And the foreign automaker doing a good job of implementing lean manufacturing is… Fiat.
Yes, Fiat. The Italian car company has transformed itself from a maker of poor-quality cars 20 years ago into a nimble, highly efficient producer of high-quality small vehicles. Hordes of executives from Chrysler, which is now effectively controlled by Fiat, are traveling to Fiat’s plant in
And according to the director of the
Mr. Arlet is also constantly on the lookout for time- and money-saving improvements, adding that he himself looks to Toyota’s famous Kaizen system for inspiration: Instead of filling up cars at different production points with brake fluid, gasoline, water and other liquids, one machine on each of Tychy’s three lines fills each vehicle.
“A car comes off the assembly line every 55 seconds,” Mr. Arlet said. “In 1996, it took twice as long.”
An infusion of lean thinking by itself won’t be enough to save Chrysler. But it helps give the