1 Rev. 01.6.19 AUTOMOBILES: STRATEGY-BASED LEAN PRODUCTION SYSTEM
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The present situations and future prospects of the Japanese automobile industry are discussed. Selected topics in this paper include the following: analyses of the basic product-industry characteristics of the automobile (e.g., product architecture); the mature of the dynamic competition in the world auto industry; competitive performance (e.g., productivity) of the Japanese auto makers; organizational capabilities of better Japanese firms in production, development and procurement; overall environments in the 1990s; the concept of “balanced lean ” system and its adaptation to environmental changes; new flexible production systems that cope with volume fluctuation; architectural strategies of the auto firms; modularization of parts; M&A and alliance; future of the automobile technologies and architectures; future of the capability-building competition.