The author, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing, Chrysler Corporation, in addressing the subject of agility in the automotive industry, describes how Chrysler manufacturing has traveled an evolutionary path to agility. From its roots in mass production, which doesn't provide the responsiveness to be competitive in today's global marketplace, Chrysler reached the plateau of lean manufacturing. Today this lean manufacturing can be characterized as having the consistency of gravel. In some places the "gravel" is pretty well packed down, providing a fairly solid foundation, but in other places there are some "loose spots" where lean has not been totally mastered. Care must be taken so that the lean system does not become too brittle an organization, or one that is devoid of waste and complexity yet shy of the resources required to respond quickly to unanticipated change. The next plateau for Chrysler manufacturing is agility, which has the consistency of jello, reaching a solid state, but remaining pliable and resilient. The question is, how does Chrysler progress from where it is today (lean, but not totally) to the plateau of agility? The answer is self-assessment. Concluding comments concern how Chrysler is accomplishing this self-assessment.

  • 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:
    • Pawley, D K
  • Publication Date: 1994-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 26-28
  • Serial:
    • UMTRI Research Review
    • Publisher: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
    • ISSN: 0739-7100

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00719399
  • 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