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Industry Analysis Case Study

Case Title:

Global Automobile Industry: From Mass Production to Mass Customisation

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: D Gayatri, T Phani Madhav

Industry: Automobiles


Case Code: INA0027

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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By the end of the 1990s, the global automobile industry began to see flaws in its much acclaimed mass production model. Henry Ford's mass production model brought about manufacturing excellence through economies of scale and cost efficiencies in automobile industry. However, with the changing market scenario, the ‘Big Three of Detroit’, along with other top manufacturers were feeling the pressure of meeting the sophisticated and ever-changing consumer preferences in the market. Consumers had become choosy about the color and styles of the models they purchased. Mass customisation-making cars to-order and operating in niches like environmental friendly cars are being considered as a possible solution to the problems that besiege the industry.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To highlight the shift from the mass production model to niche segments in the global automobile industry
  • To discuss the initiatives taken by the big three of Detroit.

Keywords : Detroit big three; Mass production; Build-to-stock; Dell's mass customisation; Entry barrier; Economies of scale; General Motors buy-power; Fuel-efficient cars; Henry Ford; Alfred Sloan General Motors; End of Detroit; Industry Analysis Case Study; Zero inventory; e-Commerce; Five-day-car; Lean manufacturing

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