U.S. automakers close productivity gap

in 2007, Chrysler LLC and Toyota Motor Corp. were tied for the top spot in plant productivity in North America, according to a closely watched scorecard on auto manufacturing.


The Wall Street Journal reported today that last year "Chrysler LLC and Toyota Motor Corp. were tied for the top spot in plant productivity in North America," according to a closely watched scorecard on auto manufacturing. "On average both companies required the same number of labor hours - just over 30 - to assemble a vehicle and major components like the engine and transmission."
The Detroit Free Press added that Chrysler "got its first piece of really good news in more than a year as some of its most important manufacturing facilities won raves in the respected Harbour Report of productivity." With "buyers shift[ing] to more fuel-efficient vehicles, the plants that build Chrysler's smallest and most fuel efficient engines and vehicles have become the most efficient in North America by a wide margin," giving the automaker "an important competitive advantage." The report indicated that "Chrysler has tied Toyota as the most efficient vehicle maker in North America." In contrast, "Chrysler finished dead last in the survey just seven years ago."
According to a related Wall Street Journal article, the Harbour Report indicated that, "[h]elped by leaner processes and employee buyouts, Detroit's beleaguered automakers last year nearly erased the productivity deficit against their Japanese competitors." The difference between "the Big Six from the most- to least-productive in terms of total manufacturing labor dropped to 3.5 hours a vehicle, or about $260 a vehicle, down from 10.51 hours, or $790 a vehicle, in 2003." In addition to Chrysler's improvements, the report suggested that "General Motors Corp. (GM) brought its total manufacturing productivity performance to 32.29 hours a vehicle, its 12th consecutive year of improvement," while "Ford Motor Co. reduced its labor hours per vehicle by 3.5 percent to 33.88, despite producing 6 percent fewer vehicles than it did in 2006."
Bloomberg further explains that, while Toyota and Chrysler "plants used the least labor to build a vehicle in North America last year...worker buyouts helped improve efficiency at" GM and Ford. "Automakers are shifting to 'fewer, better, more competitive plants,' Ron Harbour, partner in Oliver Wyman's North American automotive practice, told reporters at an Automotive Press Association meeting in Detroit." Harbour added, "Plant flexibility is going to be crucial."
Meanwhile, the report says that while the U.S. automakers are more productive, they still are "losing money per vehicle," due to higher costs, the Associated Press notes.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me