Drive To Perfection
September 27, 2013 2:35 PM Subscribe
General Motors is literally tearing its competition to bits ...so its 3D scanning can reverse-engineer others' vehicles, increasing speed to market.
posted by VikingSword (31 comments total)
9 users marked this as a favorite
'All this technical innovation makes it easier for GM to react to competition faster and push innovations out rapidly. Still, it doesn't guarantee that GM will execute in a way that makes people want to buy the company's vehicles.' 'The capabilities that come from GM's benchmarking efforts bring another sort of risk with them—GM could learn from its competitors too well and become indistinguishable from them. It's a problem that plagues today's auto industry, where you often can't tell vehicles from different manufacturers apart in a parking lot without looking at the name plate.'
'In 2002, some GM executives were talking about the idea of the company becoming a "virtual" automaker—shifting toward becoming purely a design and engineering shop and outsourcing manufacturing completely. The company nearly became virtual in another sense before its bankruptcy and government bailout. But now that GM is back to profitability and holds a respectable and growing market share, it needs to find the right balance between reacting to competitors and finding its own road. And GM hopes its current approach to digital modeling will be the tool that leads to a happy medium.'
'Despite the innovations behind the SSR a decade ago
, it wasn't the car GM needed at the time. Its timing was awful, arriving a year after the 9/11 attacks in the midst of throttled-back expectations and ballooning gas prices. After the initial excitement in its first limited model year, sales tanked in 2004. Only 9,000 were sold and nearly another 9,000 remained in inventory. In 2005, GM announced it would be closing the Lansing Craft Centre and shutting down the SSR's production. The company booked a $10 billion loss.'