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The showroom as assembly line.

New technology is changing the way automobiles are designed, developed, and customized

In the past, automobile buyers had to choose between the ride of, say, a stretch limousine and the fuel efficiency or maneuverability of a small-sized car. No longer. The emerging premise of recent developments in flexible hardware, coupled with programmable electronics or software, is to allow buyers to customize their cars with the exact mix of "ride" and "feel" characteristics that they want -- not those that automobile companies bundle into a limited number of available model types. Such a buyer-driven approach to customization may, oddly enough, make Alfred Sloan's mass-production model valid again. But this time, instead of the final assembly taking place in the factory, it will take place in the showroom or right in the driver's seat.

OVER THE PAST 20 years, the design and development of automobiles has changed from a game of scale to one of skill. It used to be enough to out-bet (or out-build) your opponent. Not any more. Today, as Japan's competitive success has shown, a company needs both physical scale and organizational skills -- including superior customer research, creative design capability, advanced process engineering, and aggressive program management. But even these are not enough. It must also be able to integrate these resources to develop and produce a near-constant stream of new and newly-updated, high-quality vehicles.

Just as Western automakers struggle to understand and acquire these critical skills, however, evidence is mounting that today's world-class product-development strategy -- that is, the one followed by the Japanese OEMs -- is rapidly approaching its structural limits. Look at the evidence: between 1982 and 1990, Japanese producers increased the number of separate car models they made from 47 to 84, with their engineering investment shooting from about 24 million man-hours to roughly 39 million man-hours. Extrapolating this rate of growth out to 2000, the Japanese will produce over 221 seperate models, with a total engineering investment of 103 million man-hours. Even the Japanese agree that, despite quantum leap improvements in product development and manufacturing efficiency and effectiveness, such a level of new product development is impossible to sustain.

Inevitably, the design, development, and manufacturing of automobiles will change dramatically in the years to come -- a shift that could, in fact, give Western companies significant advantages. Moreover, it appears likely that the car industry will be one among many industries, from consumer electronics to appliances, that are changing the way their products are developed and produced.

A new product battlefield

Historically, automobiles have been distinguished from one another by fixed mechanical "hardware" -- the combination of bodywork, chassis, powertrain, and trim that makes up the personality of a modern passenger car. The vehicle so assembled is basically immutable; the few things that are adjustable -- the front seats, the steering wheel, the rearview mirrors -- are designed solely to accommodate differences in customers' physical characteristics, such as height and build. The notion that customers might derive significant satisfaction from being able to adjust the subjective, "soft" elements of vehicle ownership -- steering response and suspension feel, for example -- has, to date, been mostly discounted or simply ignored.

Custom-tailoring

It no longer can be. Within the next decade or two, automakers will begin to be able to custom-tailor the soft aspects of cars through a combination of flexible mechanical hardware and programmable electronics (or "software") including both integrated circuits and programming codes. Today, it is possible electronically to adjust transmission shift points, engine torque and horsepower bands, suspension damping and travel, ride height, engine exhaust sound, brake action, steering effort, drive-wheel traction, instrumentation configuration, and even individual interior heating and cooling zones. This penetration of software into the major systems of an automobile permits significant alteration of many of the sensual elements of the car ownership experience without changes in major new product hardware.

Soon, the software will permit even more. For example, it will be possible electronically to modify the interior sound level so that an inexpensive, economy car rides much more quietly than it now does. That is not all. It will also be possible to retune engines for maximum fuel efficiency, to adjust the throttle tip-in and brake pedal feel, and automatically to change window tints or exterior and interior lighting configurations.

Market segment of one

Buyers looking for a combination of, say, big-car boulevard ride and small-car maneuverability and fuel economy will no longer have to compromise by choosing one or the other. Instead, they will be able to purchase a small car, adjust the suspension, steering, and noise level to replicate those of an upscale touring car, and, thus, "assemble" -- in the dealer's showroom -- a product that meets their own market segment of one.

This growing influence of software does not mean that car companies will rekindle a modern-day version of Henry Ford's notion of "one size fits all" -- building one model equipped with Star Wars technology that can transform itself into whatever the customer wants. Full-line automakers will still produce full lines of stylistically differentiated models. What it does mean is that carmakers will be able to develop product lines that complement each other and provide high levels of customer satisfaction, without the excessive and costly product cannibalization that we are witnessing today.

The potential impact of these changes on all elements of an automaker's business system, from tooling costs to vehicle system architecture, could be immense. Getting these changes in focus -- as well as getting them to work -- promises to be the primary strategic focus of the worldwide auto industry's product-development process early in the twenty-first century.

Evidence from R&D labs

There is growing evidence from R&D facilities around the world that auto companies have already launched determined efforts to understand how such systems can be developed and tailored. These include:

* General Motors' initiative to quantify "control feel" in different types of vehicles. Its Buick division recently unveiled a concept car, based on the Regal, in which the steering feel, seat support, throttle response, automatic transmission shift points, and interior temperature zones can be adjusted to individual taste -- and then automatically changed, via a hand-held signalling device, to the tastes of a second or third principal driver.

* Toyota's efforts to quantify the optimum balance between steering feel and vehicle speed and lateral acceleration, thus allowing it to fine-tune steering systems to reflect customer preference and to design steering systems that enhance driver confidence.

* Mazda's computerized system to evaluate exhaust sound quality. The data generated are used to examine the effects different exhaust sounds have on the psychoacoustic feelings of drivers, which permits customization of exhaust tuning for specific market segments.

* Mitsubishi's program to estimate driver tension during cornering. The data is being used to fine-tune Mitsubishi's electronically-controlled suspension and four-wheel steering systems. The company is also trying to clarify, in quantitative terms, the human body's ability to sense acceleration.

* Nissan's work on a signal-processing system. By conducting subjective evaluations of simulated acceleration noise, the company hopes to develop a sound quality evaluation technique that takes human auditory impressions into account.

* Ford's $80-million facility for psychoacoustics research. An early initiative: trying to reverse engineer classical music in order to better understand the characteristics of "quality" sound.

Such experimentation points to a powerful new method of competition in product design: the ability to adjust the subjective characteristics of an automobile to the exact requirements of a particular customer at a reasonable cost. To date, however, the full potential of this new method has, perhaps, not been recognized. The temptation is still to view these enhancements only as providing more customer options, not as driving a fundamental shift in the way vehicles are developed. The recognition will soon come.

This is not to say, of course, that mastery of the classic product-development techniques and production skills perfected by such companies as Toyota and Honda will no longer be required. On the contrary, they will simply become the price of admission to the industry. But they will not create the sources of competitive advantage that the industry's leaders enjoy over its laggards.

From systems to supersystems

This evolution toward software-based competition demands that automotive companies shift their focus from the continued refinement of separate vehicle systems to the integration of those separate systems into one supersystem that is capable of changing the dynamic characteristics of a vehicle to meet individual customer preference. The quality and robustness of individual systems will drive supersystem performance, just as individual part and component quality now drives overall system performance. But before companies begin to concentrate on such supersystems, they must more fully understand the subjective criteria consumers use in forming their personal expectations of performance.

Historically, these criteria were known, if at all, only through an engineer's gut instinct. The Japanese attempted to reduce the possible errors of gut instinct by supporting it with an integrated planning system like Quality Function Deployment, that effectively translates customer requirements into design and manufacturing requirements. Even so, balancing the subjective compromises inherent in contemporary product design involves a huge element of risk, which could be eliminated if the customer were the final one to sign off on a vehicle's design and configuration.

This approach would require automakers to have a better understanding of their customers' subjective criteria, a better technique for outlining the performance ranges needed to meet those criteria within a given vehicle system, and a better process for electronically tailoring each vehicle to do so for each individual customer.

Imagine, therefore...

* ...an automobile endowed with a "reactive" intelligence, capable of quickly adapting its performance to something as subtle as a driver's current driving pace and style. The vehicle could access a series of programs replicating the ride, feel, and performance attributes of various world-class automobiles, allowing the driver to choose among them while the car is in motion.

* ...a customer walking into a dealership, climbing into a vehicle simulator, and dialing in the dynamic characteristics desired. The dealer would then use the output from the simulator to program the desired attributes into a model of the required style and size. For the dealership, that would mean carrying a relatively limited group of physically-differentiated vehicles that, when programmed, would offer a broad variety of performance characteristics -- instead of a plethora of models of varying sizes, shapes, and performance characteristics.

In effect, the showroom has become the assembly line. But even before these scenarios become a commonplace reality, a whole range of intermediate possibilities will -- in fact, already have -- become available. The limited reactive intelligence of Porsche's Tiptronic transmission, for instance, does not allow the driver to downshift if the car comes into an unstable situation.

The hardware of a car will remain extremely important to product differentiation in terms of styling and chassis size, but the car's personality -- its performance, handling, ride, steering, and throttle response -- will increasingly be defined by its software. Nor will hardware any longer rigidly define performance expectations. A buyer seeking high performance will not automatically have to gravitate toward a low-slung roadster but will, instead, be able to program such performance into a wide range of vehicles -- even full-size family sedans.

A recent example of this kind of shift from hardware to software took place in the watch industry, with the introduction of the low-cost and highly-accurate quartz crystal-driven movement. This new technology broke the supposedly necessary link between superior accuracy and high cost asserted in the marketing of the great Swiss mechanical watches of the past. Today, a $25 quartz crystal watch actually outperforms a $1,000 mechanical watch. Moreover, it also proves that style and cost can have little, if any, correlation. Style is simply style and can be cheaply altered at will -- as in the case of the Swatch -- to fit passing moods and fancies.

Rethinking the signposts

This revolution in product-development software may well alter, dramatically, the balance of power in the auto industry. Oddly enough, Alfred Sloan's old mass-production model could become valid again. But this time, instead of manufacturers adding options in the assembly plant, final "assembly" would actually take place at the dealership -- or in the driver's seat itself -- through the use of software, on-board computers, and electronic actuators. The signs are that this revolution has already begun. Electronic content as a percentage of the price of a car is already on the rise. By 2000, it will likely jump from its 1990 figure of 10 percent, adjusted for learning-curve effects, to as much as 36 percent.

Software mastery

As this software-based approach takes hold, carmakers will have to rethink the signposts that differentiate their vehicles from the rest of the market. Apart from physical characteristics, such as body styling, the subjective sensations that currently make, say, a Chevrolet feel like a Chevrolet will become tuneable. As a result, what makes a Chevy a Chevy will no longer be defined by the pre-conception of its engineers, but by an individual buyer's expression of what it should be. This, in turn, means that automakers will stop trying to outguess groups of consumers about what they really want the steering to feel like. Their goal, instead, will be to enlarge the range of choices from which customers can themselves select what they want.

This shift in orientation will have enormous implications for the way systems, subsystems, components, and parts are conceived and designed. Current practice is to focus on static specifications aimed at single applications. In the future, however, the goal will be to create dynamic designs with broad performance characteristics, which can then be tailored to specific needs via electronics. For example, Saturn created its traction control system simply by manipulating the control algorithms of its anti-lock braking system (ABS). The new importance of software will also change the ways in which automakers interact with their supply base. Although basic design work may remain a give-and-take process between OEM and supplier, the actual programming of the design will be among each OEM's most closely-held secrets -- and most important capabilities.

By analogy with the experience of the computer and even the appliance industry, as software and control features become central to the creation of a unique product, hardware -- as sourced from suppliers -- will become commodity-like. This is, of course, not to say that all automotive hardware will become commodity-like. It won't. But it does mean that skillful software deployment will become perhaps the primary competitive asset.

Indeed, if an automaker does not take the lead in mastering software, it may find its suppliers doing so in its place. Today high-performance sports cars are often fitted with after-market electronic devices that better match drivetrain performance with a given driver's needs than do standard factory equipment. Will this trend continue? Will "software" suppliers position themselves relative to hardware makers as Microsoft has done in the computer industry, where it earns a royalty on every IBM PC sold because IBM uses its disk operating system? It seems doubtful. OEMs in the auto industry have always closely guarded software development for critical systems like engine management and rightly consider such software to be of primary strategic importance.

Cost and regulatory hurdles

The potential constraints on software-based product development are numerous -- including the need to meet government-imposed emissions and safety standards. But none of these constraints is a knock-out factor.

It has been well documented that the experience curve for electronics is much steeper than that for mechanical components. In fact, one of the reasons early estimates of electronics dollar content per vehicle were usually too high was that forecasters dramatically underestimated the sharp cost reductions that occurred as production increased. Even so parts and components capable of a wide range of performance characteristics will be relatively more expensive to develop than conventional products. This is why they are first appearing in the luxury and near-luxury vehicle segments.

But as scale increases, they will enter the mass market -- much like anti-lock brakes, which were first introduced at roughly $1,400 on luxury vehicles but are now available at $300 to $500 on economy cars and light trucks. In fact, the case could be made that these new dynamic components and systems, with their wide applicability, will ultimately reduce the capital investment an OEM must make in vehicle platform hardware, thus allowing it to concentrate ever more resources on other areas, such as body styling.

Regulatory standards could prove an even larger roadblock than cost. On fuel economy, for example, new averaging techniques will have to be developed to account for individual engine-tuning differences. In addition, the need to meet strict emissions standards will limit, to some extent, the range of variation in engine performance that producers can offer. But it may also, at the same time, improve a driver's range of environmental choice. For example, strict emissions laws have in the past led to the development of highly tuneable fuel injection systems and of engines that burn both methanol and gasoline.

Safety standards, however, may prove less of an issue. They will evolve over time as the range of performance that a vehicle can provide increases. To date, however, software-based systems optimization -- for example, the semi-active suspension systems on the market from Ford, Nissan, and others -- has not met steep resistance on the safety front.

Business system challenges

All these developments will, of course, mandate significant change across the business system of auto manufacturers -- especially in the strategic areas of...

...Product-line management

Today, the micro-segmentation of car buyers to a large extent determines an automaker's product line. This will change. As previously noted, product planners -- both Japanese and Western -- will no longer have to differentiate their portfolios solely through the creation of ever greater amounts of hardware either in terms of totally new models or differentiated variants.

Because software will allow them to do much more with a lot less hardware, they can recluster potential segments into larger groupings, instead of slicing the customer base into ever tinier segments based on static demographic or psychographic profiles. This means that the traditionally complex work of product-line planning will be replaced by simpler, but more sophisticated, approaches that shift the focus from defining acceptable proxies for consumer need to establishing systems capable of delivering exact customer requirements.

There will still, of course, remain a need for classic market research to test new product ideas. In addition, an OEM's need to understand and document its customers' intimate product requirements will expand geometrically. It will, for instance, have to use data from both dealership simulators and salesforce to document customer likes, dislikes, and trend shifts on a real-time basis if it is to respond swiftly to emerging or changing needs. Over time, such feedback will allow OEMs to gauge the exact measures of performance necessary to satisfy the customers most drawn to a specific type of vehicle.

In short, the entire product-planning function of an automaker will be stood on its head. Instead of trying to discover finer and finer differences among consumers and then designing cars for them, the companies will focus on attracting broader and broader user groups and then allowing the customers themselves to make the minute differentiations they desire in the product.

...Manufacturing structure

Perhaps the most wrenching shift will occur in manufacturing. The more component performance is determined through software, the less critical -- in strategic terms -- will become manufacturing the hardware itself. Successful companies will, therefore, begin to reduce their asset loads in manufacturing by ceding more and more process and product hardware to suppliers. What they will keep and nurture are the skills and resources essential to product conceptualization.

In such an environment, a vehicle's high value-added subsystems will be those that create the smoothest and most effective integration of hardware with software. This, in turn, will challenge old notions of the parts of a vehicle over which an OEM must retain total control. Proprietary computer code certainly. So, too, cylinder heads and combustion chambers, but not cylinder blocks, which can be outsourced. And so, too, advanced processes like Toyota's hydroforming press. By contrast, some large components, even electronically-controlled automatic transmissions, will become commodity-like.

In fact, it is already possible for two separate automakers to purchase the same automatic transmission from a single supplier and yet achieve remarkably different levels of shift smoothness and performance. The reason: nothing more than different programming codes.

As barriers to entry in the auto industry shift from scale to technology and skills, the need to produce asset-intensive parts and components in-house will recede even further. Such a shift has already taken place in the computer industry. When Apple decided to introduce its Powerbook portable computer, it retained control over proprietary design and software, but outsourced the manufacturing and assembly to Sony.

...Distribution

As OEMs reduce their manufacturing asset base, they will begin to exert an even stronger influence over their downstream distribution networks, which will become more influential in product-line decisions. In fact, the role of the dealer network in closing the loop on product design will become vital. The traditionally adversarial relationship between dealers and OEMs, especially in the United States, will no longer be tolerable. Dealers will have to become genuine front-line partners to OEMs, and their salesmen will have to acquire an entirely new set of skills to act as "design consultants" to customers. The skill of the salesman in setting up a vehicle's performance characteristics to meet individual customer demand may well become the industry's new "moment of truth."

But, as the importance of distribution networks grows, OEMs will become increasingly vulnerable to distributor power. In other industries, OEMs have watched with dismay as their control over distribution channels shifted to the channels themselves. The combination of a downstream shift in customer knowledge with a "commoditization" of product line inevitably reduces OEMs' manufacturer profits. This has already happened with the power of grocery chains relative to that of consumer goods producers, and of automotive after-market distributors relative to that of parts makers. Automotive OEMs, not known in the past for adept management of their channels, will thus have to become much more savvy about channel dynamics and control.

It is still early innings, but the outcome is clear: driven by software-based product development, tomorrow's final assembly line in the automobile industry will end not in a factory but in a dealer's showroom. Already, the first glimmers of true customer segments of one are appearing in certain performance and luxury car segments. Understanding and preparing for this new product-development battlefield could be as important for the automakers of the twenty-first century as mastering first mass and then lean production was for those of the twentieth.

Lance Ealey is an Automotive Specialist and Glenn Mercer is a Senior Automotive Consultant in the Cleveland office. Copyright |C~ 1992 by McKinsey & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

The demise of hardware

SOMEWHERE during, say, the next 30 to 50 years, it is likely that major pieces of today's automotive hardware will be entirely eliminated. The conventional mechanical brake system, steering gear, suspension -- even the drivetrain -- could be replaced by much simpler and more efficient electronics- and hydraulic-based components. The mechanical portions of these new components will become largely commodity items that continually improve (much as computer processor chips do today), while most of the value-added and almost all competitive advantage will come from the ability to program these components to operate effectively.

We're already seeing several examples of such "new-paradigm" technology. Today some luxury cars (the Mercedes SL and the BMW 750) are equipped with electronic throttles, where the functional link between pedal and engine is made via electronics not through mechanical cables or levers. Another example is the work begun in the 1980s on active suspension, which replaces suspension springs and shock absorbers with computer-driven hydraulic rams capable of adjusting wheel and body position in real time. These systems, already common in Formula One racing, allow a vehicle literally to float over bumps that would normally cause tooth-jarring vibrations.

While greatly improving ride and handling characteristics, the real advantage of active suspension from an OEM's perspective is that all suspension tuning is done by simply reprogramming the computer -- radically shortening development times. Thus, the same hardware could be reprogrammed to make a vehicle handle like a race car, ride like a traditional luxury car, or carry loads like a minivan.

This concept could be transferred to all other important systems in a car:

Drivetrain. The transmission clutch, differential, and axle could be replaced by electric motors at each wheel powered by a traditional engine acting as a generator.

Steering. Each wheel's steering angle could be changed by a small electric or hydraulic motor, attached by wire to the steering wheel.

Brakes. Hydraulic pumps, attached by wire to the brake pedal, would replace traditional mechanisms.

While the integration of these systems will result in a quantum leap in vehicle performance and safety, the most dramatic effect this new technology will have is on vehicle development. A full-line manufacturer may need only two or three basic sets of hardware for 20 or 30 models. Developing a small sports car from a compact car chassis may simply mean designing a new body and changing the computer program. Such a product strategy, moreover, will free up large amounts of time and resources to the development of a broader range of body styles and configurations that more closely meet the customer's needs. These resources could also be used to respond to environmental challenges such as pollution and recyclability.

Clearly, the path to such a car is fraught with obstacles, including cost, initial complexity, and even fear of the unknown on the part of OEMs and car buyers alike. There are analogous examples of such new-paradigm technology that have already succeeded in the marketplace, however. One need only look at the "fly-by-wire" jets of Airbus, which replaced heavy and cumbersome hydraulic systems with small motors. When Airbus wanted to apply the system to other models, it simply had to reprogram the system, not spend thousands of man-hours redesigning all the physical linkages.

Antony Sheriff is an Associate in the Milan office.

The birth of the Ohno paradigm

CLASSIC MASS PRODUCTION was Henry Ford's creation, but Alfred Sloan of General Motors perhaps best understood and exploited its possibilities. Out of a handful of basic automotive vehicle designs, Sloan was able to fashion a brocade of optional equipment, body styles, makes, and models that allowed GM to capture massive market share and scale economies. Such a mass-production strategy relied on getting one basic design for an automobile approximately right, and then exploiting it by adding an almost infinite variety of optional equipment to satisfy as many customers as possible. Thus was Chevrolet able to annually produce and sell over 1 million of its "standard model" in the 1960s.

The obvious frailties of this system in terms of quality, cost, flexibility, and owner appeal have been widely discussed. Suffice it to say that the entire system came crashing down under its own weight when Toyota proved it had found a better way. Under the guidance of Taiichi Ohno, Toyota skillfully dismantled the mass-production paradigm by producing in small lots low-cost vehicles that rivaled the finished quality and reliability of many high-priced luxury cars of the time.

Having mastered flexible manufacturing techniques in the 1970s, the Japanese were free to change the rules of the game in product development and segmentation as well, and thus gained strategic advantages which exist to this day. Toyota's approach was to develop several mainstay products plus many niche vehicles in relatively small lots, thus covering the available market with a "shotgun blast" of vehicles. Honda, taking a different approach, depended for many years, in the North American market, on just two "rifle-shot" products, the Civic and the Accord, which it refined and moved up-scale along with the major market segments at which these cars were targeted.

Both companies, despite their differing market profiles, based their strategies on the ability to change models quickly: they accelerated product replacement cycles to four years from the more traditional five to ten. The skill of high-speed development proved critical to both firms' competitive success. Japanese-style lean development and production schemes, unlike the mass-production strategies of American producers, demanded the generation of many designs quickly, efficiently, and effectively -- easily the most difficult and expensive skill any automaker has to master.

Is the model wasteful?

Today, the Japanese model, in its two main variants, as exemplified by Toyota and Honda, is considered the world benchmark for automotive production. Other automakers eagerly study and dissect the intricacies of these product delivery systems, hoping to capture the essential ingredients for their own. Yet it appears that the incredible effectiveness of the Japanese model brings with it a new set of problems only now being realized. Ironically, the system so widely recognized for reducing scrap and inefficiency is itself under attack for being wasteful and destructive in its use of resources.

In Japan, companies are coming increasingly under fire for the number of "just-in-time" delivery vehicles making numerous daily trips between suppliers and manufacturers, clogging highways and increasing pollution. Automakers are under pressure to make factories less "lean," offices more worker-friendly, and work itself less wearisome to workers in a tight labor market. Even the vaunted four-year product replacement cycle and the policy of continuously developing new vehicles are under attack as Japan's financial markets show strain, in many cases driving the cost of new capital for investment higher than has been the case in the past decade. Several Japanese auto companies, including Toyota, have been reported as considering the extension of product cycles to five years or more in the near future. In addition, several Japanese OEMs have been quoted as indicating that they plan to reduce product and component variations.

A new paradigm?

As a basis for competitive advantage the current frenzied pace of activity may be neither necessary nor desirable from a long-term perspective. But what will replace it? Few observers believe the Japanese model will be replaced by another as dramatically as it replaced the earlier Western model. In fact, the Japanese model, shorn of its excesses, should remain the foundation upon which the new software-based product-development system will be established. Taken from the view of product-as-hardware alone, however, Ohno's vision of a production lot of one (and, by extension, a customer segment of one) has proven an excessively expensive way of creating a truly personalized ownership experience, even without considering external costs such as traffic congestion.

The proliferation of models and model variants causes overlaps, redundancies, and product cannibalization -- even among the best players in the industry. And, as market niches multiply -- but shrink in size individually -- the risk of cannibalization increases until a company's product offerings become so closely bunched that the product differences sweated over by hundreds of engineers become trivial in the eyes of the customer. How, for example, can Toyota avoid cannibalizing the Lexus ES300 with the new Camry, or Honda the Acura Vigor with the upgraded Accord? Translated into economic terms, after a point, every incremental addition to an existing product line generates proportionately less and less return in terms of either margin or market share.

Likewise, Honda's rifle-shot approach is becoming less effective as customer demands become more individualized. Honda's recent problems in its home market suggest the limits of this strategy: while the Accord has been incredibly successful in the United States, it has met with lackluster sales in Japan, due partly to its ever-increasing size and performance -- both attributes developed for the US market. In fact, Honda has indicated it will develop a separate smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicle for Japan in place of the Accord. Toyota is doing the same with its 7/8 scale version of the Previa minivan for the Japanese market.
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Title Annotation:includes related article
Author:Ealey, Lance; Mercer, Glenn
Publication:The McKinsey Quarterly
Date:Jun 22, 1992
Words:5275
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