Build to order: the road to the 5-day car
Parry, G. and Graves, A., eds. (2008) Build to order: the road to the 5-day car. London: Springer. ISBN 978-1848002241
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Visit any modern car production line and you will be faced by a showcase of modern technology and advanced logistics combining in a clinical environment to produce rows of automobiles, each significantly different from the one before and after it. From stamping out the sheet steel body to driving a finished car off the line typically takes under 30 hours. However, if you try and buy a car to your specification you can expect to wait around 55 days, despite production lines frequently running below capacity. Why can’t you have your car in 30 hours plus delivery time? The challenge of mass customisation, building cars to customer order, brings great value to both the customer and the automotive industry. Building cars to customer order eliminates the need for companies to hold billions of dollars worth of finished stock. Any company able to free this capital would improve their competitive position and be able to reinvest in future product development. The benefits to all are clear and the first to market an operational build-to-order system will generate a significant cost advantage that may be difficult to emulate. The question for many automotive executives is not when but how exactly will such a radically ‘different’ business model operate? This book addresses the conceptual and practical aspects for achieving the automotive industry’s next goal: the rapid delivery to the customer of a bespoke vehicle only days after placing an order.