The author, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Chrysler Corporation, in addressing the subject of the "Age of Agility" for the automotive industry, compares the current situation to that of the lion and gazelle from an old proverb that says: "Every morning when the sun comes up, the gazelle wakes. He knows he must outrun the fastest lion or he will be eaten. When the sun comes up, the lion also wakes. He knows he must outrun the slowest gazelle or he will starve to death. In the end, it doesn't really matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion. When the sun comes up, you'd better be running." In the automotive industry, competition is no longer a matter of the big eating the small, but the swift eating the slow. The comparison goes even further, for the gazelle who gets away is the one who changes direction so often and so quickly that he wears the lion out. And the lion who eats is the one who can anticipate when the gazelle is about to change direction. In the automotive industry, to survive is to know how to change direction fast, and to be the first to do it. In other words, you have to be agile. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that a "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." In a world, and in an industry, that changes as fast as the automotive industry, that admonition is even more true now than when he said it. The "Age of Agility" means that we have to take more risks, or at least take them sooner than the managers who came before us. It means accepting some new ideas, sometimes ones that are untested and may not work.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This issue of UMTRI Research Review contains the summaries of 20 speeches presented at the University of Michigan's 1994 Automotive Management Briefing in Traverse City.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

    2901 Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109-2150
  • Authors:
    • Eaton, R J
  • Publication Date: 1994-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 3-5
  • Serial:
    • UMTRI Research Review
    • Publisher: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
    • ISSN: 0739-7100

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00719392
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Vol. 25, No. 2 & 3, HS-041 741, HS-041 742
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 7 1996 12:00AM