History of The Motor Car in Europe

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The motor car was first established in Europe 128 years ago. Since then a large automotive industry has established with a wide range of car manufacturers, suppliers and aftermarket service. An industry can be defined by Stigler as follows “an industry should embrace the maximum geographical area and the maximum variety of productive activities in which there is strong long-run substitution” (Lipczynski and Wilson et al., 2005).
The roots of the automobile industry can be traced back to Henry Ford who was responsible for the development of the assembly line technique of mass production which allowed middle class America to afford to buy vehicles. However despite its impact Fords competitive advantage was short lived and was soon taken over as Alfred P. Sloan at General Motors sensed consumers wanted more variety than what they were being offered and he offered “a car for every purse and purpose” (Holweg, 2014, p. 14). Customers were soon given a choice with a broader range of products to include cars of different colour which was in contrast to Fords standard black car.

Europe is the largest automobile producing region with nearly 20 million vehicles assembled in 2001. It is the world’s largest market in terms of size and the competition is intense. The automotive industry represents up to one third of European manufacturing jobs. In any industry it is the employment that it generates that is the biggest help to an economy. The spin off employment from the automotive industry is quite large with a lot of industries supplying automotive producers and retailers. The direct employment, spin-off employment and exports help towards a growing and prosperous economy.
Employment in the UK automotive industry is on a declin...

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...s such as “build to order” (BTO) link production to customer demand, building a car to a specific customer order within three weeks or less and not have unsold stock building up. Renault, Nissan, BMW and Volvo have implemented such programmes and said they were successful.

Changes in Supply Chain
Companies are building long term collaborative relationships with suppliers rather than changing opportunistically. This means they’re not totally basing their supplier decisions on cost but looking to build up relationships with their suppliers so they can understand and try help the firms strategies to achieve goals. Manufacturers are recently relying heavily on outsourcing, getting suppliers to provide design and assembly assistance to match the evolving product variety that manufacturers try to offer their customers and make their new innovative ideas into a reality.
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