraining competition among the participants in a product market and illegal exclusionary effect on other (existing, new or potential entrant) companies.

Scrutiny includes "reasonableness" in the product-market involved (where both product and market are defined for anticompetitive effects); and pro-competitive effects (economies, stimulation) offered. Other adverse restrictions and conduct are considered in anti-trust analysis.

The opportunity for a subsidiary to spin off (that is, sell off its interest in the conglomerate) would be necessary, but needs to be free of anti-trust problems.

Evaluation as survival (Step 9)

This research has established the shifting needs in the automotive industry, and the dynamic relationship of OEM-APS firms. The competing strategy formulated for the APS is focused on the shifting boundary of outsourcing/internal manufacturing decisions by the OEM, and the changing position of the APS to compete for the business.

A systematic analysis of the overall environment of the APS is essential to ascertain the best response. Response can include both technological and organizational change, and individual and joint action. In the extant environment -- nothing less can guarantee long term success. So then, each OEM and each APS will make strategic choices, in the competitive environment of transplants and global markets, and success and failure in the industry will be traced out.

Table 1: Auto parts supplier industry terminology.

Module: a synonym for parts or components. In a more specific sense, the term specifies parts or components that provide a certain function and can be used in two or more different subassemblies of systems, often built onto a common platform. Modules are designed or developed so that different combinations are possible and give a variety of performance and accessory options.

System: a group of parts that form a functional unit, the result is of an integrated design and development process. A system must be more than a physical subassembly of geometrically fitting parts. The system must be integrated with its operating environment. Systems are viewed as an hierarchical concept: the boundaries of a sub-system can be drawn as required for the individual application, and consideration is given to all possible significant interactions between the functional sub-unit and the operating environment as a whole.

Modular Manufacturing (Design/Assembly): the assembling of the product at least partially from modules. The modular design approach indicates that requirements for the supplier will be unique.

Tier-Hierarchy: the supplier chain that exists in any kind of industry that is not totally vertically integrated. Flow of materials goes from the lower-level tier to the higher-level tier organization.

If an OEM were totally vertically integrated, it would refine raw materials for parts, manufacture parts, components, modules or systems; and assemble all internally into the finished product. Tier One is the highest level, supplying the OEM customer; Tier Two supplies Tier One companies.

Table 2: Technological and organizational objectives.

A. Technological objectives.

Objective No. 1: Exceed required process capabilities. Investing in research and improving the process will achieve the objective. With a thorough understanding of the process, decisions concerning investments in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines to eliminate human errors can be made. Process monitoring on a real time basis and meaningful processing of the resulting data will enable shop floor personnel to react flexibly and make quick decisions.

Objective No. 2: Match or beat the time-span for prototypes. This can be achieved by computerized capability for concurrent engineering. The integration of CAD and CAM, in a common database, and the utilization of this data for product testing and evaluation will speed up the product development cycle.

Objective No. 3: Exchange of information from supplier to OEM, on a common data structure. Standardization and compatibility of databases are rapidly becoming a uniform practice in this industry.

Objective No. 4: Research available product technology (and investment) in upgrading the product to world standard. Research and testing facilities must be in place.

Objective No. 5: Differentiate product through systems integration. Concentrating value for the customer compels a continuing search for ways to integrate components with functionally related units. The system will offer more value than the sum of the components.

B. Organizational objectives.

Objective No. 6: Commitment of management to technological leadership. This commitment will assure necessary funding for related activities, and require a change in financial planning from short term to long term. This may harm the value of outstanding stock (but by properly communicating the change in focus, the effect will be limited).

Objective No. 7: Establishment (or upgrading) of R&D facilities. The advancing OEM requirements for advanced technology in the respective field can be met. If the supplier does not take the initiative competition can arise from companies, set up by the OEM, on a joint venture basis.

Objective No. 8: Formation of hybrid organizations to allow for contributions to the research from all positions of the organization. Organization of the company should provide for employee commitment and job-ownership. A mixed matrix and/or hybrid organization can facilitate the lateral work relationships involved. Establishment of sales engineer positions gives the supplier the means to determine customer needs early and competently.

Objective No. 9: Establish cooperative agreements or joint ventures. Potential partners are companies that have unique and complementary skills in materials processing, in electronics, in computer integration. OEM, Tier One supplier, and Tier Two supplier can all benefit from that kind of cooperation. Cooperation of U.S. suppliers with European and Japanese suppliers has the additional benefit of lowering the entry barriers to transplant foreign and local OEM customers.

Table 3. Dimensions of the macro-environment of auto parts suppliers

Economic Considerations

The sales volume of auto parts manufactured in U.S. is almost directly proportional to the sales of domestic automobiles. The sales volume of automobiles depends on the growth of the GNP, general availability of consumer loans, increase in Consumer Disposable Income and the level of gasoline prices.

For the majority of U.S. auto parts suppliers, who do not yet supply transplant OEM, the further loss of market share by U.S. OEM is of great significance. This market factor is external to the parts suppliers, as they cannot influence how a new car model (with their parts built in) will do in the market.

Social Considerations

The aging of the "baby boomer" generation is of significance for the OEM (representing the demand for more luxurious, expensive cars), but of lesser, indirect importance for auto parts suppliers (affecting the mix of car sizes, but not the total demand).

Technological Considerations

The major technological advances that have changed the auto parts supplier's processes in recent years are Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), application of robots in manufacturing, and Computer-Aided Measuring and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) of metal cutting machines. Computer-Aided Materials Management (with input of the measurements in CAD databases shared with a CAD system) facilitates timely and consistent delivery (JIT and technology). The application of computer simulation has made product testing and design optimization faster and cheaper.

Major product technology advances have also occurred in the fields of electronic controls of systems. This has affected manufacturing of the engine, drivetrain, and brakes, and new materials (panels, piston rings, windshields, gears, brakes ...). The electronic control of a functional unit allows optimization of its performance, but the parts and components must be designed with the view of an expected, optimal system.

Political Considerations

Regulation has a significant influence on the auto parts supplier. "Voluntary import limitations" by Japanese OEM are likely to increase the sales volume and price of the domestic auto producers, while probably decreasing the total volume of the market. Imposing "local content limits" enhances, through minimum value of domestic parts contained in automobiles built by transplant OEM. (The opposite is true for U.S. parts suppliers dealing with the European Community OEM.) For these cars to be considered domestically built, either the transplant OEM will be forced to buy more from U.S. suppliers, or more transplant suppliers will follow their OEM customers to the U.S. (see Strategy Implementation).

Emerging environmental legislation will impose tougher minimum fuel efficiency on automobile manufacturers, affecting the whole industry. Engine manufacturers, drivetrain producers, and their suppliers must find ways to increase the efficiency of the products, and specifically the efficiency of the drivetrain system. Designers are asked to reduce the drag coefficient and the weight of the automobile. Governmental regulation of passenger restraint systems (such as compulsory "air bag") will open new opportunities to suppliers.

Table 4: General strategies for APS

Strategy 1: Provide superior product and process technology and services that offer better performance against requirements, at a cost that will enable the OEM to increase the value of its vehicles to consumers.

This will create a demand for the company's products and services, so that the OEM will agree to higher prices and/or award a greater share of the business. The focus is to establish a proprietary product in the marketplace.

This approach requires long term commitment of resources and the payback period is usually long. The risks of this strategy can be controlled by linking the technology development very closely to consumer and OEM requirements. Whereas the OEM will try to push the supplier with its developments in a certain direction, it may be important for the supplier to carefully research customer needs for their part of the vehicle.

Strategy 2: Become a system-capable supplier that concentrates more of the value added into the part or component, in the supplier's tier-hierarchy.

The additional value can be created by tailoring the product to the specific application requirements of the customer. Extra skills will be needed to be able to focus on the system context in which the components will be used. The additional skills are offered to the customer, in form of testing and engineering (providing required technical centers), whose materials or parts can be customized to the specific application in which they will be used.

The focus of a system-capable supplier is still on developing and supplying components or materials. It is advisable that this strategy be used only in areas with a unique knowledge of the systems applications requirements.

Strategy 3: Become a systems supplier by moving forward in the supply chain to supply sub-assemblies to the OEM.

This strategy is viable if the company already supplies the greatest technological element of a given module. By combining related components with the technological core, to form a system and to provide a high level customer support, it is possible to capture added value while focusing on creating new demand.

This strategy will require a unique knowledge of the OEM's requirements in the specific system environment of the vehicle, so that the supplier can explit some kind of synergy. This synergy will enable the supplier to deliver its system solution at a lower cost than the OEM itself could. A nonproprietary grouping of components that is designed to pull along non-competitive components will cost more than the OEM would be willing to pay.

PHOTO : Figure 1A: Tier hierarchy in auto supplier industry

PHOTO : Figure 1B: Producer industry task environment

PHOTO : Figure 2: Strategic management process

PHOTO : Figure 3: General strategy components for APS

PHOTO : Figure 4: Task environment of Tier One supplier, result of a joint venture

PHOTO : Figure 5. Structure of subsidiary-owned conglomerate.

Further reading

Allison, J.R. and R.A. Prentice, The Legal Environment of Business (3rd ed.). The Dryden Press, 1989. "Auto Parts Makers Feeling Pinch," Chicago Tribune, August 27, 1990. Callahan, J.M., "Tora, Tora, Tora!," Automotive Industries, February, 1989. Fessler, D.W., Alternatives to Incorporation for Persons in Quest of Profit (2nd ed.), West Publishing Co., 1986. Pearce, J.A., II and R. B. Robinson, Jr., Strategic Management: Strategy Formulation and Implementation (3rd ed.). Richard D. Irwin, 1988. Porter, M.E., Competitive Advantage. The Free Press, 1985. Porter, M.E., "How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy," Harvard Business Review. Vol. 57, No. 2, 1979. Pullin, J., "Unity Is Strength," The Engineer, October 5, 1989. Thompson, A.A., Jr. and A.J. Strickland III, Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases (4th ed.). Homewood Business Publications, Inc., 1987.

Vernon P. Dorweiler, Ph.D., is associate professor of management and law at Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan. He holds graduate degrees in engineering, business and law, from Iowa State University, University of Chicago, and DePaul University. Manfred F. Tittl is employed at Eurostar Automobilewerk Ges.m.b.H., a Chrysler/Styer-Daimler-Puch joint venture, in Graz, Austria. He holds an MS in mechanical engineering and manufacturing systems from the University of Leoben, Austria, and an MS in operations management from Michigan Technological University.
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Title Annotation:manufacturing to meet the changing demands of auto manufacturers
Author:Dorweiler, Vernon P.; Tittl, Manfred F.
Publication:Industrial Management
Date:Sep 1, 1991
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