Success of Saturn: A Case Study of the Saturn Automobile
Research rept. Aug 1992-Apr 1993
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
For nearly 50 years the U.S. was the leading producer of automobiles worldwide. By 1980 this dominance had shifted considerably with the Japanese taking the number one position from the U.S. American automobile manufacturers had been sleeping at the wheel while the Japanese developed the concept of lean manufacturing and produced quality, inexpensive, fuel efficient automobiles. They put their cars on the market in the U.S. and Americans bought Japanese instead of expensive, large, inefficient U.S. automobiles. In mid 1982, General Motors launched a plan to combat the Japanese intrusion into the American market place. The plan was called the Saturn Corporation. It took eight years and a huge capital investment to produce the first car but the Saturn cars are cutting into the Japanese stronghold on the small car market in the U.S. Saturn Corporation could become the model for General Motors divisions of the future. What has been learned at Saturn is shared, studied and incorporated where applicable in other GM motor divisions. This case study tells the Saturn story from its inception to present early 1993.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Surface Transportation and Equipment
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems